General Insurance Article - SunLifes cost of dying report

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting every walk of life in 2020, we knew that 2021’s Cost of Dying report was going to be a little different.

 Justin Cole Director, SunLife: One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is that the cost of a basic funeral has gone up. It’s now £4,184 – the highest it’s ever been.

 While this figure has risen, our wider focus on the funeral market shows that the rate at which funeral costs are increasing has slowed each year, for the last four years. And this year shows the lowest ever year-on-year increase.

 In addition, the pandemic has changed the funeral industry dramatically, perhaps permanently. Most notably, direct cremations (where family do not attend the cremation, but can arrange their own, separate service) are becoming ever more popular.

 This increase in direct cremations can’t be solely because of the pandemic. But the lower cost, and the fact that many people couldn’t organise a more traditional funeral due to government regulations, are likely to have been significant factors.

 To help people during such difficult times, we’ve included practical tips from both funeral directors and people who’ve recently organised a send-off. They’ve given us a wealth of insight into how to cut costs and alleviate the stresses of organising a funeral.

 I’d also like to draw attention to another development: our new method of calculating the cost of a funeral.

 We now take the percentage of cremations vs. burials into account, to reflect the changing habits of the nation – as cremations are now far more common than when our Cost of Dying research began. You’ll notice we’ve also updated previous years’ figures, so you can clearly see the change over time.


 SunLife Cost of Dying Report 

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