Co-op ups the ante on funeral price war and guarantees to beat

10 September 2018

  • Leading national funeral provider, the Co-op guarantees to beat any like for like competitor quotes on funeral cost
  • Further reduces cost of affordable funeral option – the simple funeral by £100 and introduces additional member discounts, with prices down overall by 15% since 2015
  • Latest in a wave of measures to tackle funeral affordability, as almost four times as many families opt for lower cost funerals
  • Response as biggest ever survey reveals financial hardship impacts 4 million bereaved Brits

Funeral procession

After reducing prices on its most affordable funeral options by 15% since 2015*, the UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare has upped the ante on the funeral price war and announced a further wave of measures, as it leads the market to tackle funeral costs and drive down price.

The measures are a reaction to recent findings from Co-op’s biggest ever survey on death and bereavement, which received an overwhelming response from over 30,000 UK adults and revealed that as many as 4 million** Brits suffered financial hardship after a bereavement.

Amongst the measures, which come into effect on Monday 10th September, is the Co-op’s new ’guarantee to beat’ commitment. This will see Co-op again leading the way on affordability by committing to beating any like for like quote on funeral costs***.

Through the changes, Co-op will also be further lowering the cost of its affordable funeral option, the Simple Funeral. From Monday 10th September, the Simple Funeral will reduce in price by £100, undercutting other national providers by taking it to £1895 plus third party costs and £1675 in Scotland.

The changes to the price of Co-op’s affordable funeral option follow a significant increase in people selecting its most affordable funeral choices, with almost four times as many people choosing these services since 2015****.

Furthermore, changes to funeral price are also being made to support Co-op’s 4.7 million members. Members will now receive an increased discount of £200 (or 5% if greater) on all of Co-op’s core funeral options***** . This will take the member price of a Simple Funeral to £1695 plus third party costs.

The announcement follows a number of measures the Co-op has already taken to tackle funeral affordability. Steps taken by the Co-op include:

  • July 2018 – Launches discount of up to £400 off funeral costs, to support those people impacted by a shortfall on over 50’s plans
  • May 2018 – Launch of Cremation Without Ceremony a new direct cremation service costing £1,395 inclusive of third party costs, approximately a third of the cost of an average funeral
  • March 2018 – New member offer of £150 off a Simple Funeral and commitment to holding Simple Funeral price for second year running
  • September 2017 – Assists bereaved Scottish families with funeral affordability by cutting 16% off the cost of the Simple Funeral
  • Feb 2017 – Launches new child funeral policy extending free children’s funeral services to 16 and 17 year olds
  • July 2016 – First business to sign Fair Funerals’ new enhanced pledge to tackle funeral poverty
  • Feb 2016 - Improves Simple Funeral and reduces average costs by approximately 7% or £140, with prices held since

Commenting on the changes, Robert Maclachlan, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare and Life Planning said:

“The fact that 4 million Brits have suffered financial hardship after a bereavement is startling. As a member owned organisation, the changes we are making form part of a long term focus we have on leading the market to further assist the bereaved in tackling funeral affordability.

“Funerals are becoming increasingly price sensitive and in the last two years we have seen a huge shift in the number of clients seeking affordable funeral choices. Our new guarantee to beat on price means that families choosing a funeral with the Co-op can be assured that they are receiving a competitively priced funeral, with no compromise on our high standards of care.”

ENDS

Media Contacts:

Catherine Turner
Email: Catherine.Turner@coop.co.uk
Mobile: 07834 090783

Russ Brady
Email: Russ.Brady@coop.co.uk
Mobile: 07880 784442

Emily Penkett
Email: Emily.Penkett@coop.co.uk
Mobile: 07738 621201

Follow our news on Twitter & Instagram: @coopukpress

Notes to editors:

*Since 2015, we’ve reduced price on our most affordable funeral by 15% taking it to to £1895 plus third party costs. In Scotland, the price of our simple funeral is £1675 plus third party costs.

**Co-op’s biggest ever survey into death dying and bereavement was conducted by YouGov from 7th May to 25th June 2018 among over 30,000 UK adults. Further detail on the study can be found in Co-op’s media report

***This offer applies to the cost of our products and services for a funeral with the same or similar specification in the same geographical location. Full Terms and conditions apply visit coop.co.uk/pricepromise from Monday 10th September. Best price guarantee available at Co-op Group funeral homes excluding Northern Ireland. This does not include independent co-operative societies including Central England, East of England, Midcounties, Tamworth, Southern, Chelmsford Star, Scotmid, Heart of England, Channel Islands, Lincolnshire and Clydebank.

**** Since introducing more affordable funeral options including the Simple Funeral and Cremation Without Ceremony, we’ve seen almost four times (3.7) as many people choosing these options

*****Cremation without ceremony eligible for a member discount of £50

About Co-op’s Simple Funeral

A Co-op Simple Funeral provides essential funeral services at a set national price of £1895 or £1695 for Co-op members. The price is exclusive of third party costs. Whilst prices vary nationally, on average third party fees costed our clients £1085 in 2017 and cover payments made to others on the client’s behalf for example the minister, doctor (excluding Scotland), crematorium or church.

About Co-op Funeralcare:

Co-op Funeralcare conducts almost 100,000 funerals annually across over 1,000 funeral homes. Combined with its leading legal services business, the Co-op is also a national provider of later life products and services ranging from funeral plans, through to wills and probate. Co-op Funeralcare has been recognised as the Best Funeral Plan Provider in the 2018 Moneynet Personal Finance awards, its funeral plans have also been awarded 5 Star ratings by Fairer Finance and its Gold plan was recognised with a 5 Star rating by Defaqto.