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Less than one in five shop around for funeral costs

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Consumers are used to shopping around for insurance and utilities, but only one-fifth shop around for their funeral costs in spite of an average cost of £4,271.

Funeral prices are rising, but 80% of people go with the first funeral director to quote, according to SunLife’s Cost of Dying report. Even among those who do compare quotes, fewer than 5% get more than two. This compared to 89% who shop around for car insurance before choosing a policy, even though the average cost is £493.

In practice, many just choose their local provider. It is a stressful time and shopping around may feel too difficult. Sun Life has a launched a Funeral Planning Mapper, an independent online tool which maps funeral services locations registered on Google across the UK.

Ian Atkinson, marketing director at SunLife said: “When someone passes away you may have to choose a funeral director immediately to take the body away.

“It is a stressful and emotional time, and the last thing on most people’s minds is to start comparing funeral director’s prices, so, unless you have organised a funeral before you could end up just going for one you’ve heard of, or doing a quick search online and picking the first on the list.

“And once you have called a funeral director to collect up the body, you are unlikely to switch funeral directors even if you later realise you’d have preferred someone else.”

According to Dignity Funeral Services, the average cost for a burial is £4,798, while the average cost for a cremation is £3,744. The cost of a funeral is typically dependent on the location, type of service, transport, the type of coffin or casket, funeral director fees, and any extras such as flowers and catering for the wake.

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