According to research by insurer SunLife the cost of a basic funeral has increased 128% since 2004 with the average cost now standing at £4,184. What’s more this figure is expected to continue rising over the coming the years.

As a result of this significant expense many people in later life are provisioning for their passing by investing in a prepaid funeral plan.

The key benefit of a funeral plan is that it locks in the cost of a funeral at the point of purchase, avoiding any future price rises.

In recent years a more cost-effective alternative to a traditional burial has become available, direct cremations.

The two main funeral plan providers of direct cremations in the UK are Pure Cremation vs Simplicity Cremations, but which others the best service?

In this article we investigate the pros and cons of each in detail…

Direct cremations: Pure Cremation vs Simplicity Cremations

Who is the best direct cremation funeral plan provider?

Pure Cremation and Simplicity Cremations both provide prepaid direct cremation funeral plans for customers across the UK.

A prepaid funeral plan allows you to plan and pay in advance for your chosen funeral, so your family won’t have to find the money themselves or make difficult decisions when the time comes.

Direct cremation is the alternative to a traditional funeral for people who want minimal fuss when they’re gone. There’s no funeral service or ceremony before the cremation and usually, family can’t attend.

Although, Simplicity Cremations also provide low-cost funeral plans for simple, non-traditional funerals for anyone who’d like to give their family a chance to have a private ceremony before the cremation.

This is a review and comparison of both Pure Cremation and Simplicity Cremations for anyone who’s planning ahead for their own funeral and curious to know which provider is going to offer the best direct cremation funeral plan.

 Compare prepaid direct cremation plans 

Pure Cremation funeral plans

How does Pure Cremation work?

Pure Cremation describe themselves as the UK’s leading independent provider of direct cremation. They specialise in direct cremation services for customers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

For cremations in England, Pure Cremation have their very own custom-built crematorium in a beautiful setting in rural Hampshire. Cremations in Scotland and Northern Ireland take place at their partner crematoriums.

Pure Cremation has two direct cremation funeral plan options based on how you choose to pay. There’s the Trust-Based plan which has several flexible payment options.

Or, there’s the Over 50s plan which is similar to an over 50s life insurance policy in which you pay monthly premiums.  Both the Pure Cremation plans cover the same items and services which include:

  • Collection and care of the person who’s died
  • Doctors’ fees if applicable
  • Cremation fees for an unattended committal
  • A solid pine eco-coffin
  • Hand delivery of ashes or the option to have them scattered in our gardens of remembrance.

Pure Cremation plans don’t cover elements such as a hearse, limousines, pallbearers, a funeral service at the crematorium, a minister or celebrant or the option for mourners to attend the committal.

Your loved ones can add and pay for additional services when the time comes which include:

  • Priority return of ashes – £150
  • Up to 12 people to attend a 20 minutes private farewell before the coffin is committed for cremation- £200
  • A larger coffin or additional staff to carry the coffin if a body weighs more than 17 stone – £300
    When you take out a direct cremation funeral plan any payments you make are placed into the Pure Cremation Funeral Plan Trust, which is managed by independent trustees and separate to Pure Cremation.

Pure Cremation plans pros & cons

Pros 

  • All essential costs are covered including cremation fees and doctor’s fees
  • Choice of payment options to suit different budgets
  • ‘Pure Promise’ guarantees that the funeral services set out in your plan are carried out when they’re needed, without any more for your family to pay – as long as you have completed all your payments with a Trust-Based plan or have made at least 24 consecutive monthly payments with an Over 50s plan

Cons 

  • An attended committal costs £200 extra, and this price may increase by the time your funeral is held
  • A maximum of only 12 people to attend the committal at the crematorium
  • Trust-based plan £100 more expensive than Simplicity Cremations Lily plan
  • With an Over 50s plan, depending on how long you live, there’s a chance you could pay more in monthly payments than what your funeral services are worth when the time comes.

Simplicity Cremation funeral plans

 What is a Simplicity funeral plan?

Simplicity Cremations are owned by Dignity, one of the biggest and most well-known funeral providers in the UK. Simplicity operates from 46 Dignity owned crematoriums nationwide.

They have three different prepaid funeral plan options to choose from based on how many people you’d like to attend your funeral:
Each of the Simplicity funeral plans cover the following items and services:

  • Collection and care of the person who’s died
  • Cremation fees
  • Simple wood-effect coffin
  • Return of ashes or the option to have them scattered in our gardens of remembrance
  • Free bereavement support for loved ones.

What makes Simplicity different is that you can include an attended ceremony in your plan if you wish, whilst still keeping the cost much lower than a standard funeral plan. The Magnolia plan includes a short personal ceremony for up to 12 people to say a few words and a piece of music can be played. The Orchid plan includes a full-length ceremony for an unlimited number of people, which can be led by your family or by a minister paid for by them when the time comes.

All your payments for a Simplicity Cremations plan will go into an independently managed Trust, which keeps your money safe until it’s needed for your funeral.

Simplicity Cremation plans pros & cons

Pros 

  • The Lily Plan is £100 cheaper than the Pure Cremation Trust-Based plan
  • Choice of payment options to suit different budgets
  • Simplicity will guarantee to cover the funeral services included in your plan when the time comes, once the plan has been paid in full
  • Free bereavement support for your family
  • Simplicity Cremations are owned by Dignity who own 46 crematoria across the UK

Cons

  • Plans don’t cover doctor’s fees
  • The Magnolia and Orchid plans rated only 1 star by Fairer Finance

So, who’s the best direct cremation funeral plan provider?

Will it be Pure Cremation or Simplicity Cremations? At the end of the day, the best provider for you will depend on your personal circumstances and needs.

For example, if you have a smaller budget each month then you may choose a Pure Cremation Over 50s funeral plan (available to people aged 50 – 75) because the prices start as low as £6.25 a month.

With this plan, Pure Cremation also guarantee to carry out your chosen funeral services when you pass away – as long as you have made at least 24 consecutive monthly payments towards the plan – which is a benefit you wouldn’t get with a standard over 50s life insurance policy.

On the other hand, if you’d prefer to know exactly how much you’ll pay for your plan in total, but still want the cheapest deal, then you may consider the Simplicity Cremations Lily Plan. When paid for in full or over 12 months, the total spend is just £1,495.

Or perhaps you’re thinking that your family would find comfort in having a private farewell at the crematorium before the cremation, in which case a Simplicity Cremations Magnolia or Orchard plan would be more appropriate.

Whatever your choice, both Pure Cremation and Simplicity Cremations are both highly rated by their customers and there’s no doubt that they provide a high standard of care with any cremation they arrange and carry out.

The important thing is to ensure you’re making the right purchase for you and your family and that they’re adequately protected during a difficult part of their lives.

 Other direct cremation funeral plan providers

Keen to explore more options? If so, there are 8 other direct cremation funeral plan providers who are approved by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). Here are the top 5 according to Fairer Finance ratings:

  • Avalon Direct Cremation plan – 5 stars rating –  £1,895
  • Golden Leaves Copper plan – 5 stars rating – £1,693
  • Age Co Buttercup plan – 4 stars rating – £1,495
  • Respect Cremation with service – 3 stars rating – pricing variable
  • Safe Hands Direct Cremation plan – 3 stars rating –  £1,895.

A cost effective way of comparing different monthly funeral plans is by using an FCA-regulated broker, such as Reassured Funeral Plans.

 References

fairerfinance.com/ratings/product-ratings/direct-cremation-pre-paid-funeral-plans

simplicity.co.uk/funeral-plans/

purecremation.co.uk/funeral-plans

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