By Alison Close, Managing Director – Life Planning, Risk & Regulation

We recently released our latest report, A Nation in Mourning, which explores how lockdown caused restrictions on funerals and limited the way people said goodbye.

One of the findings in this report was startling to see – 81% of respondents admitted they haven’t saved anything towards their funeral. That means that 4 out of 5 people don’t have a financial plan for their future funeral costs. A further 8% admitted they were experiencing financial hardship due to the funeral costs of loved ones.

With lockdown restrictions slowly lifting, our commitment to helping those who need us most remains as important as ever. Along with the financial implications, knowing the final wishes of friends and family is often a difficult conversation to have, but one that’s really important.

Our Co-op funeral plans are an easy way to arrange and pay for a funeral in advance. Anyone over 18 can buy one and they’re fully guaranteed, meaning essential third-party costs are also covered, securing the plan at today’s prices with no additional costs for the services included.

To further ease financial burdens, the plan can be paid for in one lump sum, or in monthly instalments over a repayment term between 2 – 25 years. Plus, if the instalment option is selected, our unique Co-op Commitment adds an extra layer of reassurance. The Co-op Commitment means that if the plan holder passes away after the first 12 months of the plan, but before all the instalments have been paid, we’ll still include all of the services in the plan without your family having to pay more.

These industry leading features have been acknowledged by independent financial experts, as for the last three years, our Gold Funeral Plan has been given a Defaqto 5* rating and Moneynet have recognised us as the Best Funeral Plan Provider.

In addition, as a Co-op colleague member, retired colleague or academy Co-op colleague, you and your immediate family (this covers your spouse or live in partner, children over 18, parents, grandparents and siblings) can save £400 on each funeral plan you purchase.

We pride ourselves on listening to what customers want and providing excellent choice that can be tailored to ensure you get everything that meets your needs.

For more information speak to the Funeral Planning Team on 0800 088 4833 or visit www.coop.co.uk/funeralcare.