No death please… we're British

Posted in: Products Last updated: 24 Mar 2009

Characteristic British reserve is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the ‘final farewell’. Whereas 50% of Germans, French and Dutch funerals are pre-paid, (the number is even higher for Belgium at 70%), our reluctance to address death in any detailed way is indicated by the fact that only 5% of UK funerals are pre-paid[1].

For some, planning their own funeral to any great extent will always be a bridge too far. But avoiding any preparation can lead to family misunderstandings regarding final wishes.

In recognition of the reserved British mindset, an ‘arms length’ funeral funding option, which allows for outline planning without the detail and commitment of a funeral pre-payment plan, is now available from engage Mutual Assurance.

engage is the UK’s third largest provider of over 50s life cover plans [2]. Research on behalf of the mutual revealed that saving towards a funeral is the main reason for taking out over 50s life cover3. In recognition of this, engage now offers policyholders of its direct Over 50s Life Cover Plan a ‘funeral funding option’ as a free benefit.

This means that on their death, payment from the life policy is made directly to The Co-operative Funeralcare towards their funeral expenses. As part of the arrangement, policyholders are given a £250 contribution by The Co-operative Funeralcare towards the funeral costs4.

The funeral funding option costs the policyholder nothing, and can be cancelled in the event of a change of mind. It is not a funeral plan and it may not cover all costs5, but it does allow a low level of planning in that the policyholder knows the funeral will be handled by The Co-operative Funeralcare and can record any personal wishes, if desired.

“The peace of mind of knowing that loved ones will not face the burden of too many decisions at a time of grief is a great comfort. It provides the reassurance that wishes will be carried out and things will be done properly, but allows individuals to choose the level of planning input that they are comfortable with,” – explains engage Marketing Director, Karl Elliott.

For details on engage Over 50s Guaranteed Life Cover Plan, or to opt for a funeral funding option if you already have a plan, please visit engagemutual.com, or call 0800 169 4321.

editors Notes:
1. Mintel Funerals Market Intelligence Report Jan 07

2. Swiss Re Term and Health Watch 2008. engage came third of the top five product providers measured by the number of new sales, 2007.

3. research conducted by Brahm Research, 2006

4. £250 contribution provided by The Co-operative Funeralcare to be redeemed against the policyholder’s funeral costs provided the funeral is carried out by The Co-operative Funeralcare.

5. in the event that the combined total of the policy and the contribution from The Co-operative Funeralcare does not cover the funeral costs, the balance will be payable by the estate. In the event of money remaining when all costs are paid, this will be payable to the deceased’s estate.
For more information contact:
Kathryn McLaughlin
PR Manager
01423 855245

notes to Editors:

1. engage Mutual Assurance is a trading name of Homeowners Friendly Society Ltd (HFSL), Registered and incorporated under the Friendly Societies Act 1992, Registered number 964F and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, engage Mutual Funds Limited (eMFL) and engage Mutual Insurance Ltd (eMIL). Both HFSL and eMFL are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). HFSL’s Register number is 110072, eMFL’s Register number is 181487. eMIL is authorised to conduct general insurance business by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission and is regulated by the Financial Services Authority for the conduct of UK business. eMIL’s FSA Register No is 485680. You can check this on the FSA’s Register by visiting the FSA website www.fsa.gov.uk or by contacting the FSA on 0845 606 1234.

2. engage is one of the larger UK mutuals providing simple, value for money savings, protection and investment products. It currently helps over 420,000 customers of all ages to protect, preserve or enhance their welfare, with some of the most straightforward products on the market. engage prides itself on being a family-oriented, modern mutual, providing products that help enable households of all kinds to plan their finances to help meet their future needs. More information on engage Mutual is available at www.engagemutual.com

3. engage supports mutuality, friendly societies and the regional financial services industry through links with the Association of Mutual Insurers, the Association of Friendly Societies, Mutuo and Leeds Financial Services Initiative.

4. engage Mutual Funds Limited (EMFL) is a provider of the Child Trust Fund direct and in partnership with organisations including Yorkshire Building Society and Scarborough Building Society.

5. engage Mutual has been the title sponsor of the Rugby Super League since 2005 and has extended its agreement to 2010.

6. engage Mutual announced its entry into the health cash plan market in July 2008 following an agreement of partnership with Wakefield & District Hospital’s Contributory Scheme (WDHCS). Further to this, 30,000 health cash plan customers transferred from Premier Health Benefits (part of WDHCS) to engage Mutual Insurance Ltd.

7. Co-operative Funeralcare are part of The Co-operative Group that has been serving local communities for over 150 years

8. The Co-operative are the UK’s largest Funeral Director – arranging 1 in 4 funerals in the UK

9. The Co-operative Funeralcare have over 70 years experience in arranging funerals – across all religions and cultures

10. The Co-operative have over 1,100 Co-operative-owned Funeral Homes across the UK

11. The Co-operative Funeralcare is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors and The Funeral Planning Authority and work in accordance with their strict codes of conduct

12. The Co-operative Funeralcare is the market leader in sales of Funeral Plans (FPA, January 2009)