Funeral Plan Regulations

Regulation of the funeral sector has brought higher standards and boosted consumer protection. New rules, which came into effect last year, include:

  • A ban on cold calling.
  • A ban on commission payments to intermediaries, such as funeral advisers, Will writers etc.
  • A requirement for a funeral plan to deliver a funeral unless the customer dies within two years of taking out the plan, in which case a full refund will be offered.

Customers of authorised providers will now have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so their money is protected if their provider fails.  Consumers can also make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), even if the issue they are complaining about happened before July 2022 if the firm was registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) at the time the issue occurred.

If pre-paid funeral plans are taken out with a non-regulated firm they are not covered by FCA regulation, meaning there is no protection by the FOS and FSCS until they are transferred to authorised providers.

Emily Shepperd, Executive Director of Authorisations at the FCA, said: 'We have worked tirelessly to assess funeral plan providers, under our robust authorisation process. We are pleased that 87% of the market is now under regulation. With our new rules in place, consumers will be better protected, when they need it the most.

'It is unfortunate that a number of firms chose to exit the market, leaving customers, who had sought peace of mind for their loved ones, understandably worried. It is a good outcome for consumers that some providers have stepped in to provide funerals for the customers of these providers at short notice. We also continue to engage with the industry while it works on a longer-term solution.'

This announcement follows the confirmation of the FCA’s plans to introduce a new consumer duty from July 2023. The consumer duty will apply to funeral plan providers and will mean their customers should receive communications they can understand, products and services that meet their needs and offer fair value, and they get the customer support they need, when they need it.

If you are concerned about an existing plan or wish to know more about funeral plans, please contact us at Baglan Funeral Home.

 

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