Changes coming to the prepaid funeral market

January 2021, the Government passed legislation to bring the sale of funeral plans within the FCA’s regulatory remit. This decision was made following concerns that customers were not made aware of limitations on some packages, that multiple plans did not cover full costs and that commission-based sales were leading to pressure sales tactics.

 

The FCA have since held a  consultation, which was published this week and lays out how the FCA will improve standards in the sector.

The FCA’s proposals intend to ensure that:

• products meet the individual needs of consumers – including through a ban on the sale of products which do not provide for funeral services in almost all circumstances on the individual’s death
• plans are sold fairly, including a ban on cold-calling to prevent consumers being pushed into taking out plans which may not be right for them
• the price of plans are fairly valued, with firms stopped from using additional fees to drive profits and a ban on commission payments to intermediaries
• consumers have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and Financial Ombudsman Service from day one, should things go wrong

 

All companies in this industry now need to consider how FCA regulation impacts their business and begin to make the necessary preparations.

Over the coming months, the FCA will be providing a range of help and guidance to assist companies with preparing applications and getting ready to be regulated by the FCA.

 

The NFFD will keep you up-to-date with any more developments on this story.

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Are You Eligible For Priority Vaccination?

Funeral operatives will be delighted to know that they could now be eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

 

The Cabinet Office have confirmed that ‘Ministers have agreed the attached operational definition, which I would be grateful if you could share with your members and across the sector’. Regrettably it does not specifically include cemetery and crematorium staff.

 

To find out what makes you eligible for a priority vaccine, please read through the attached document that covers the criteria of funeral activities that come as part of ‘Frontline Healthcare’.

https://nffd.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Guidance-on-Funeral-Frontline-Healthcare-09.02.21.pdf

 

 

Latest Government Guidance for Arranging or Attending a Funeral | COVID-19

*Updated 22 January 2021*

On 4 January the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown for all of England. There is different advice for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

These restrictions:

  • require people to stay at home, except for where you have a reasonable excuse
  • prevent people gathering with those they do not live with, except for specific purposes
  • close certain businesses and venues

From 6 January, during the national lockdown people are permitted to leave their homes to attend a funeral as well as other religious, belief-based, or commemorative events that are linked to a person’s death, as long as they follow the relevant rules and guidance.

 

To find out the latest government guidance for arranging and attending funerals, please click on the link below.

COVID-19: guidance for arranging or attending a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)