CUNA Mutual & The Co-operative Funeralcare Launch FuneralProtect+

A study released today reveals that an overwhelming 82%* of GB consumers have made no provision for their funeral costs. In plain terms this equates to 40 million Brits who would leave their families with an average £3,000 immediate bill for the cost of their funeral. 

Today’s results come despite nearly half of those consumers questioned (45%) stating that they are concerned about their own funerals, with their main worry being cost (18%).

The research also indentified a growing trend for people to personalise their funerals. With 64% of those questioned stating that they were not averse to having a stand-up comedian sum up their life at their funeral, with Billy Connolly voted the most popular choice overall (13%). Dawn French topped the poll with women as a comedienne they would like to speak at their funeral (13%).

In response, CUNA Mutual Group and The Co-operative today launch FuneralProtect+ - a two in one funeral product designed to simplify the funeral process by combining affordable insurance with funeral care.

FuneralProtect+ costs only £2 a month for £2,000 cover and allows all those covered to record their requests, as and when they are ready. These are often simple requests such as requesting a cremation or a burial, or asking for a favourite piece of music to be played. Increasingly people are opting for a more individual ceremony that reflects their life, with requests such as to be buried in their football shirt, best suit or favourite outfit. People are also increasingly requesting that mourners drop the traditional black and wear bright vibrant colours at their funeral.

Paul Walsh, CEO of CUNA Mutual says, “We will be offering a softer side of protection that allows people to consider all funeral aspects for themselves and remove emotional strain by allowing them to think about what they want for themselves and their family.”

Walsh continued “Although attitudes are changing in the UK, there is still a long way to go to match our continental colleagues’ openness to discussing funerals. CUNA Mutual brings a wealth of experience in providing financial support for surviving dependents and through partnering with The Co-operative Funeralcare for FuneralProtect+, policy holders are connected the family with the largest funeral home network in the UK.”

Ian Mackie, Managing Director of The Co-operative Life Planning says, “Personalisation and requests in funeral planning is becoming an increasingly popular way to celebrate a loved ones life.  When a claim is made on the FuneralProtect+ policy, the Co-operative Funeral Director will provide instant care and support for your family and will endeavour to arrange any special funeral requests you have made.  We know this provides great solace and comfort to the family, in providing an appropriate celebration of their loved one’s life.”

The FuneralProtect+ policy is available at and through a dedicated lo-call telephone number (0845 123 7880), through Building Societies and in Credit Unions across the UK.

The YouGov poll also revealed that when arranging other peoples’ funerals, again cost was the major concern alongside the stress of organising (13%).

FuneralProtect+ offers affordable monthly payments towards funeral costs for up to 12 family members. In return it provides simple contributions towards funeral costs, with the choice of a guaranteed cash payment of £2,000, to £6,000 per person insured. It therefore provides customer confidence in the knowledge that money is there for themselves and their family when it is needed.

This industry-leading product also offers guaranteed acceptance as there are no medical questions or health checks. And qualification for the benefit is just six months (industry standard is two years).

The research alongside the launch, commissioned by CUNA Mutual Group through provider YouGov, showed that:

  • 82% of people have made no provisions for their funerals.
  • Scottish people are the most prepared with around 28% having made arrangements for funeral costs.
  • 45% of people surveyed suffer from worries around their funerals, with the top worry being the cost of funerals (18%), ahead of low attendance, family feuds and inappropriate funerals (all 16%).
  • More women (48%) have funeral worries than men (42%).
  • 40% of Brits had experience of arranging a funeral for someone else, rising to 67% when segmenting over 55’s.
  • When arranging funerals for others, people responded by saying costs (13%) and stress were the main issues (13%).
  • The British public pick Billy Connolly as their favourite funeral funny man to sum up their lives at their funeral (Top 5 from poll of 12 = 1.
  • Billy Connolly (13%), 2. Dawn French (8%), 3. Jack Dee (6%) and Michael McIntyre (6%), 5. Frankie Boyle (5%)

* YouGov, September 2010

** The 40 million headline figure is based on a mid 2009 figures from the population estimates by the ONS UK that set the British population over the age of 18 at 48,675,352. 81.87% of 2000 respondents to the YouGov survey were not covered for funerals and the calculation against population provided the figure 39,850,510.


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