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The Funeral Planning Authority (FPA)

A funeral can either be purchased by the bereaved at the time of death or you can purchase a prepaid funeral plan to organise and pay for your funeral in advance.

“Over 200,000 prepaid funeral plans are now sold in the UK every year, with a growth of 350% between 2006 and 2016”

Source: Is the prepaid funeral market working well for consumers? report

The Funeral Planning Authority has been set up to regulate this growing industry.

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What does the FPA do?

The FPA is an organisation set up by the industry to regulate prepaid funeral plan providers, in order to more transparency and protection for consumers.

The objective of the FPA is to ensure that prepaid funeral plan providers deliver an appropriate funeral service to their customers at their time of need.

What checks are undertaken on approved funeral plan suppliers?

In order to be registered as an approved supplier, all prepaid funeral plan providers need to abide by rules and the FPA’s Code of Practice. The FCA has an Independent Compliance Committee to ensure members are following the rules and regulations and all members are put through an annual re-registration process in order to ensure standards are maintained.

What is the FPA’s Code of Practice?

The FPA’s Code of Conduct can be broken down as follows:

  • Conduct – This outlines that prepaid funeral plan providers should act in a professional manner, ensuring that they are not; participating in any unsolicited calling, using pressurised sales techniques or making any misleading claims.
  • Marketing & Advertising – All advertising undertaken by prepaid funeral plan providers is in-line with the British Code of Advertising and does not bring the funeral planning industry into dispute.
  • Information – All prepaid funeral plan providers provide written confirmation outlining details of the prepaid funeral plan including; cost & payment terms of a plan, what is included/what is not included, additional administration costs, cancellation terms, complaints handling process, other general terms & conditions.
  • Contracts & Documents – Every person who purchases a prepaid funeral plan must receive a written contract, provide a membership card or certificate of entitlement and give written guidance on how to register a death.
  • Plan Funds – Prepaid funeral plan providers must comply with the FPA’s rules relating to the security of funeral plan funds. Prepaid funeral plan providers are expected to manage funds in a proper and correct manner.
  • Complaints & Disputes – All prepaid funeral plan providers are expected to clearly outline their complaints procedure and respond to all consumers complaints within a timely manner. They are also expected to fully co-operate with third party organisations such as The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators or organisations representing consumers such as trading standards officers, Citizens’ Advice Bureau of other consumer advisers.
  • Pledge to Customers – The FPA’s “Pledge to Customers” is that in the event of a registered prepaid funeral plan provider not being able to deliver a funeral plan to a consumer due to insolvency, the other registered funeral pan providers will try to assist in delivering the funeral that has been paid for.

In addition to their Code of Conduct, it is necessary for all registered suppliers to abide by the FPA’s rules.    

Which funeral plan providers are registered with the FPA?

In order to become an FPA registered provider, it is necessary the meet and exceed the FCA’s rules and Code of Practice, which exceeds the statutory industry requirements.

The following suppliers are currently registered with the FCA include:

For a complete and up to date list of the registered providers, please review the Funeral Planning Authority’s website.

What to look for when purchasing a funeral plan?

As well as checking whether the prepaid funeral pan provider is registered, it is important for you to fully understand what you need from a funeral plan and what is included in your proposed funeral plan.

And remember if you do take out a prepaid funeral plan, it is important that you tell your family about any funeral arrangements that you have made.

If you need any help with selecting a funeral plan, contact Funeral Planning Experts today.

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