Cremation, Preneed

The continued growth of Direct Cremation

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Some trends become tidal waves.  This article from Great Britain insurer SunLife takes into account what they saw in 2020 as reported in their “Cost of Dying” report.  You can access the company’s synopsis of the Great Britain death care market here.

One of the findings, which is more than likely pandemic induced, but also a growing trend for the future, is that the percentage of Direct Cremations is growing rapidly.  According to the report, as we read it, Direct Cremation now accounts for 19% of the country’s cremations and 14% of all dispositions.

In addition, in what is probably strategies by various death care providers to gain market share, the average consumer cost of Direct Cremation in the United Kingdom has fell for the second year in a row.  In U.S.  dollar terms, SunLife reports that the average cost of Direct Cremation in the UK was $2,100 in 2020, which is 4% less than the price for the same services in 2019, and 9.2% less than the average price in 2018 when SunLife reported the average price of Direct Cremation as $2,313.

SunLife also reported that as Direct Cremation costs decreased, Standard Cremation and Standard Burial costs increased for the 17th consecutive year in 2020.  Again, in U.S. dollars, Standard Cremation rose from an average price in 2019 of $5,213 to an average price of $5,250 in 2020, and Standard Burials rose from  $6,722 in 2019 to $6,801 in 2020.

According to SunLife’s report, 82% of those that organized arrangements for a deceased in 2020 felt that they were somewhat constricted by the pandemic.  And, Great Britain’s funeral directors, to a large extent, felt that they were unsupported in their efforts of handling the pandemic death crisis by their government.

As to where the future of Direct Cremation may go, here’s what Justin Cole, a Director at SunLife stated,  “It is clear from our report that the pandemic may have triggered a fundamental shift within people’s attitudes and indeed the funeral industry. Most notably, the option of a direct cremation is becoming far more widely understood and accepted.  With many families unable to organise a more traditional funeral due to government restrictions they have chosen a direct cremation and potentially saved thousands of pounds.

 “As a result of more families asking for direct cremations, over 90% of funeral directors now offer them.  As well as reducing costs, direct cremations also increase flexibility, allowing families to organise the send-off whenever and wherever they like.”

We also found this web-page from SunLife about their pre-financed funeral plans.  An interesting part of it is a funeral cost calculator that can be used for pricing different types of generic services in different locales of the United Kingdom.

Information for education in Death Care:

Webinar:  PPP Loans:  What to apply for now.  An update on the Payroll Protection Program presented by Nelson Thulin of Johnson Consulting Group and Stephanie C. Dunn of Incredible Bank.  Scheduled for Friday, January 22.

NFDA Cremation Certification Program.  Take a look at this flyer to learn how to be certified in person, through a virtual program, or through an online course.

More news from the world of Death Care:

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