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Dignity Funeral Plans Review 2020 – Everything You Need to Know

Dignity funeral plans offer services throughout the UK and a generous disbursement to help cover burial expenses.
Michael Graw
Author: Michael Graw

Last Updated: April 6, 2020

If you’re worried about the expenses your family will be left to pay when you pass away, it’s worth taking a look at a funeral plan. Funeral plans allow you to pay your for your funeral in advance, so you can be confident that you won’t pass any financial burdens onto your family during their time of mourning.

Dignity, founded in 1994, is one of the largest funeral plan providers in the UK. The company offers a range of plans that fully cover cremation. For burial funerals, Dignity plans include a disbursement of £1,220, which your family can use to help cover any unforeseen costs or major expenses like the burial plot.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at Dignity funeral plans in order to help you understand how they work, what’s included with your plan, and what expenses might be leftover for your family. We’ll also help you understand how funeral plans from Dignity stack up against the plans offered by other providers across the UK. By the end, you’ll have the information you need in order to determine whether a Dignity funeral plan is right for you.

Table of Contents

    Avalon - Best UK Funeral Plan

    Our Rating

    Avalon Funeral Plans
    • Cremation options available with and without funeral service
    • Coverage starts after one year of payments
    • No restrictions on date and time of service
    Avalon Funeral Plans

    What are Dignity funeral plans?

    With a Dignity funeral plan, you are paying for your funeral ahead of time. The plan ensures that even if the costs of your funeral services go up by the time you pass away, Dignity will pay for all the expenses covered by the plan. That includes major expenses like the funeral director’s fee, a coffin, a hearse, pallbearers, and more.

    Importantly, a funeral plan from Dignity also ensures that these costs won’t fall to your family. Even if you haven’t paid your plan in full by the time of your death, Dignity will honour your plan and won’t ask your family to pay a pound towards the balance. During the stressful period around a funeral, removing major expenses with a funeral plan can be a huge help.

    On top of that, since Dignity is one of the largest funeral companies in the UK, there’s almost certainly a Dignity-owned funeral home in your area. That means that your family won’t have to travel for hours to get to your funeral, and the funeral director is a member of your own community.

    What are the pros and cons of Dignity funeral plans?

    Pros

    • Cremation is fully covered by all funeral plans
    • All plans include a £1,220 disbursement for burial
    • National network of more than 1,200 funeral directors available
    • Your plan is fully honoured if you die before paying in full
    • Body collection up to 50 miles from a local funeral home is included

    Cons

    • Medical certification fees are not covered by Dignity funeral plans
    • Your family does not get to select a specific funeral director
    • Limited Plan restricts the date and time of your funeral

    How do Dignity funeral plans work?

    With a Dignity funeral plan, you’re prepaying for your funeral so that most of the major expenses are taken care of when the time comes. Dignity agrees to hold the price of services fixed, so even if funeral costs go up, your family won’t be asked to pay any more for the components covered by your plan.

    Still, it’s important to understand exactly what is and what is not covered by a Dignity funeral plan. While the company offers four different plans, they primarily differ in the quality of services or restrictions rather than in what’s covered.

    Dignity Funeral Plans Review...

    For all plans, body collection from your place of death to your appointed Dignity funeral home is included up to a distance of 50 miles, 24 hours a day. Since Dignity has funeral homes all over the UK, this radius is typically large enough to cover the majority of plan holders. There’s also no charge to change your appointed funeral home if you move later on in life. It’s worth noting, though, that if you pass away abroad or while away from home, your family will be responsible for any extra costs associated with transporting your body to the funeral home.

    At the funeral home, the cost of body preparation is fully covered by your plan. The funeral director’s fees, which are normally one of the largest expenses of any funeral, are also fully covered under every Dignity funeral plan. Dignity automatically appoints your funeral director based on your location and availability, so your family does not have a choice in this selection.

    However, medical certification, which is required for a death certificate, is not covered and will need to be paid out of pocket by your family. Embalming, an optional service that is not required for many funerals, is also not covered.

    Importantly, your Dignity funeral plan also includes all the basic components of a funeral service at a local crematorium or cemetery. The plan provides for a coffin, hearse, and pallbearers.

    For cremations, all crematorium fees are included, so there won’t be anything extra for your family to pay. For burials, many of the costs associated with the cemetery are not covered, nor is the cost of the burial plot itself. But, every Dignity plan includes a £1,220 disbursement for burials, which your family can use to pay for the plot and other fees as needed.

    What funeral plans does Dignity offer?

    Dignity offers four different funeral plans, which scale in cost and the level of services provided.

    Dignity Funeral Plans Review...

    Limited Plan

    The Limited Plan is Dignity’s most affordable funeral plan, starting at £2,895 if you pay the entire sum upfront. This plan includes all of the major costs of a funeral and offers the same £1,220 disbursement for burials as Dignity’s more expensive plans. But, it does come with some important restrictions.

    First, you do not have access to Dignity’s entire network of funeral directors. Instead, you will be assigned within a more limited network of about 800 funeral directors. This generally isn’t a problem, but it may mean that your family needs to travel slightly further for your funeral.

    Second, the Limited Plan restricts the date and time of your funeral service. This restriction depends on your funeral home’s availability, but it typically requires that your funeral takes place mid-week in the morning or evening.

    Finally, this funeral plan does not allow you to prepay for the cost of any special requests. These costs will need to be paid instead at the time of your funeral by your family.

    Amber Plan

    The Amber plan starts at £3,295 and removes many of the restrictions imposed by the Limited Plan. You have access to the entire network of 1,200 Dignity owned or approved funeral directors. In addition, your family can work with the assigned funeral director in order to agree on the date and time of your funeral service. If you have special requests as part of your funeral plan, you can also make contributions to pay for those over the lifetime of the plan.

    The other upgrade that is included with the Amber Plan is the coffin. This plan includes a wood effect coffin, which is more suitable for display than the simple coffin included with the Limited Plan.

    Pearl Plan

    The Pearl Plan starts at £3,650 and includes all of the same services as the Amber Plan. The quality of your coffin is upgraded again, and your family receives a limousine for transport to and from the crematorium or cemetery on the day of your funeral service.

    In addition, the Pearl Plan allows your family to make an appointment for viewing in the chapel of rest outside of normal business hours. The plan also comes with complimentary thank-you cards that your family members can send out to attending mourners.

    Diamond Plan

    The Diamond Plan is Dignity’s most premium offering. It starts at £3,895 and includes a second limousine and a high-quality wood veneer coffin, in addition to everything included with the Pearl Plan.

    How much do Dignity funeral plans cost?

    Dignity funeral plans start at £2,895 and go up to £3,895 for the Diamond Plan. But, the sticker prices on Dignity’s funeral plans only apply if you pay the entire amount upfront in a lump sum.

    Dignity also allows you to pay for your plan over a longer period of time. You can establish a payment plan that takes 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, or 25 years. With any of these extended payment plans, you’ll pay back the cost of your plan in monthly instalments.

    Dignity Funeral Plans Review...

    It’s important to know that, for all payment plans longer than one year, there are instalment charges applied to your account with each payment. That means that the overall price of your funeral plan can be significantly higher the longer it takes you to pay it back. As an example, the Limited Plan may cost £2,895 if you pay upfront or within one year, but it costs £6,126 if you pay for it over a 25-year period.

    That said, the longer your payment period, the lower your monthly payments will be. Paying for the Limited Plan over 25 years, for instance, drops your monthly payments to just £20.42. Just note that all plans must be paid in full by the date of your 85th birthday.

    Keep in mind that Dignity will honour your funeral plan even if you die before making all of your monthly payments. The plan coverage takes effect as soon as you’ve made 12 monthly payments, no matter whether you’re making payments over 10 years or 20. Your family won’t be asked to pay anything additional to cover the balance of your remaining payments. That’s important because it provides peace of mind that your funeral costs are covered, even if you die before paying your plan in full.

    If you pass away before making 12 monthly payments, Dignity will refund the money you have paid into your plan to your family.

    Customer Support

    Dignity provides support for its customers primarily over the phone. You can call the company’s UK-based support team 24/7, 365 days a year. The company can answer questions about choosing a plan as well as provide assistance for your family when it comes time to execute your plan.

    On top of that, all Dignity funeral plans include bereavement counselling services over the phone for free. This is a useful resource for your family, especially if they need advice on any additional funeral services not covered as part of your funeral plan.

    How do Dignity funeral plans compare to others?

    Dignity’s funeral plans are very competitive with those of other major providers in the UK. The company’s network of more than 1,200 funeral directors is one of the largest in the nation, ensuring that there is likely to be a local funeral home in your area. On top of that, the company has a four-star rating from Fairer Finance and a five-star rating from Defaqto.

    One of the things that sets Dignity funeral plans apart is the £1,220 disbursement included with every burial service. That gives your family the flexibility to not only cover necessary expenses, like medical certification fees and cemetery fees, but also to put money towards purchasing a burial plot if you do not already own one. With most other providers’ funeral plans, your family is fully responsible for the cost of a burial plot.

    That said, Dignity does fall short in a few respects. The fact that medical certification in particular is not covered means that your family will have extra fees to pay for most funeral services. The cost of Dignity’s funeral plans reflect this, but this does require some additional planning around managing the financial burden of your passing.

    Conclusion

    On the whole, Dignity funeral plans are a good way to plan ahead and prepare for the costs of your funeral. The company’s plans aren’t particularly inexpensive, but they are more affordable than what many other funeral plan providers offer. In addition, you get peace of mind knowing that Dignity will honour your plan even if you die before finishing your payments.

    One of the most important things that sets Dignity funeral plans apart is the disbursement provided with burial funerals. This gives your family a degree of flexibility that many other plans lack and can help pay for the expense of a burial plot. Cremations are fully covered with all Dignity funeral plans, so the only cost left for your family is the medical certification fee. On top of that, having access to a nationwide network of funeral homes makes your plan more mobile and ensures your family won’t have to travel far for your funeral service.

    Avalon - Best UK Funeral Plan

    Our Rating

    Avalon Funeral Plans
    • Cremation options available with and without funeral service
    • Coverage starts after one year of payments
    • No restrictions on date and time of service
    Avalon Funeral Plans

    FAQs

    Can my family use a funeral home that is not owned by Dignity?

    Dignity includes a network of more than 1,200 funeral homes as part of your funeral plan (or around 800 for the Limited Plan). Many of these are owned by Dignity, but some are local funeral businesses that are approved by Dignity. If your family opts for a funeral home outside the network, most of the services your funeral plan provides will not be covered.

    Can I add additional services or requests to my funeral plan?

    All Dignity funeral plans allow you to make special requests at any time. However, you can only prepay for the cost of these special requests with the Amber, Pearl, or Diamond Plans. With the Limited Plan, your family is responsible for paying for special requests out of pocket at the time of your passing.

    How much will my family have to pay for medical certification fees?

    Medical certification fees vary around the country, but they are generally between £150 and £200. These fees can be paid out of the disbursement for a burial funeral, but they are not directly covered by any Dignity funeral plan.

    Can I make payments ahead of schedule with an installment payment plan?

    Yes, Dignity allows you to make payments ahead of schedule if you so choose. For long-term payment plans, this can reduce the overall cost of your plan by eliminating some installment charges.

    All trading carries risk. Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.
    Michael Graw

    Michael is a writer covering finance, new markets, and business services in the US and UK. His work has been published in leading online outlets and magazines.