A recent report from the Royal London Mutual Insurance Society LTD, the UK’s largest mutual insurer, has shed some light on the cost of funerals in the UK, and found that Belfast is the cheapest place to die in the country, with Presbyterians saving even more than most.
The report shows that the average cost of a funeral in Belfast sits at a hefty £3,306, but that’s considered an improvement over the rest of the country, with pricing varying from £3,535 in Scotland to £4,779 in London, which has the most expensive funeral rates in the country.
Funeral costs dropped down back in 2016, but the recent data from Royal London’s national funeral cost index reports that the costs of funerals have gone up since then, at a rate of 3%, which is only marginally ahead of the country’s rate of inflation. Back in 2017, the average cost of a funeral in the UK was about £3,784, whilst it was £3,675 the year prior.
Past the numbers, however, some are saying that there are several key issues that need to be addressed in the Northern Ireland region when it comes to giving farewells to the duly departed. Ian Milne of Milne Funeral Services says that, while the figures are a reliable source of information, they’re not an absolute. Every funeral is different, he says, adding that every last wish is unique; some people opt for cremation urns, some people opt for the traditional stuff.
He’s noticed that there’s fewer and fewer people are having issues with the cost of a funeral, and that prices vary based on individual tastes and religion. For example, he says a Catholic funeral, with its more elaborate headstone, tends to be more expensive.
He’s pointed out one issue, one that’s a cause of frustration for him and his business, as well as for anyone looking to leave their loved ones in cremation urns; the cost of cremating. Milne says that the Belfast City Council set the pricing for a cremation of a normal adult who lives in the area at £380, whilst people who live outside Belfast will have to fork over £626, even if they only live a few miles outside of Belfast.
The data released by Royal London only related to the cost of the actual burial itself, barring additional costs.