Grieving families are struggling to cover the cost of their loved one’s funerals because life insurance policies are failing to pay out soon enough. Policy payouts can be held up for months and months because of the probate process which can leave families short when it comes to paying for the funeral. However, a new campaign is urging insurers to release small sums immediately for funeral costs.

The Protection Distributors Group (PDG) is asking insurers to help families by automatically paying a funeral director up to £5,000 on a valid life claim where no other plans have been made.

Insurers who have signed up to the “funeral payment pledge” are Aegon, Royal London, LV=, AIG Life, Zurich and Old Mutual Wealth. But not every company has got on board.

Currently, the average burial with a funeral director costs over £4,000 and a cremation costs over £3,000, but funeral costs are rising faster than inflation.

Most of us expect our beneficiaries to pay for our funerals but they can’t always access funds in time due to delays with probate and life insurance payouts. It’s frustrating because often the policies are worth thousands of pounds so should easily pay for a fitting send-off. But families are often left out of pocket, with some even going into debt to give their loved one the funeral they feel they deserve.

Emma Thomson, director of insurance broker LifeSearch and the chairwoman of the campaign group, said: “We want to take away that worry at a time when families have enough to cope with.”

“We do not want to see people going into debt to pay for a funeral when life assurance could cover it.”

Pre-paid funeral plans are something that can ease the burden on families. Age UK, Co-operative Funeral Care, Dignity, Perfect Choice and SunLife are all companies that offer such plans and allow you to organise your funeral with a funeral director beforehand. This negates the wait for any life insurance policies to pay out and if the probate process take a long time to complete.

Here at Get Probate, we provide a Grant of Probate service which can help speed the process along to help beneficiaries get the money as soon as possible.

Contact us to find out how we can help.