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Funerals: Insurance

HM Treasury written question – answered on 9th September 2015.

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Photo of Julian Knight Julian Knight Conservative, Solihull

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will assess the potential merits of creating an ombudsman for the funeral plans industry to investigate alleged instances of undeclared fees being deducted from the monies paid into such plans after the plan-holder has passed away.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The government believes that consumers should be treated fairly and, as with all commercial transactions for services, customers of funeral plans have protection under the law from the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. From 1 October this year the Consumer Rights Act 2015 will replace the Supply of Goods and Services Act for business to consumer contracts, bringing even greater consumer protection.

In addition the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) stipulates rules to ensure that sums paid by customers to funeral plans are safeguarded and available to pay for the funeral when needed.

The industry also has a self-regulatory body called the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) and firms can seek registration with the FPA. The FPA provides a conciliation service to resolve disputes between funeral providers of registered trust-based funeral plans and customers.

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