Who is Open Funerals?
Open Prepaid Funerals Ltd began trading in 2003, working with independent funeral directors throughout the UK however it is not clear from the information provided just how wide spread the funeral directors are.
They are also now registered with the Funeral Planning Authority.
What direct cremation plans do they offer?
Open offer four plans in total; one direct cremation plan and three traditional plans with a funeral service. For the purposes of this review we will be concentrating on the direct cremation plan:
Open direct cremation plan – the price of the Open direct funeral plan is £1,895, so towards the top end of the companies we have reviewed. For that you get a simple cremation without a funeral service, which includes collection at the place of death within working hours, a basic coffin suitable for cremation, an allowance of £840 towards the cremation fees and doctors’ fees if still applicable and ashes scattered or available for collection.
Where possible Open aim to work with local independent funeral directors who would be appointed by them when you take the plan out.
Will my family have more to pay when the time comes?
Although the allowance in the Open direct funeral plan is generous at £840, it does mean that the family could have more to pay when the time comes, if the cremation fees and doctor’s fees if still applicable are above this amount.
In addition, collection states it is within working hours, therefore the funeral director could charge an additional fee if not within their core business hours.
Finally as the ashes are only available for collection, there may be a charge if a courier service is required for delivery to a specific address.
How can I be sure my money is safe?
When you buy an Open direct funeral plan your money is held in a trust fund which is a completely separate entity. Therefore if anything did happen to Open, the trust with your money in it remains in place and ready to pay for the direct funeral services.
With a Single Payment
The cheapest way to buy and Open direct funeral plan is to either pay in one go or over 12 months as the cost is the same.
If you prefer to spread your payments then there are instalment options between 1 and 10 years. You do pay more for all instalment options greater than 1 year and there is a deposit of £195.
Can I cancel my plan?
You can cancel your Open direct funeral plan at any time and receive a full refund of any money paid.
What happens if I move address?
If you move within the UK then Open Prepaid state that they will ‘endeavour’ to place the plan with another independent funeral director closer to your new address.