Avalon Funeral Plans Review

  • plans do not guarantee your cremation & ministers fees
  • third party allowance is only £1,000
  • national funeral director coverage may be limited
  • your family could have more to pay when the time comes
  • plans offer dual certification - see below
  • free transportation anywhere in the UK

NEWS 20th Nov 2017: Avalon poor practice uncovered by Daily Mail see here

Read our Avalon Review to understand the benefits and pitfalls; and then read our other funeral plan reviews.

More information about Avalon Funeral Plans

This funeral plan review will focus on Avalon, a plan provider who works in association with a number of independent funeral directors throughout the UK. They have been established for more than 25 years and until more recently were probably better known for offering European funeral plans to expats either with second homes or living abroad. 

Types of Plan - Levels of Service

Avalon offer 3 levels of service – their standard Balmoral plan; midrange Highgrove plan and superior Windsor Way plan.

Avalon Balmoral funeral plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; transportation of the deceased anywhere within England, Scotland and Wales, funeral services on the day; a basic coffin and hearse.

The plan also includes a £1,000 contribution which increases in line with CPI to help with cremation or burial fees.

Avalon Highgrove funeral plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; transportation of the deceased anywhere within England, Scotland and Wales, funeral services on the day; a quality veneered coffin, use of the chapel of rest, hearse and one limousine.

The plan also includes a £1,000 contribution which increases in line with CPI to help with cremation or burial fees.

Avalon Windsor Way funeral Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; transportation of the deceased anywhere within England, Scotland and Wales, funeral services on the day; a high quality veneered coffin, use of the chapel of rest, hearse and two limousines.

The plan also includes a £1,000 contribution which increases in line with CPI to help with cremation or burial fees

Payment Options

An important part of the Avalon funeral plan review which gets to the heart of whether there will be more to pay when the time comes:

Guaranteed Services

All Avalon funeral plans include a full guarantee for your funeral directors services which means there will be nothing more to pay for their help and guidance with the documentation, services on the day, coffin, hearse and limousine depending on level of service. Use of the chapel of rest is included in two of the plans and of course transportation of the deceased is anywhere within England, Scotland and Wales.

Service Not Guaranteed

Avalon funeral plans are ‘contribution’ style plans which means that although they include a guarantee for the Funeral Directors services, they only pay a contribution of £1,000 towards third party costs for a cremation or burial funeral.

This contribution increases on an annual basis in line with CPI so it will grow in value however funeral inflation has been increasing at an average of 6% every year, so there could well be more to pay when the time comes. 

Also none of the Avalon funeral plans include a procession from the house to the crematorium or cemetery; only direct from the funeral directors therefore there could be more to pay if you want to tailor the route perhaps via the home etc.

Will there be more for my family to pay when the time comes

Yes, there could be. As the Avalon funeral plan includes a contribution of £1,000 towards third party cremation or burial costs, if these fees exceed the contribution then the person organising the funeral, typically the family will be asked to pay the balance. 

What is the Defaqto Star Rating for each Avalon Funeral Plan?

To assist in your funeral plan review, Defaqto the independent researcher of financial products has rated Avalon funeral plans. To see their funeral plan Defaqto rating, please click here

How can I be sure my money is safe?

Another very important part of this funeral plan review is to note that Avalon is registered and regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) so therefore has to abide by their strict rules and code of conduct. 

The money you pay when buying an Avalon funeral Plan is held in a trust fund that is separate to the company and managed by independent trustees.

If you choose the fixed monthly payment option then your money is held in a whole of life policy so protected by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

How can I pay for my funeral plan?

With a Single Payment

You can pay in one go or spread your payments over 12 months and the cost will be the same.

Monthly Instalments

If you prefer to spread your costs over a longer period then instalment options are available between 1 and 10 years with a deposit that varies depending on the level of service you use.

As always with instalment options additional fees are added and do vary from company to company so ensure you compare funeral plan prices before going ahead.

Fixed Monthly Payment Plan

Avalon also offer a fixed monthly payment plan with provides cover after 2 years. You need to be between the ages of 50 to 80 and pay a monthly premium which is based on your age and preferred level of service. The premiums are payable for life or until you are 90, therefore with this type of payment option there is a chance you could pay more in premiums than the actual cost of the funeral when the time comes. 

Is there an age limit for funeral plans?

The is no upper age limit with the Avalon plan when paying in full or by regular instalments – you just need to be 18 years or over.

As mentioned with the Fixed Monthly Payment Plan you must be between the ages of 50 to 80. 

Can I choose either a Burial or Cremation funeral?

Yes the plan gives you the flexibility to choose between cremation and burial. The contribution included in the plan is designed to help with these third party costs but there could be more to pay for these services when the time comes. 

Can I cancel my funeral plan?

When you buy an Avalon funeral plan you automatically get a 30 day free cancelation period that allows you to review the details and if necessary cancel the plan and receive a full refund.

If you cancel the plan after this period the money you have paid for the plan would be returned minus Avalon’s £395 cancelation fee.

Who will my funeral director be?

Avalon work with a number of independent funeral directors throughout the UK but they do not specify how many, therefore it isn’t clear how widespread they are.

When you apply for the plan you can nominate a funeral director but if they don’t accept the Avalon plan, it will be placed with another company.

You do receive details of the funeral director selected in your membership pack so if you are not happy with the choice provided you can always cancel – just make sure it is within the 30 day free review period though.

What happens if I move?

If you move and inform Avalon of your new address, they will move the plan to a local funeral director at no cost. If Avalon is informed of the change of address at the time of need, then a fee will apply.

Do Avalon funeral plans offer any additional features?

The main feature with Avalon Funeral Plans in the UK is that they are the only ones to offer free transportation of the deceased throughout the country. All other funeral plans have a radius of between 15 and 50 miles that they work to, so transportation beyond this could be charged for.

With Avalon there are no such restrictions, so you could die in Scotland but be transported to Cornwall at no extra cost.

The other difference is Avalon funeral plans also offer dual certification which means the plan can be used for a funeral either in the UK or abroad if you have a second home in Spain, the Canaries, Portugal or Cyprus. So if you are lucky enough to spend half your life in the UK and the rest in any of these afore mentioned countries, you will be covered for the funeral services included in the plan.  

Our Avalon funeral plans review verdict

Having reviewed Avalon funeral plans, if you are looking for a plan that offers cover in the UK and in some European destinations, for example Spain, Portugal and Cyprus, then this could be the plan for you. Otherwise their plans are on the more expensive side and of course do not offer a full guarantee.

Yes there is free transportation of the deceased anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales but we don’t tend to travel quite as much as we get older this may be of little value.

So basically you are paying in some cases a few hundred pounds more for a plan that only offers a contribution for the cremation or burial third party costs which may not be the best deal.

Following the shocking report by the Daily Mail in Nov 2017 we would suggest you take great care before puchasing an Avalon Funeral Plan.

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