Avalon Funeral Plans Review

Key points: 

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

Read our Avalon Funeral Plans Review to understand the benefits and pitfalls; with funeral costs rising it's important to make the right choice which is where we can help you. Once you have read this review we recommend that you make a funeral plans comparison not only in terms of costs, but benefits and guarantees.

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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 Avalon Funeral Plans

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

In addition to their set funeral plans, Avalon also offer a ‘Build your Own’ funeral plan where you can choose the following:

• The number of limousines you would like – if any
• An allowance or guarantee for the disbursements
• The quality of the coffin
• Viewing at the chapel of rest

Of course each of these elements will increase the cost; for example for a car you pay between £225 to £250 or an extra £250 for a disbursement guarantee, so costs could soon mount up.

Which funeral services are guaranteed?

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 set 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 Balmoral, Highgrove and Windsor Way 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?

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. 

The only exception to this will be if you chose to build your own plan where you can pay more to guarantee these fees.

What is the Avalon Defaqto Rating?

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).

Ways to pay

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.

Also its worth pointing out that Avalon has recently introduced the Avalon Promise which ensures that if you were to pass away before your monthly payments are fully paid, they will still honour the funeral services. You just need to have been paying into the plan for at least 12 months and ensure your payments are paid when due.

Is there any age limit?

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.

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 cancellation fee.

Who will be my funeral director?

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?

One of the main features 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.

In addition they now offer the Avalon Promise on monthly plans which ensures your funeral services are covered as detailed in the plan, even if you haven’t completed the payments.

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 Funeal 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; that is unless you choose to build your own plan which can increase costs even further.

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.

The Avalon Promise that ensures your funeral services are covered regardless of whether you have completed your monthly payments is a great incentive but beware. As mentioned Avalon plans are more expensive than many others on the market and of course you pay extra for spreading your payments over a number of years. Therefore if this part of the plan interests you, do check how much you pay compared to other plans as you may well be paying well over the odds.

If you wish to read other funeral plan reviews please click the highlighted text or the "Compare Plans" button to see plans at a glance.

Our Offer

The Dignity plan we offer will guarantee your cremation & ministers fees at today's prices, so that you can be sure that your family will have nothing more to pay. Plus they are now up to £350 cheaper than Avalon plans. Get a quote to find out more.

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