Open Prepaid Funeral Plans Review

Key Points

  • plans do not guarantee your cremation & ministers fees
  • third party allowance is £1,100
  • your family could have more to pay when the time comes
  • not registered or regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority

Read our Open prepaid Funeral Plans Review to understand the benefits and pitfalls; and then read our other funeral plan reviews.

Who is Open Prepaid Funerals?

This funeral plan review will focus on Open Prepaid Funeral Plans, who have been providing plans since 2003; working in association with mainly independent funeral directors who are members of the National Association of Funeral Directors.  

What funeral plans do Open offer?

Open Prepaid plans offer bespoke funeral plans, direct cremation which includes no funeral service and 3 set funeral plans. For the purposes of this funeral plans review we will be focusing on the 3 set plans and direct cremation plan.

Open Prepaid Direct Cremation Plan – This plan includes collection of the deceased within normal working hours, a basic coffin suitable for cremation, transportation to the crematorium, a contribution towards the third party cremation fees of £840.

A direct cremation is where the cremation takes place with no service and no one in attendance; so no family members or friends will be present.

Open Prepaid Simple & Simple Plus Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation, services on the day, a basic coffin suitable for cremation, a hearse and use of the chapel of rest. 

The Simple Plus plan also includes a contribution of £1,100 which increases in line with the trust fund to help with third party cremation fees. These would need to be paid for by the family at the time of need if opting for the Simple Plan.

Open Prepaid Traditional Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; funeral services on the day; a wood veneered coffin, hearse, one limousine and use of the chapel of rest.

The plan also includes a contribution of £1,100 which increases in line with the trust fund to help with third party cremation fees.

Open Prepaid Select Plan - includes the funeral directors help and guidance with the documentation; funeral services on the day; a superior wood veneered coffin, hearse, two limousines and use of the chapel of rest.

The plan also includes a contribution of £1,100 which increases in line with the trust fund to help with third party cremation fees.

What services are guaranteed?

Probably the most important part of the funeral plans review helps you understand if there are any services your family will need to pay for at the time of need:

Guaranteed Services

Open Prepaid funeral plans guarantee to cover the cost of the funeral directors services which includes their help with funeral arrangements, services on the day, hearse, coffin and limousine depending on the level of service.

Please note that the Direct Cremation Funeral Plan does not include a funeral service of any sort.

Service Not Guaranteed

Apart from the Simple Plan, Open prepaid funeral plans are ‘contribution’ style plans, which means they include a contribution of between £840 to £1,100 for third party cremation fees rather than a guarantee. These third party costs currently include the cremation fees, minister’s fees and doctors’ charges however the law is soon to change which means a second death certificate will not be required so the latter cost won’t be relevant after that time.

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

Yes, there could be more to pay as there is just a contribution of between £840 to £1,100 for third party cremation fees and not a guarantee.

Basically if the fees are higher than the allowance included in the plan, your family will be asked to pay the difference.

Also the Simple plan doesn’t include any contribution so the family will need to pay these fees in full when the time comes.

What is the Defaqto Star Rating for Open Prepaid Funeral Plans?

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

How can I be sure my money is safe?

Throughout our funeral plan reviews we have highlighted whether the funeral plan provider in question is registered and regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) and therefore has to abide by their strict rules and code of conduct. Up until recently Open Prepaid Funeral Plans have not been registered with the FPA and therefore will not have had to comply with their rules and code of conduct. Having said that there is mention of them registering with the FPA on the Open Prepaid Funeral Plan website although this has not yet been accepted.

When you buy an Open Prepaid Funeral Plan your money is placed into a trust fund which is separate entity and independent from the company. Therefore if anything happened to Open Prepaid funeral plans, the trust shouldn’t be affected.

How can I pay for my funeral plan?

You can pay for an Open Prepaid funeral plan either in one go or over 12 months and the costs would be the same.

Monthly Instalments

If you prefer to spread your costs over a longer period, you can choose between 1 and 5 years; these options will include additional fees.  

Is there an age limit for funeral plans?

As long as you are 18 years old you can buy a Open Prepaid funeral plan.

Can I choose either burial or cremation funeral?

The set Open Prepaid Funeral plans are marketed for cremation services only.

Burial options are available on a more bespoke basis which are dependent on prices for the area where you live; therefore you need to contact Open prepaid funeral plans direct if you wish to discuss a burial funeral plan.

Can I cancel my funeral plan?

When you buy an Open Prepaid Funeral plan you have a 30 day review period where you can cancel the plan if it is not what you are looking for and get a full refund.

If you cancel after this period you will receive a refund minus a cancelation and administration fee which amounts to £345.

Who will my funeral director be?

Open Prepaid Funeral Plans state that you can nominate a funeral director who is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and they will confirm whether the plan has been accepted.

They then add that depending on regional price differences, that funeral director may raise the issue of price with them before accepting the plan which basically means before this takes place, there could be more to pay.

What happens if I move?

The plan is portable so if you move, the plan moves with you but there may be associated costs depending on the where the plan is moved to – it all depends on the funeral director.

Do Open Prepaid Funeral Plans offer any additional features?

Open prepaid funeral plans advertise their ‘Open Promise’ which offers 100% money back guarantee if you wish to cancel the plan at anytime. It does stipulate though that this is only of you find a better performing plan based on financial return and administrative costs in the 12 months after purchasing the plan. 

Funeral Plans

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Our Open Prepaid funeral plans review verdict

Having reviewed the Open prepaid range of funeral plans we believe it is important to note that to date the company are not registered and therefore regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority so it is not clear whether the same robust controls and safeguards are in place.

Open Prepaid state they are in the process of registering so obviously see the value in being regulated by the FPA but to date this has not been approved.

In addition their plans only offer a contribution towards third party cremation fees as opposed to a guarantee so your family could be faced with a bill when the time comes. The contribution rises in line with the trust fund which may be better than RPI but you just don’t know; it all depends on how their trust fund is performing which isn’t transparent.

Also the allocation and spread of funeral directors isn’t clear and the one you nominate may want more money for accepting the plan.

Finally the Open Promise offers a guaranteed refund but the caveats behind this promise mean that a full refund within the 12 months (after the initial 30 day review period) may be more challenging to achieve. We would therefore recommend that you ensure you cancel the plan within the initial 30 day period if you are not completely happy to be certain of getting all of your money back.

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