Often people are too touchy on the subject of funerals. One of the reasons why they don’t consider go through different options while taking out a funeral plan is because they’re not comfortable discussing it with anyone except the person they’ve known for a long time for they are local to them.
Another very important reason is trust. Till date, when it comes to insurance, investments or, for that matter, any long term commitments i.e. where you’re tied in for a number of years or where there’s an expectation attached at the end of term, etc. people tend to go with brands they’ve grown up hearing of or companies that have existed for eons. So obviously the companies which have been investing consistently to stay in sight will reap the benefits of it in the times to come. But the point is they trust their local directors more than a certain company who has been in business for perhaps a few years now.
The very question about getting a cheap funeral plan through a local director stems from their reluctance to speak to a “stranger” about it because this industry or concept of funeral plan is still fairly new to the retired class i.e. the people who’d normally think about making arrangements for a funeral. Majority of the audience this industry is trying to target is old school and naturally so. So the level of traction that the industry expected to gain from the market is still far behind.
Having said that the trends would change in the coming few years as a lot of people who’re in their 40s now are pretty much aware of the concept owing to the massive amount of marketing these funeral plan companies have been investing in for a number of years now. So by the time they reach 50 or are close to retirement they’d be more open to the idea of shopping around for a funeral plan.
Moving on to the question about getting a cheap funeral plan through a local funeral director; the answer is – it is subjective and depends upon your requirement. Although, many big companies out there are able to offer you great prices for a full funeral plan package but sometimes your local director should be able to match that price. However statistically speaking local funeral directors usually charge a lot more than even the most expensive, renowned company offering their services nationwide simply because they do enormous amounts of business and are hence able to make profits even at a much lower cost.
The second most reason why I personally prefer a bigger national company rather than a local broker is because they’re extremely professional and for them to stay in business they understand they’ve got to offer you the best service. So where a local director would usually charge a different price to different customers, each time he sells his product (which by the way is quite common) you’re never going to experience such unprofessional approach with bigger companies, even though they’re selling their products online. They charge a standard fee regardless of who the customer is.
So even though your local director can sometimes match the price offered to you by a big professional firm, they may not be able to match the level of service you’d get from the latter for that price.