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Poor Life Insurance Planning Leads To An Increase In Crowdfunded Funerals
Just recently, a 22-year-old woman, Eleesha Painter, was forced to ask for help from strangers to pay for the funeral of her own mother, Ayshea Nicholls. According to industry experts, this is just one of many stories arising which proves the current life insurance crisis across the UK.
Between 2015 and 2016, JustGiving research shows an increase of over 300% in the number of funerals paid for by crowdfunding. Eventually, Eleesha got the £3,000 she needed and Protect Line, an insurance brokerage firm based in Poole, donated nearly £1,500 after news reached Jo Brewer, the company’s managing director.
According to Mrs Brewer, the first nine months of 2016 saw over 2,000 crowdfunding pages dedicated to raising funds for a funeral and this shows the problem the UK has with life insurance right now. Mrs Brewer said it was a heart-breaking experience to see Eleesha lose her mother and then have to ask the internet for enough money just to grant her a burial. Therefore, she felt the need to not only contribute but raise awareness of the issue in general.
In the most recent statistics, it was revealed that more people have phone insurance (12%) than critical illness coverage (9%). In total, 14 million people in the UK have some form of life insurance which is around 27%. This means that the loved ones left behind are having to find an average of £4,000 to pay for funerals, but this figure is expected to reach nearly £6,000 in 2024.
For Jo Brewer and many other leading figures in the industry, the life insurance deficit in the UK apparent. Many people put off taking out a life insurance policy and always prioritise other expenses, but ‘tomorrow’ is never guaranteed.
Sadly, many people who have died without life insurance have financially crippled their loved ones as they have to cover the funeral costs. As well as the financial aspect, there’s also the emotional side to consider. While trying to cope with losing a family member, individuals feel guilty that they can’t afford to give them a proper send off.
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In the coming years, Mrs Brewer believes awareness is going to be the most important factor. With stories like Eleesha’s leading the way, those who have families to protect should consider investing the small amount required to provide a lump sum payout should they pass away. For Eleesha herself, she recognises how easy it is to keep putting off life insurance because death isn’t a concern at the moment. While living in a bubble, she believes that we have too much confidence in our health system and just assumes the worst won’t happen. Sadly, the ‘worst’ is happening and we don’t have the cover when it’s needed.
If you make one change to your finances this year, we recommend considering life insurance because it can provide money for your family members left behind and it can even help with the continuation of your business.