It’s Monday, it’s January, and it’s raining. Three reasons why today is already a diabolically dire day.
But I’ve got bad news for you; it’s about to get much, much worse because, apparently, this week is known for its high death rates.
According to research, more people will die this week than at any other time of the year – with one person dying every 44 seconds.
Figures from the ONS show the second week in January sees an average of 13,670 deaths, meaning 1,953 people die every day or 81 every hour. The rest of the year sees an average of 9,756 deaths every week.
So why is this? Apparently, the main reasons for the higher death rates are the cold weather and an increase in bugs and illnesses.
This means that thousands of families will have to find cash for funerals, with a separate study – conducted by SunLife – finding that the average funeral now costs £4,271.
In total, this means around £58 million could be spent on funerals for loved ones who pass away this week. And the total cost of funerals in the UK during January alone could hit more than £229 million.
SunLife marketing director Ian Atkinson said:
This week will see more deaths than any other week in the year, and for those families dealing with bereavement, searching through quotes is probably the last thing on their minds.
You need to choose a funeral director fairly quickly so they can take away the body, and most people have not thought about which one they would use.
But with the average funeral now costing £4,271, it is crazy to think we are just paying the bill without thinking about whether the funeral services they are using are right, for them.
Figures from SunLife mirror the ONS statistics, with an average of 9,031 death claims on policies in January – compared to 7,314 each month for the rest of the year.
But research carried out by SunLife found that 37 per cent of people have made no provision for their own funeral, meaning loved ones will then have to pick up the bill. And even of those who did plan for their send off financially, they didn’t leave enough to cover the total bill.
It also emerged that rather than shopping around, most will also just pay the first funeral director they speak to without getting any other quotes. And just one in five will get more than one price before booking a funeral.
SunLife has launched its Funeral Planning Mapper, an independent online tool which maps funeral services locations across the UK.
Again, I apologise for the morbidness on this already bleak Monday morning. I’ll get back to writing about cute dogs and puppies now…
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).