Funeral Plan or Funeral Insurance: Turner Insurance of Javea explains the difference

Written with the advice and assistance of Andrew Turner


Death is a fact of life, and it’s also a fact of life that dying in Spain is very different to dying in the UK. Or rather the legal and administrative process is. If you don’t understand these differences, an already stressful time could become intolerable for loved ones who are left to navigate an unfamiliar system as they also grieve for their loss. It’s so much easier to put funeral arrangements in place while you can, so that nobody is embarrassed or upset when the inevitable happens.


Spain Life Exclusive spoke to Andrew Turner, CEO of Turner Insurance in Javea, and he informed us why you need either a funeral plan or a funeral insurance here in Spain, and explained the difference between the two. He told us:


In Spain, everything has to be paid for before the funeral and the burial or cremation can take place. The unusual circumstances of recent months have shown that not everyone understands that, or realizes that planning ahead for your funeral is essential here in Spain. It can save you a lot of worry and potential expense at the time of need.


Turner Insurance



With the advice and assistance of Andrew, we have compiled this simple guide to explain the differences between funeral plans and funeral insurance, and also highlight how the administration required following death differs in Spain. The following information assumes that the death takes place at home, rather than in a hospital or an accident, and that there are no suspicious circumstances.


When someone passes away in the UK:


There’s a system most of us are familiar with, when bereavement occurs in the UK, and it goes like this:


  1. Call a doctor to certify death.
  2. Doctor issues medical certificate so body can be moved.
  3. Funeral director removes body. You can choose the funeral home at this stage, if you haven’t already done so.
  4. Death is registered, and death certificate is issued.
  5. Funeral and burial or cremation is arranged – typically within 2 – 3 weeks, during which time the deceased is stored at the funeral home.
  6. In the meantime, as you are in possession of the death certificate, you can cash in any life insurance policies, so there are funds available for relevant expenses.
  7. After the funeral, the funeral director will present his account, and advise when payment is required.


Normally, this is how things happen, and there is plenty of time to notify relevant people and departments, so that everything can be dealt with when you feel strong enough to do so. However, things are very different in Spain.


When someone passes away in Spain


  1. Call Local Police on 092. That must be your first call, after which you can call a doctor, or the police will do that.
  2. The Police – or the doctor – will call a funeral director, unless you have already specified one.
  3. Funeral director removes body.
  4. Death is registered, but death certificate may not be available until after the funeral.
  5. Funeral and burial or cremation is arranged within 48 hours of death. There can be a slight delay, to allow relatives to travel, but this will be charged for.
  6. Funeral director must be paid for his services, unless you have a funeral plan or funeral insurance in place.
  7. Life insurance cannot be claimed until you have a copy of the death certificate. Therefore you may have a cash flow issue.


In many ways, the Spanish way of doing things is preferable – there is no long wait before the funeral takes place, which means the bereaved can begin to get their lives back on track, without an enforced period of limbo. However, not everyone can lay their hands in several thousand Euros at short notice, especially in cases of sudden death in Spain, so it makes sense to be prepared. But what’s best – a funeral plan, or funeral insurance? And what’s the difference? These are the key points of both plans at basic level, and do not include special services such as repatriation to country of birth before burial or cremation, although this can be arranged as an optional extra.



Turner Insurance


Key Points of pre-paid funeral plans:


  • Payment is fixed – usually between €4000 and €6000, depending on the provider and your requirements. It may be possible to pay in instalments, interest free over a short period, typically 18 months, but the funeral plan must be paid for before time of need. There is flexibility to make up the shortfall if necessary.
  • No maximum age, and no health requirements, since the payout is the agreed cost of the funeral, which is paid in advance of the time of need.
  • Cover usually includes arrangements in two countries, so if you are living in Spain but still have an address in the UK, for example, there will be a Spanish plan as well as a UK plan, and you can access either at the time of need, depending on your location.
  • All arrangements taken care of with one call to your provider. This means no legal or procedural problems at the time of need, and no language difficulties.


Key Points of funeral insurance:



Turner Insurance


  • Monthly payments, depending on age at the start of the policy. Cost is therefore spread out, with no large payments. Small incremental rises, and nothing more to pay after the age of 90.
  • Maximum age of 65 for new policies, and pre-existing health conditions must be disclosed. This could mean you are ineligible for cover, or premiums could be very high.
  • Cheaper than funeral plans; At 60, for example you will pay £10 per month.
  • Cover includes transfer from anywhere in Spain at time of need, and on trips worldwide for up to 90 days.
  • All arrangements taken care of with one call to your provider. This means no legal or procedural problems at the time of need, and no language difficulties.


At first glance, then, funeral insurance is a cheaper option by a long way. However, there may be a problem with eligibility, especially if you have a serious pre-existing condition, or if you don’t plan far enough ahead. Andrew says:


Unfortunately, by the time most people start to think about paying for their funeral, they are already past the maximum age for acceptance for insurance. And something like heart disease or high blood pressure could exclude you from this avenue. However, for someone in their late 50s or early 60s, in good health, funeral insurance is definitely the option I would recommend. It’s a much cheaper option, and the service you receive from the insurance provider is very similar to what you can expect from a pre-paid funeral plan.


One thing is sure. If you live in Spain, or spend most of your time here, it makes sound sense, financially and emotionally, to have some provision for your funeral in place, whatever your age or state of health. Contact Turner Insurance for expert advice on what type of funeral planning is best suited to your circumstances, plus a no-obligation quote for suitable funeral insurance if necessary.


Contact details:


Turner InsuranceAddress:

Avenida del Pla 135, buzón 37, Jávea – 03730

Phone: 966 461 625




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