Funeral Plan Provider, Avalon, has been recognised in the 2021 Personal Finance Awards for its commitment to people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wilmslow based firm took home ‘Best Funeral Plan Provider’ at the awards on Wednesday 24th November for making customers’ experience a priority; ensuring they and their families were provided with the best level of care, support and empathy during a worrying time.
Following judge voting which saw the firm shortlisted, a public vote was opened and saw the firm crowned a winner – receiving the highest number of votes in the category from UK consumers.
Now in its 24th year, the awards celebrate the best businesses and products within the UK’s dynamic finance markets through gauging consumer opinion over a comprehensive voting process.
This is the third consecutive year that Avalon, a long-term member of the Funeral Planning Authority, has been awarded the prestigious status of Best Funeral Plan Provider.
Susan Stevenson, CEO at Avalon said: “Winning the award this year is the perfect recognition for our hardworking team who have continued to support customers during such a difficult couple of years for our nation.
“The past two years has, as for most people and organisations, been completely driven by the pandemic. We are very proud to have migrated our ‘in the home face to face channel’ to now meet customer needs via Zoom – as the average age of our customers is in the late 60s it’s a sign of the changing times that video appointments are now our largest UK channel.
“We recognise that this could not have been possible without an excellent support team and that’s why we continue to welcome passionate and empathic people to our team.”
Avalon was founded in 1993 and has since provided a range of plans to 85,000+ consumers across Europe – in fact, the most recent data survey showed that an Avalon plan had been sold every 10 minutes.
The firm, which is supported by a network of over 1800 independent funeral directors, provides a range of plans, each which is offered with the unique benefit of the Avalon Promise. This means should the customer die before their plan is fully paid the costs of the services included will be covered.
With the funeral plan industry now heading towards mandatory FCA regulation, the firm is continuing to build a first-class team of experts driven by ethics and values to ensure that an excellent and honest service is delivered, always.
Georgia Marshall-Brown has joined as Group Head of Marketing, Melissa Fothergill as Group Head of Compliance and Jonathan Simpson whostarts officially in January, joins as the firm’s new CFO.
Susan added: “As of July 2022, the sector will become FCA regulated – a regulation we welcome as it will ensure best practice for customers. These new rules are set to raise standards in the funeral plans market and require all providers to ensure their plans are sold fairly, perform as expected and represent good value for money. This is something we’ve been doing for the last two and half decades.
“Funeral plan sales rose significantly YOY 2020 H1 vs 2021 due to a growing interest in the product and the need to make a plan, and the regulation will ensure that this interest isn’t exploited by firms who don’t have a commitment to their customers.
“It’s never been an easy thing for people to think about, and that’s why as providers we must ensure we make the process of choosing a plan as smooth and as ethical as possible.”
To find out more about Avalon’s range of plans, please visit www.avalonfuneralplans.com.