Independent funeral plan company Golden Charter has been awarded a new contract to source funeral directors for Sun Life Direct life assurance plan holders who request a funeral benefit option.
This new deal enhances the relationship between the two companies, who have worked together for four years. It is expected to boost Golden Charter's market share and choice for consumers.
Sun Life Direct consumers will also now have access to a network of nearly 3,000 independent funeral directors across the UK.
Glasgow-based Golden Charter will now have a market share of more than 50% of the UK pre-arranged funeral market which is growing rapidly.
Golden Charter managing director Ronnie Wayte said: "Sun Life Direct's decision to select Golden Charter as a key partner underlines the continuing success of the independent sector despite the market power of corporate providers."
Funeral Planning Authority figures showed 67,484 pre-paid funeral plans were sold in the UK in the first half of 2013. The market is on course for growth of 12% this year on the total sales of 120,731 in 2012.
Golden Charter, which has seen its own sales rise by two thirds for the current financial year, estimated in 2012 independent firms held around 42% of the funeral plan market with corporate providers such as Co-operative Funeralcare and Dignity accounting for the rest.
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