A fifth (22%) of people fund their funerals through life insurance policies, research by Royal London has found.
The 22% figure includes over-50s plans, however the same number said the deceased had not left behind a means for paying for their funeral.
The Royal London National Funeral Cost Index survey of 1,988 people who'd arranged a funeral in the past five years found 76% had left behind a means for funding it.
Specialist funeral plans accounted for 19% of the market with 66% funding their funeral by savings and or investments.
Costs were higher than expected for 46% of respondents with 42% of these saying they had problems meeting the cost of the funeral.
Of those who found costs higher than expected, 11% chose a cheaper funeral as a result and 20% went into debt to pay for the funeral costs, 28% borrowed the money from family or friends and 35% used their own savings to meet the expense.
Jerry Toher, CEO of consumer division at Royal London Group said: "Our findings shine a light on the financial pressure people face when they arrange a funeral - bills range from nearly £3,000 to almost £7,000 depending solely on where people live.
"Our study also highlights the range of coping strategies people employ - from using their own savings to meet the shortfall; to selling their possessions, or taking on debt. We want to highlight the cost of funerals because, as our study shows people are struggling to pay and this is causing household debt."
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