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Money
21 May 2024

Funeral costs rise

Funeral costs are often the last thing we’d like to think about, but when the death of a loved one comes along having some idea about what’s on offer and the costs to be occurred makes it easier at such a sad time. According to SunLife's 2024 Cost of Dying report, seven in 10 people in the UK make provisions before they die, but only 54% have got the whole amount covered. SunLife say that on average a basic funeral in the UK cost around £4,141 in 2023 and £3,953 in 2022 (a 4.7% increase), but this can vary depending on where you live. So as much as this is not a conversation we want to have, it’s good to have these discussions with your loved ones. Here’s our breakdown of funeral costs in Jersey for 2024 compared with what they were in 2022. Service/Product De Gruchy’s                  (Co-op)2022 Maillards (Independent)2022 Pitcher & Le Quesne (Dignity)2022 Professional Fees £1,250 £1,335 £0 Funeral Director fee above professional fees £0 £0 £1,590 Care of deceased (bringing into care and treatment 24/7) £490 £380 £295 Provision of hearse, driver and bearers £750 £716 £600 Provision of one limousine £200 £194 £195 Attendance of Funeral Director at burial of ashes £75 £90 £0 Total cost of above £2,765 £2,715 £2,680 (£2,165 in 2017) (£2,256 in 2017) (£3,863 in 2017) Direct/’no frills’ cremation * £1,795.35 £2,040.35 £1,700 Embalming (if requested) £185 £200 £155 Coffin – cheapest wood effect £595 £650 £495 Coffin – cheapest eco-friendly coffin (rattan, sea-grass or wicker) £785 £750 £845 Ashes urn – cheapest hardwood £120 £120 £115   Service/Product De Gruchy’s                  (Co-op)2024 Maillards (Independent)2024 Pitcher & Le Quesne (Dignity)2024 Professional Fees £1,450 £1,565 £2,015 Funeral Director fee above professional fees £0 £0 £0 Care of deceased (bringing into care and treatment 24/7) £500 £380 £320 Provision of hearse, driver and bearers £790 £790 £650 Provision of one limousine £200 £194 £210 Attendance of Funeral Director at burial of ashes £95 £90 £135 Total cost of above £3,035 £3,019 £3,330 Direct/’no frills’ cremation * £2,750.52 £2,995.00 £1,875 Embalming (if requested) £210 £200 £175 Coffin – cheapest wood effect £675 £795 £495 Coffin – cheapest eco-friendly coffin (rattan, sea-grass or wicker) £810 £900 £1,005 Ashes urn – cheapest hardwood £120 £120 £120 Additional costs Minister /Priest/ Celebrant fee  £300 Minister/Priest/ Celebrant fee Attendance at burial of ashes   £75.00 Church verger   £65.00 Church fee (if not a parish church)   £220.00 Organist   £110.00 Soloist Varies - prices will vary Flowers - prices will vary Service sheets - prices will vary Paper notices - prices will vary Crematorium   £828.00 Cremation certificate (if required)  £10.51 Doctor's cremation forms   £200 Death certificate x 1   £32.31 Prices correct as at Apr/May 2024. Some prices may include different services and products To make the process easier for bereaved families, much of the organisation can be arranged and paid for by the Funeral Directors, who include them in the final invoice. The companies sometimes work with each other when the need arises, to ensure the experience is as painless as possible. They are willing to work with families to find the best option that will suit their needs and budget. They can advise on where you could cut costs and if requested will provide an estimate of costs before you agree to go ahead. Should you be eligible, they can advise on the Government’s Death Grant payment, which is currently £1,063.72.  Government can help those on low incomes with financial support to help with funeral costs. You can find out more about this on gov.je/ benefits/deathbereavement. 
At Home
Living Costs
26 February 2024

Increasing insurance premiums – what are the causes?

We’ve been contacted by lots of you recently about spiralling insurance premiums – both for motor and household – and how they’re affecting you. We’re aware of this issue and how it’s affecting Islanders, as it is yet another cost-of-living increase for consumers to contend with. This isn't just a Jersey situation though, it's UK-wide, with premiums increasing across the board since 2022. In January 2022, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced some new rules to stop insurers offering better deals to new customers. While this is good for those customers sticking with their ongoing policy, the rules don’t stop or cap the rise in policy costs, so in that respect it’s not good at all.  As a result, many Islanders have seen big increases in their premiums this year. Unfortunately, without a cap on the level of premium paid, the price of cover will fluctuate to reflect a range of factors, such as inflation, building costs, and setting claims due to storms, floods, and the like. The average premium for comprehensive cover on a motor vehicle in the UK has gone up by 58% from this time in 2022, according to Which? Magazine's March 2024 edition. In Jersey, your driver profile will include factors such as your age and your driving record, which influences what you pay for car insurance. Younger drivers have been hit more than most, with those aged under 24 being forced to pay out for premiums into the thousands in some cases. These premium increases will be affected by rising car repair costs. And disaster-related claims are also a significant reason why car insurance rates are surging for many drivers. We're not sure what the answer is. All we can advise is to keep shopping around, try to haggle where you can, and look out for tips using national consumer news organisations such as Which? magazine and Money Saving Expert. Their pages relate to the UK, but you can often pick up tips that are relevant to use in Jersey. You can also check out some of our recent stories on insurance: Which motor insurance providers currently provide cover in Jersey? (consumercouncil.je) Home Insurance (consumercouncil.je) Car Insurance (consumercouncil.je)
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Energy & Fuel
12 February 2024

Legal backing for gas outage claims help

A local lawyer has agreed to act for those Island Energy customers who were affected by October’s gas outage. Advocate Philip Sinel, Senior Partner at Sinels and Co, believes there has been a “clear breach of contract” between the gas provider and its customers, and that consumers have suffered losses or incurred extra costs as a result of having no gas supply to their homes – up to 14 days or more in some cases. He said: “Sinels is happy to act on behalf of those consumers affected by last year’s gas outage as, in our view, there has been a clear breach of contract. Losses have occurred, and as a result, the supplier should be liable for those in our view, and we will do our best to recover those losses for consumers.” More than 250 Island Energy customers who are unhappy with the £11.56 ‘goodwill gesture’ offered by Island Energy have so far registered with us. If you would like to be included in the action being taken by the Jersey Consumer Council and Sinels, please register below by completing this short online form. Please ensure that when you fill in this form you include an email and your Island Energy customer number: REGISTER HERE On 7 October a technical fault by Island Energy left around 4,000 Islanders without gas. This lasted for days - and in some cases up to 14 days - before the gas was returned to them. Had the energy provider been regulated – like in the UK - it would have had to pay £60 for every day a customer went without gas beyond the first 24 hours. Since then, Island Energy have increased the prices of gas by 12%, which is about £13.80 for an average family house. Whilst in Guernsey they raised the price by 8%. On 25 January, we were given word that Island Energy were giving customers a gesture of goodwill by refunding the standing charge for October, worth £11.56. Telephone: 01534 61161 Email: contact@consumercouncil.je
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Energy & Fuel
09 February 2024

Island Energy gas outage survey

Please make sure you give us your email and Island Energy customer number as they will be needed for those wanting to be involved in any claim that we might secure. COMPLETE THE GAS SURVEY   Any Island Energy customers who are unhappy or dissatisfied with the £11.56 ‘goodwill gesture’ offered to households following the outage in October last year are being asked to get in touch with the Jersey Consumer Council. The Council is looking at what options it has available to try to secure the compensation Island Energy customers deserve or at least a refund of the costs many consumers incurred during the gas outage in October last year. To start that process, those impacted are being asked to complete a short online survey on consumercouncil.je to enable the Council to assess to what extent individual households were impacted. Chairman Carl Walker said: ‘We already know of Islanders who went without hot water, could not cook hot meals at home and could turn on their heating during the outage, so taking three months to come up with an offer of £11.56 is nothing short of an insult to its customers by Island Energy. “We will now work on behalf of all those affected to try and secure a better deal for them – and everything and anything is on the table at this stage. Once we know how many Islanders we will be representing, we shall choose the best course of action and do our very best.” On 7 October a technical fault by Island Energy left around 4,000 Islanders without gas. This lasted for days - and in some cases up to 14 days - before the gas was returned to them. Had the energy provider been regulated – like in the UK - it would have had to pay £60 for every day a customer went without gas beyond the first 24 hours. Since then, Island Energy have increased the prices of gas by 12%, which is about £13.80 for an average family house. Whilst in Guernsey they raised the price by 8%. On 25 January, we were given word that Island Energy were giving customers a gesture of goodwill by refunding the standing charge for October, worth £11.56. Dissatisfied Island Energy customers are asked to click on the link below and complete the survey as honestly as possible. If they know of any neighbours or relatives who do not have access to the internet but who were also affected by the outage, please visit those individuals or call them and complete the survey with them or on their behalf, so that we can get a fair picture of the situation.
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Living Costs
Phone
05 February 2024

Another price increase is on the way...

If you’re a JT customer, your bills will be going up from 27 March.  The telecommunications company have announced that they’ll be increasing their prices by 7.5%, in line with the latest Retail Price Index.   This comes on the back of other household price increases, from Island Energy, Jersey Water and the Jersey Electricity Company, and will no doubt be worrying for some consumers.  If you’re concerned about your JT bills, you can contact them on 882882 and see whether a different contract might save you some money.  To see how the increases will affect various plans and services, check out their prices here:  JT RPI Price Increases - JT Global  As always, our advice would be to always shop around for the best prices and to check whether you're definitely on the best contract for your needs. 
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Living Costs
01 February 2024

Amazon Prime Video introduce additional charge to avoid watching adverts

Amazon Prime customers will have to pay an additional £2.99 a month to avoid having to watch adverts on the Prime Video streaming service. Amazon has written to Prime customers to say that the change will come into effect from Monday, 5 February. If customers choose not to upgrade, they will instead have to watch adverts. Currently Prime Video costs £5.99 a month. It will now cost £8.98 to watch ad-free – the equivalent of a 50% increase. Viewers can sign up to get one month of the upgrade for free. Meanwhile, full Amazon Prime customers currently pay £8.99 a month, or £95 for the year upfront. To get rid of adverts, these customers will now need to pay £11.98 a month, or £130.88 for an annual membership. Amazon haven’t said when the adverts will be shown – whether they will be during the content you’re watching, or just before it – but they have said there will be  “meaningfully fewer ads than ad-supported TV channels and other streaming TV providers”.