You are more likely to die this week than any other in the year, according to a director at a large life insurance company.
Ian Atkinson made the claim after a study by SunLife, where he works as a marketing director.
The company found that in the second week of January, a death will occur every 44 seconds.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics revealed there is an average of 13,760 deaths at this time of year.
That works out as 1,953 a day or 81 per hour – a sharp rise in the usual average of 9,756 weekly deaths, which works out at 1,393 a day, or 58 an hour, reports Mirror Online.
The cold weather has been highlighted as the main reason – and it also sees an increase in bugs and other seasonal illnesses being spread around.
Now Mr Atkinson is calling on people to make sure they are prepared should the unthinkable happen, with the average funeral today costing £4,271.
Mr Atkinson told MirrorOnline: “This week will see more deaths than any other week in the year, and for those families dealing with bereavement, searching through quotes is probably the last thing on their minds.
“You need to choose a funeral director fairly quickly so they can take away the body, and most people have not thought about which one they would use.
“But with the average funeral now costing £4,271, it is crazy to think we are just paying the bill without thinking about whether the funeral services they are using are right for them.”
SunLife figures mirror the ONS stats with an average of 9,031 death claims on policies in January – compared to 7,314 each month for the rest of the year.
But research carried out by SunLife found 37 per cent have made no provision for their own funeral, instead leaving loved ones to pick up the bill.
And even many of those who did plan for their send off financially, they didn’t leave enough to cover the total bill.
It also emerged that rather than shopping around, most will also just pay the first funeral director they speak to without getting any other quotes.
Just one in five will get more than one price before booking a funeral.
SunLife has launched its Funeral Planning Mapper, an independent online tool which maps funeral services locations across the UK.