Everyone wants the best funeral cover for your family to know that they are taken care of. We can’t predict how or when we are going to die, but we can ensure that the people we leave behind are not overly burdened while bereaved.
Sometimes we will be afforded the opportunity to plan for this event, and at other times it is both tragic and unexpected. It starts with choosing a reputable funeral policy.
For many South Africans, choosing a funeral policy is the first experience they have with insurance products.
Here’s everything you need to keep in mind when searching for the right funeral cover.
- Confirm the details of the intermediary and their relationship with the insurer. Intermediaries must be mandated by insurers to sell their products.
- Always complete a policy proposal form yourself.
- Give complete and accurate information. If in doubt, disclose information.
- Always read any document thoroughly before signing it.
- You have a 30-day grace period to cancel a policy or make amendments – enquire about the cooling-off period.
- Make sure the policy contract matches what you understood it should be.
- Check the terms and conditions, benefits, premiums and exclusions.
- Ask what the implications are of replacing one policy with another.
- Keep written proof of your correspondence and dealings with the insurer and intermediary. Once a policy is in place, there are still a few things to be aware of regarding the actual claims process:
- Most insurers will pay out within 48 hours if the correct documentation is submitted. You will need a death certificate, proof of banking and the applicable claim forms.
- Remember, the insurer cannot stipulate what the claim pay-out is used for.
- You do not get any money out if you cancel the policy. It is a pure risk insurance product, which means that the premium you are paying is being used to cover the risk of your passing away. The moment you cancel the policy or it lapses (if premiums are not paid) your cover will be forfeited and no claim will be paid.
- Ask for written explanation for repudiation or non-payment of claims.
- An insurer must always advise the holder of a policy when the policy is being cancelled. — Supplied.
Look at more than one funeral plan before you make a decision. Try to compare three or four funeral policies in terms of your family’s needs, the funeral provider reputation as well as the ability to pay claims before choosing the one that is the best for you.
By choosing a funeral policy based on your needs, you can make sure that you have benefits that will help you and your family. Some funeral policies offer extra benefits such as paying for the deceased’s body to be transported from the place of death to the place of burial. Some policies can also offer other benefits like unemployment and maternity benefits, which mean that if you lose your job or become pregnant, you can stop paying your premiums for a limited amount of time until you are back at work. Your funeral plan must suit your lifestyle and needs of your loved ones.
Understand your needs
Firstly, when you look at funeral cover, you have to look at your needs. Are you looking for protection for an individual or family? Do you want cash only or cash with extra benefits? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you start looking for the right funeral policy. Some funeral plans will allow you to include additional family, members. In many cases, you can add your direct and indirect family members
- How much can you afford to pay every month?
- Who do you need cover for – you, your family, your parents or extended family?
- What do you need the plan to cover – just the basics or grocery and education benefits?
Choose the right funeral cover amount
- Taking inflation into account – when taking out cover it is essential to take a long-term view which considers the impact of inflation. As a starting point, consider taking a five-year view and adjusting the cover amount accordingly. This is more practical than reviewing and adjusting your cover amount on a yearly basis
- Post funeral expenses– many consumers overlook the importance of catering for post event funeral expenses like a tombstone. For some families, the cost of an unveiling ceremony event can be as expensive as the funeral. As a result, consumers who don’t consider post funeral expenses when choosing the cover amount may find themselves having to borrow money to cover additional costs.
- Premium prices– in some instances, consumers only consider the monthly premium that they will pay at the end of the month. Although paying a lower premium may save you money in the interim, the corresponding cover amount may not be adequate. When a death in the family occurs, it may set back beneficiaries financially as they would have to provide for the shortfall from their own pockets.
Contact us today for funeral cover assistance with Verve Financial Solutions