What you need to know about funeral insurance
Funerals can quickly become costly. With the right funeral insurance, you have peace of mind knowing that in the event of your death, being laid to rest will not leave your loved ones burdened with debt.
The death of a loved one is an emotional time. A dignified funeral will allow friends and family to grieve and can be an important way for them to honour your legacy and celebrate your life.
In South Africa, the average funeral costs between R12 000 and R60 000, with more expensive funerals costing as much as R150 000. Without funeral insurance in place, death could bring with it an unexpected expense that you or your family may not be prepared for.
Funeral Insurance questions and answers:
- Why consider getting funeral insurance?
- When should you get funeral insurance?
- Getting the right funeral insurance for your family
- When is funeral insurance cover paid out?
- What isn’t covered under funeral insurance?
- Financial support
We can never predict when it is our time, but what you do have control over is ensuring that your family is not burdened with a costly expense while they are bereaved. Funeral insurance will help take an additional load from your family’s shoulders during a difficult time.
- Cover for your family
You can ensure that the rest of your family are covered under your funeral policy, including your spouse, your children, as well as parents and aunts or uncles.
- Funeral arrangements
Death can come as a great shock to you or your family members, and extra assistance is often needed during this challenging time to sort out funeral arrangements. Certain insurance products, like Standard Bank’s Funeral Plan, will help with the burial arrangements and provide trauma counselling for the bereaved.
Funeral insurance can be taken out for people between the ages of 18 and 65. Some insurers may provide additional cover for seniors over the age of 65, but this will differ from one to the next.
- Who do you need to include in your funeral insurance?
Will the funeral insurance be just for you, or will you need to cover a spouse, children or even older parents and grandparents? Speak to your family members to find out if they have funeral insurance and, if they do, how much cover do they have.
- How much can you afford on a month-to-month basis?
Calculate how much you can pay each month for funeral insurance once you have deducted expenses, including debt repayments and living expenses. How much you can afford will determine the type of funeral insurance that is best suited for your budget. Also, remember that your premiums could be increased annually by the insurer.
- What do you want the funeral insurance policy to cover?
Do you want additional benefits, such as monthly payments, to be made to your dependents upon your death, such as help with paying for groceries and expenses for a fixed period, bereavement counselling, emergency medical support, or a memorial benefit? Some additional benefits may already be included in your cover, so it is best to check and to find out what additional payments may be required. Sometimes the insurance taken out may not be sufficient to cover all the costs associated with a funeral, including the undertaker, catering and the venue hire.
- What are the ages of the dependents you want to be included?
Legal limits apply on the amount of cover that can be purchased for children and some insurers may also apply their own cover limits.
There will be certain waiting periods that you need to be aware of when submitting a claim:
- Death from an accident: Pay-out is generally made within 48 hours.
- Death from an illness: Some funeral covers may apply a six-month waiting period.
- Death from a suicide: There may be a waiting period of two years in the event of a suicide.
It is important to understand what may not be covered in your policy. In some instances, your funeral cover may not be paid out if:
- You or the family member covered by the policy was killed when engaging in a criminal activity.
- If there was a death in the event of war, public disorder, rioting, or invasion of foreign enemies.
- If you have claimed for a death that did not take place.
- If you have stopped paying your premiums, even though you may have paid for many years previously.