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21/11/2011

Funeral Cover: What is it?

Funeral cover: because funeral costs are ridiculous.Death and taxes are both guaranteed and cost a fortune. Which is why funeral cover is so important. Paying out a lump sum on the policyholder’s death, funeral cover pays for the costs of the funeral, which, given the costs of burial, coffins, and catering, are expensive. In fact funerals can cost between R7 000 and R30 000.

Funeral cover alleviates the added burden of finances surrounding an already traumatic event and can be taken out as a separate policy to life cover. (Note: if you already have a life insurance policy, check the policy documents to determine whether you have funeral cover as a benefit. Most life insurance companies pay out a lump sum within 24 hours of the insured’s death to cover funeral expenses.)

Funeral cover and the estate

While the estate of the deceased may yield enough funds to cover the costs of the funeral, these are usually tied up in the estate for some time before they are bequeathed to the beneficiaries. In fact, all creditors are paid first before an estate can be bequeathed.

Life insurance policies, too, take time to pay out as they require documents to be submitted, such as a death certificate. Funeral cover has no waiting period after a claim is submitted and exists solely to cover the costs of the funeral which can take place as soon as a week after death.

Funeral cover benefits

While the cover exists only to cover the costs of the funeral, it may come with the added benefits of covering entire and even extended families. As long as members of the family are under a certain age (usually about 76), then they can be added to a funeral insurance policy. Older insureds do not usually qualify for funeral cover as it is unlikely that they will pay enough premiums to warrant the full benefit.

Other funeral insurance policies, such as that provided by Hollard, includes a monthly payout for groceries for up to 12 months after the death of the insured. That is, the insurance company pays out a fee (about R1 500) a month for groceries in the time it takes for the estate to be liquidated and life insurance policies paid.

Most insurers also promise a cash-back bonus, such as 20% of your premiums paid back in cash every three or four claim-free years.

While tax is not strictly speaking negotiable, funeral cover is. By comparing different insurancecompanies’ funeral products, you can find the one that suits your budget. Fill in the form on this page and an insurance representative will contact you with a range of funeral cover options.

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