How to choose the right funeral plan

2018-05-16 06:02

FOR many South Africans, choosing a funeral policy is the first experience they have with insurance products.

“A positive experience with funeral schemes can encourage consumer confidence in the insurance industry” said Sonja Visser, CEO of African Unity Life, a registered insurer that underwrites a large selection of well-known funeral schemes.

“It is potentially disastrous if the policyholder may find out at some stage that there is no financial or institutional support to pay out claims to beneficiaries of the insured”.Acquiring a funeral policy is the first step people take to ensure that they and their families can afford a dignified funeral.“Choosing the right funeral policy can prove a challenge as there are many options and providers — and not all of them are reliable,” said Visser.

“It is crucial that consumers are sure that the policy they purchase, is with a registered and trustworthy service provider.”When choosing a policy, consumers need to carefully consider their family’s needs. The chosen cover should include the appropriate range of benefits required, such as the required casket, transport services for family and friends to the funeral, a grocery benefit (to support the family for a short while), airtime to contact relatives and friends.

Benefits will vary according to the funeral plan and level of cover chosen.“It is important to note that there are no medical examinations when taking out a funeral policy,” said Visser. “However, there is usually a waiting period, generally of about six months.” It is of utmost importance to confirm that the person who is selling the policy has a license from the FSB (or works with an FSP), which must be presented upon request. Additionally, funeral policies are often administered and sold by third party funeral administrators, so it is important to know who the insurer is that underwrites the risk.

African Unity Life proposes the following checklist when taking out a funeral policy:

• 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. Visser said that 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 payout 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.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.