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The loss of a family member is always painful, but unplanned funeral arrangements can make the experience even harder. The best way to ensure a simple and stress-free process is to choose a funeral policy that suits your needs.

A funeral policy eases financial distress. It can allow you and your family to spend more time on funeral arrangements and offering each other emotional support, instead of worrying about the money needed to cover funeral costs.

What are the benefits of a funeral policy?

It gives you quick access to money – if all the relevant documentation is in order, a funeral policy pays out quickly, so that you won’t have to worry about finding the money to pay for all the costs.

What should a basic funeral policy offer?

It depends on the type of funeral policy. Some offer the basics and others offer a wider range of benefits. If you buy a policy from a funeral parlour for example, it would typically cover the costs of the actual funeral (coffin, flowers, etc.). However, most traditional funeral policies from insurers provide a lump sum payment to the beneficiary selected, or to the person who took out the policy if someone covered by the policy has died. That person then uses the money to pay for the funeral themselves. You can choose which type will work best for you, depending on your needs.

How quickly will an insurer pay out a lump sum?

This depends on the insurer, but there is normally an agreed turnaround time of 24 to 48 hours once all documentation is received. Some insurers even pay claims faster. Sanlam pays most valid funeral claims within 4 hours, once all documentation is received.

How do I get the best out of my funeral policy for me and my loved ones?

Look at more than one funeral policy before you decide which one to opt for. Compare, say, three or four policies based on your family’s needs, the funeral provider’s reputation as well as the ability to pay claims.

“Look at more than one funeral policy before you decide which one to opt for. Compare, say, three or four policies based on your family’s needs, the funeral provider’s reputation as well as the ability to pay claims.”

How much should a funeral plan cost? And what impacts the cost?

It depends entirely on your needs, and these should be evaluated when you purchase the policy. Insurers charge different prices and a number of factors are used to determine the cost.

The cost can also depend on the additional benefits offered via the product; or whether it is an online sale, or a product taken out via a call centre or face to face. Some people may prefer to include funeral cover as an addition to life cover, which could be cheaper. Or, they may want to take out funeral cover as a single stand-alone product to cover different lives on their funeral policy.

How do you choose the right plan for you and your family?

Before you decide, consider your needs and those of your family, both now and in the future. Think about how many people there are in your family, and whether you would be responsible for their funeral, and consider how much you can pay towards a funeral plan, without impacting the financial realities in other parts of your life.

Then consider how much you will need to pay for the funeral, and how much you will need to pay for the policy each month. Once you have an idea of how much you can spend on a policy, speak to a financial planner or get a quote online from a trusted insurance provider.

Who can be covered on a funeral policy?

Each insurer has different structures, but typical funeral policies have the following options:

  • You can cover yourself (this can be optional or compulsory, depending on the insurer)
  • You can cover your immediate family (spouse and children)
  • You can cover your parents and extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, parents-in-law, etc.)

The payment structure will depend on the policy and how it has been structured.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose the right funeral policy for you and your family. It should cover your needs and suit your pocket. Do some research and speak to your financial planner about the best possible solution for you.



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