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Category Life Insurance

The growing necessity for funeral insurance in 2021

23 March 2021 Felix Kagura, Head: Head of Life Insurance Propositions at Standard Bank Insurance

Death has become a heartbreakingly common occurrence in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since December last year statistics released by the Department of Health have painted a bleak picture with both infection and mortality rates increasing over the festive period.

At the start of the pandemic these figures were just anonymous numbers but now, almost a year later, there are very few South Africans whose lives have not been touched by COVID-19 in some way, and for many of us those numbers now have names.

At the start of this year media reports highlighted the fact that funeral operators were struggling to keep up with the increase in demand for burials because of COVID-19 related deaths. Many undertakers reported backlogs and immense pressure to ensure people were buried timeously.

Having to think about death at any time is not pleasant but the harsh reality is that death is something we all must prepare for, especially if we want to afford ourselves or a family member the dignity of a proper burial.

Amid the turmoil currently surrounding burials, having the peace of mind that the cost of a funeral will be covered is essential. The death of a loved one is an emotional time. A dignified funeral gives family and friends the opportunity to grieve and can be an important way for them to honour the deceased’s legacy and celebrate their life.

An effective way of ensuring this is through funeral insurance. Without funeral insurance in place, death could bring with it an unexpected expense that you or your family may not be prepared for.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) a basic funeral in South Africa costs approximately R10 000. Costs can increase depending on what you are willing to spend on additional items such as catering, flowers, and tombstones.

Funeral insurance ensures that your family has financial support in the event of your death and protects them from having to carry the costly expense of your burial during a time of mourning.

It can also ensure that the rest of your family, including your spouse, your children, as well as parents and aunts or uncles are covered under your funeral policy.

Funerals can quickly become costly and today flexibility in your coverage is paramount. To address this, the Standard Bank Flexible Funeral Plan, underwritten by Liberty Group Limited, is designed to meet our client’s varying needs and fit their lifestyles and pockets. Clients can decide who they want to cover, which benefits to include, and they can choose the amount of cover for themselves and their family. You can also choose to increase your cover each year automatically to guard against the effects of inflation.

Policyholders can cover themselves, their spouse and up to six children, up to eight extended family members and up to four parents, with an option to choose additional benefits for the main insured and spouse at an additional premium. The Standard Bank Flexible Funeral Plan can be taken out by people between the ages of 18 and 65.

When taking out funeral cover you should consider who you want it to cover, how much you can afford monthly and what exactly you want the policy to cover when it comes to funeral arrangements.

Funerals usually need to be organised very quickly, and often must be paid for immediately too. While the assets of the deceased go through legal procedures, funeral cover is designed to provide cash within 48 hours of a claim, which helps the family to meet the needs that arise with a funeral.

Consider the fact that a funeral policy pay-out needs to cover more than just the direct cost of the funeral and can even be used to pay for groceries and expenses, or a memorial.

Protecting the dignity of your family members during a time of bereavement is essential. Purchasing a funeral policy allows you to do just this as well as protect your family financially after you’re gone, removing the financial burden of paying for your burial and everything that goes with it.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

Covid-19 may accelerate certain industry trends. What are we likely to see?

ANSWER

Adoption of contactless technologies and digital experiences will likely be accelerating emerging technologies further
The consumer will expect safety and precautionary measures, driving the need for enhanced surveillance policies and technologies, which may pose potential privacy concerns
Rising activism among consumers and employees could drive an increased focus on corporate purpose
Value chain disruption is likely to lead to an increase in creative partnerships, which may in turn cause organisations to further invest in developing the mindset and agility to collaborate across sectors in the ecosystem
Cost management will be a critical priority to ensure business continuity based on cash flow requirements, to manage lower margins and revenues during a downturn
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