Make sure you are cov­ered by a rep­utable provider

CityPress - - Business -

Typ­i­cally, more af­flu­ent house­holds have ac­cess to for­mal in­sti­tu­tions that are gov­erned by leg­is­la­tion and have clear rules and ser­vice lev­els they are re­quired to meet. There is also re­course for con­sumers if these con­di­tions are not met.

In the more in­for­mal funeral mar­ket, there are ar­range­ments pro­vided through burial so­ci­eties and funeral par­lours, and it is a re­quire­ment that these providers are reg­is­tered with the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board (FSB). In the in­stance that these providers are not reg­is­tered, it is dif­fi­cult to en­sure that cus­tomers are treated fairly.

Funeral par­lours or burial so­ci­eties of­fer prod­ucts specif­i­cally for burial and should be un­der­writ­ten by a rep­utable fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion to guar­an­tee that the claim will be hon­oured, thereby giv­ing the cus­tomer peace of mind.

In some cases, how­ever, these en­ti­ties do not un­der­write with an in­surer and rely on pay­ments from mem­bers to meet the funeral costs. This is il­le­gal and sig­nif­i­cantly in­creases the risk of the claim not be­ing paid out due to the un­avail­abil­ity of funds, es­pe­cially if there are mul­ti­ple claims from that par­tic­u­lar en­tity.

Old Mu­tual’s Them­bisa Ma­pukata says there are also in­ci­dences where funeral par­lours fraud­u­lently sell cover they claim is un­der­writ­ten.

“Peo­ple need to en­sure that the funeral par­lour is an ac­cred­ited ser­vice provider by ask­ing for the fi­nan­cial ser­vices provider num­ber and dec­la­ra­tion from the in­surer that this funeral par­lour is un­der­writ­ten. All brochures and doc­u­ments should in­clude the de­tails of the un­der­writer, and the FSB reg­is­tra­tion cer­tifi­cate must be vis­i­ble in the of­fices.”

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