Saving for funerals
Mandla Khumalo helps you plan a dignified funeral for your loved one
IN as much as stokvel groups focus on various goals such as investments and savings – death is inevitable. And preparation for a decent send-off for loved ones is imperative.
Failure to do so could put the stokvels under pressure to support the bereaved member’s family. Andile Mazwai, the CEO of the National Stokvel Association of South Africa, says in a case where the stokvel doesn't have burial insurance, it is forced to tap into its savings.
PLANNING FOR DEATH
“Burial societies are stokvels that save money for funerals,” says Andile.“they collect monthly premiums from members and offer funeral cover in return. Even stokvels that are not burial societies will use some of their savings to assist in the funeral.”
Stokvel groups that do not save for funerals could be negatively affected on their savings, resulting in the diversion of funds earmarked for other things.
This could also strain resources as prices go up everyday and consumers are forced to dig deep into their pockets.
It is best for societies to take our funeral cover for their members through a well-known and trusted insurance provider.
CHOOSING A PROVIDER
Experts warn that there are unscrupulous practices within the funeral insurance industry and stokvel groups should approach reputable service providers to
avoid losing their money to bogus schemes. They need to choose a service provider they can trust because among the many players in funeral insurance industry, you still get some that do not have the best interests of the consumer at heart.
Stokvel groups also need to pay attention when taking out funeral covers to avoid disappointment at a time when they need to claim.
Members need to bear in mind that they are required to provide accurate information to ensure that the provider performs a proper and fair risk assessment. This will also assist when members need to claim benefits at the time of death.
GET ENOUGH COVER
Sometimes people do not have adequate funeral cover and when they have to arrange a funeral, the amount insured is barely enough for a coffin and in this case, a funeral stokvel is helpful.
“People often forget that the effects of inflation also play a role in the provision of essential services such as burials and cremations,” cautions AVBOB’S assistant general manager of sales and operations, Nakedi Pilane.
She adds that more often than not, families request add-ons for the burial so having additional funeral money coming from a stokvel could assist in covering this cost. Most common addons requested by families are a photographer, tents, videos, sound system, gravesite refreshments, tombstones and embalming to mention a few.
Over the years, funeral covers have evolved towards cash payouts as opposed to the standard arrangements of supplying the family with a casket and other small items.
This is helpful as the cash option allows families more flexibility on what they can do with the money that has been paid out.
Depending on the cover amount, if families spend wisely, the funds could even cover some expenses beyond the funeral.
However, if the money is not used wisely, it could run out before the family pays for some of the important things.
People should approach reputable service providers to avoid losing their money to bogus schemes