Changing perceptions about funeral cover
Old Mutual’s new radio drama highlights the benefits of being prepared
Funeral cover is the first financial product many South Africans buy after opening a bank account. Yet Old Mutual’s Head of Distribution, Prudence Thipe, says there is a still a lack of knowledge around funeral policies, their benefits and where to begin when the time comes to submit a claim.
“Funerals can be expensive, irrespective of your culture or religion. There are so many hidden costs. Through an educational radio drama called When Death Calls, we want to help South Africans understand the importance of financially preparing for their own funerals and for the task of burying their loved ones,” said Thipe.
The radio drama, currently being broadcast on Ligwalagwala FM, Lesedi FM, Motsweding FM, Umhlobo Wenene FM, Thobela FM and Ukhozi FM, is aimed at raising awareness and changing perceptions about the importance of funeral cover. The emotionally charged script follows everyday South Africans - Sophie, Raymond, Bra Joe, Primrose and Valencia - who are in the midst of planning a beautiful wedding. But on the eve of saying their vows, they are thrown into chaos and devastation when the family matriarch, Sophie, passes away unexpect- edly.
Things to keep in mind when considering funeral cover:
1. Understand the purpose of funeral cover
A funeral plan will pay out the pre-determined amount as per your agreed policy documentation, which should be used to cover funeral costs. Some policies will include extras such as food, airtime etc. What is important to note is that a funeral plan will not be enough to cover your family’s ongoing needs.
2. Know the difference between life insurance and funeral cover
A funeral policy will not help take care of your loved ones after you pass away. This is where life insurance becomes crucial. Keep in mind that most financial services companies require a medical certificate when you apply for life insurance. This is not a requirement for a funeral plan.
3. Know your options
Do some research and understand what the various kinds of funeral cover offer, their benefits and their exclusions. For example, some will cover a number of family members, but this has to be stipulated in your contract. When deciding on the best funeral cover for you and your loved ones, re- member that the cheapest policy is not always the best suited policy to your needs so pay particular attention to specific benefits.
How to claim on a funeral policy 1. Report the death of your loved one
You need to report the death at the nearest Home Affairs office or at your preferred funeral parlour. A Death Report is issued after the death is regis- tered. Once Home Affairs has received the relevant forms they will issue a Death Certificate. Send this to your insurer to activate the funeral cover. This certificate is also required to close bank accounts of the deceased as well as to inform pension providers. 2. Important documentation Notify your insurance provider that your loved one has passed away. Once informed, your insurer will provide the necessary documentation that you need to fill in, such as the Claims Form and Beneficiary Form. The beneficiary will be required to complete the following documentation when making a claim:
· Certified copy of death certificate · Copies of ID or passport of the deceased as well as the beneficiary or a copy of the birth certificate if younger than 18
· Proof of banking details of the beneficiary or estate.
Once completed, you need to submit all these documents to your service provider. This can be done electronically via email, fax or physically at a branch. Thipe concludes, “As a responsible business, it is our role to be there when our customers need our support the most. In 2016 we paid out over R2 billion in claims to clients, and with a policy that starts at only R31 per month - can you afford not to be covered?”
For more information, visit our website today. Watch When Death Calls every Thursday on Ligwalagwala FM at 10:30am, Lesedi FM at 10:15am, Motsweding FM at 10:53am, Umhlobo Wenene FM at 10:45am, Thobela FM at 12:50pm or on Wednesdays on Ukhozi FM at 14:20pm.