Chang­ing per­cep­tions about funeral cover

Old Mutual’s new ra­dio drama highlights the ben­e­fits of be­ing pre­pared

Inner City Gazette - - News -

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.

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