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November 19th, 2016 by


The most common mistake we make when taking out funeral cover for our parents is thinking of it as a “box-ticking” exercise, says Lee Bromfield, CEO of FNB Life.

Bromfield speaks of the many mistakes people make when choosing a plan which can lead to payout delays or even a rejected claim.

Taking out funeral cover for a parent is slightly different to that of a younger person. As such, there are certain considerations that need to be addressed.

Many insurance providers also realise that there are many definitions of family. They may offer a ‘Family Funeral Plan’, which offers cover for your siblings as well as your in-laws.

4 Tips When Taking Out Funeral Insurance For Your Parents

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The entire process is designed to ensure that the provider performs a proper and fair risk assessment. As such, the customer is required to provide accurate information.

1. Do Not Wait Until Your Parents Are Near Retirement

Waiting for your parents to near their retirement is one of the most common mistakes people make when taking out funeral insurance. People delay taking up funeral cover for their parents, hoping to only start the process when the parents approach retirement age.

According to Bromfield, this is risky and usually costs more money as your parents’ risks have increased (age and health). If you can afford the premium, it is highly recommended you start sooner rather than later.

2. Don’t Get Caught Out With Waiting Periods

When taking out a funeral policy close to your parent’s retirement, there may be a potential waiting period. This means you will have to wait a certain amount of time before you claim (depending on your policy). This may cause a couple snags with their retirement.

Waiting Period Examples:

  • 12 months for death as a result of natural causes and suicide.
  • 24 months for death as a result of a pre-existing condition.

3. Know What You’re Getting

Funeral cover has evolved over the years, focusing more on providing a cash payout, instead of supplying a casket, and other related items. 

By selecting a payout, the family is allowed more flexibility on what they would like to do for the funeral service. The funeral payout, if spent wisely, could even cover the expenses after the funeral.

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4. What Can You Afford?

Before taking on most expenses, it is vital that you work out if it is something you can afford. This is due to the fact that there will always be those emergency expenses that become necessities in a time of crisis. In order to work out the affordability of funeral cover for your parents, you can make use of the following steps: 

  1. Work out your income after tax.
  2. Work out all your monthly expenses.
  3. Minus your monthly income from your salary to determine what’s left.
  4. With this amount, you can work out how much you are willing to budget towards funeral insurance.
  5. Choose funeral cover that fits into your budget but also provides the maximum amount of benefits.