Last month I spent some time thinking about the end.
What am I talking about when I say ‘the end’?
I’m talking about funerals…I attended a funeral.
Now funerals happen to be a good thing in my opinion. It’s a good time to reflect on the meaning of your own life, on the lives you’ve impacted, and to wonder whether anyone will also grieve over you one day.
After paying respects to the family, I took a seat in the third row, and studied the casket.
It seemed tiny compared to the person I remembered, and I couldn’t ignore the fact that, one day it would be me lying there.
It got me thinking about what qualifies as a dignified funeral.
As I studied the grieving family, the thought went through my mind that a funeral is more about those left behind than about the deceased.
Personally, I can’t be bothered whether you throw me in a cardboard box and dump me on a landfill site. But it’s never about us, is it? It’s about those left behind who have the need – or feel obligated – to celebrate our lives. The difference between these two depends on how you treated others while you were here.
So there’s two ways to plan your funeral:
- If no-one cares about you – Make it someone else’s problem, or
- If plenty of people care – Make it your problem.
But there’s always a catch with funeral policies, isn’t there?
You take the thing out, pay for years and years, finally notice the funny amount on your bank account, and decide to investigate (Or as one of my clients found out too late, his mom’s funeral policy paid the grand sum of R5, 000 towards her R30, 000 funeral cost after she’d had the policy for 30 years).
Back to our story.
Only then do you discover that the R50 a month coming off your account is for a funeral policy. You scratch out the policy from your filing cabinet and it says you’re covered for R10, 000.
Ten to one you’ve already invested R10, 000 in order to get R10, 000 for your funeral.
So it’s always a good thing to check up on it every now and again. In other words, shop around and find out what it costs elsewhere.
Companies that spring to my mind when it comes to funeral cover are:
- Clientele Life, and
Let’s take a quick look at the Hollard Funeral Plan.
So how much cover can you take out?
Hollard is offering you anywhere between R10, 000 and R75, 000 in funeral cover.
When happens if you die one day after taking out your Hollard funeral plan?
Let me ask you this: “What’s the first thing you’d make sure you have if you knew you would die in the next 3 months?”
I’m guessing you’re going to make sure you’ve got funeral cover, right? And I bet you’re going to buy as much of it as possible.
On as side note, I once had this lady looking for life insurance for her husband. No-one wanted to insure him, and she confided that she had taken out ten funeral policies on him.
To answer the question, Hollard will only cover accidental death during the first 12 months of your cover. As soon as your first contribution is received, you’re covered for immediate accidental death. No medicals required either.
Will Hollard increase my cover or must I call them everytime?
Hollard will automatically increase your cover by 6% every year.
While that sound great, it also leaves the door wide open for them to whack you with steep increases every year. So what they’ve done to give you peace of mind is to limit those increases to 10% every year.
So your increases could look something like this (Please note that the cost is illustrative only. You would need to call Hollard Funeral for an actual quote):
Notice how the gap between the actual proceeds and the amounts invested starts closing at year 17. At this point it might be worthwhile to shop around for more cost effective cover BUT first see if you still qualify for funeral cover. Remember that there are age limits on these things.
How long before I get my payout?
Within 48 hours of receiving all the documents.
Who can I add to my funeral plan?
The obvious people are:
- My partner whom I can also insure for up to R75, 000
- Up to 5 children are all included at one cost under the family funeral plan. Each of them is insured for up to R20, 000 all depending on age.
- If you’re fortunate to have more than 5 children then they can be added at a small additional cost
Then there are the not so obvious people who come as part of the package:
- Parents under the age of 75 can be insured for up to R20, 000 at an additional cost
And then there are the things no-one thinks about
Now don’t get me wrong here. These benefits come at additional cost, but they’re worth considering.
- For instance, would R2, 000 a month for 12 months help with things like groceries? Or what about the cost of transporting your children to school now that your partner’s no longer there? Hollard call it their Monthly Provider benefit.
- And what about the cost of that tombstone? Who really believes this will cost less than R10, 000? And who wants to get into debt a year after the funeral to pay for a tombstone? Hollard call it their Memorial Benefit, and it pays up to R10, 000 towards your – and your partners – tombstone one year after the burial.
- How about some help with paying your children’s university fees? Hollard call it their Educator Benefit, and it pays a maximum of R35, 000 for up to 5 children (until of course, ‘Fees must fall” makes this benefit redundant!)
- What about adding R150, 000 to your funeral cover as part of a Life Cover Benefit? Or R100, 000 paid if you (or your wife and kids) die or become disabled because of an accident. It’s called the Personal Accident Benefit.
- Then there’s the Vehicle Access Benefit which offers a rental car for 3 days with unlimited mileage along with one tank of fuel?
- Or how about R750 for each full day spent in hospital? Of course you must be in hospital for longer than three days in a row in order to qualify. This is their Daily Hospital Benefit.
- And finally there’s the Premium Back Benefit. Let’s say you’re the main life assured on the policy. All the premiums paid in on your life – from day 1 – are added onto your funeral benefit payout. If your spouse passes away then all the costs paid on the family portion of your cost, is added onto their funeral benefit payout.
What more can I say?
Hollard is a big company. You can trust that they’ll be around for many more years.
I’m not saying that they’ll always be the most competitive company when it comes to funeral policies, but I am saying that you should revisit your existing funeral policy every so many years. You don’t want to discover you’ve invested tons of money into something not worth the paper it’s written on.
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Until next time.
The InsuranceFundi Team