If you are thinking about getting adequate funeral cover then give yourself some praise. When you look ahead to the future, it’s what’s best for your budget and even better for your family.
For many of us South Africans, retirement planning involves making decisions on how to make our money last into old age and beyond. One important part that is often overlooked when saving and pension planning begins is what money will be available for our families to pay our funeral costs?
These expenses can really add up and become quite a burden for family members. On top of having to wrap up your business affairs, you don’t want your family struggling to figure out how to pay for the funeral as well.
What funeral policy to buy is not such a simple decision. Like most other insurance policies, funeral cover has a language all of its own. Don’t worry – we’re here to help. We’ve taken the time to do all the homework for you. This funeral insurance guide will lead you through the process step by step, and at the end you can make a decision that’s perfect for you and your family.
What is Funeral Cover?
To put it simply, funeral cover is a life insurance policy that is specially designed to pay for your “final expenses”. Whatever funeral and burial arrangements your family need to provide for you – according to traditions and preferences – are covered by funeral insurance. You might also see it written as pre-need insurance, burial cover, or even funeral costs cover.
You might be thinking that all funeral policies are essentially the same. However, there are some differences and this guide is here to explain what they are for.
Best Funeral Covers in South Africa
1. Assupol Funeral
Assupol believe in planning ahead because your family matters. If you prioritize preparing for your passing then it won’t be a financial burden for the family. Assupol offer tailor-made funeral plans for South Africans. They really make it easy for you to gain peace of mind with only a few computer clicks to process the funeral plan you choose for yourself.
- Maximum benefit cover of R75 000 for the life insured and their spouse
- Lives covered can be spouses and up to 5 children
- Additional lives of extended family members can be added to your chosen plan up to the age of 79
Assupol Funeral have given a lot of thought into providing the best funeral cover for anyone who doesn’t want their family surprised by unexpected expenses. With the wide range of price and services options, they have a funeral plan to suit every budget and traditional funeral expense.
What We Like About Assupol Funeral:
- 80% of clients receive their funeral cost claim pay outs within 24 hours
- Funeral costs planning over the phone or from the comfort of your own home
- Plan can include more than simply funeral benefits
- Some benefits can be used during your lifetime
- Benefits can be added onto your policy at any time
2. Clientéle Funeral
Clientéle understand that planning for one’s own passing is a difficult thing to do. Clientéle Funeral Plans emphasise that your family shouldn’t have to stress about money to pay for your funeral at such an emotionally demanding time. You can choose from a range of plans to suit your requirements and budget.
- Plans start from R190 a month
- Pays out up to R100 000 individual cover
- Up to 13 extended family members covered on one plan
- You get R200 free airtime on payout to help organise funeral arrangements
- Double accident benefits available
- Funeral helpline for grief counselling, body repatriation, and where to find discount funeral rates
If you are like many of the South Africans out there who want to see a brochure before making a decision, then you will love the Clientéle Funeral website. You can download their Funeral Dignity Plan brochures to read at your leisure and they have also thoughtfully provided brochure downloads of their Terms & Conditions.
What We Like About Clientéle Funeral:
- Their Ultimate Dignity Plan pays back all premiums on top of the cover amount
- Money paid out within 24 hours of receipt of relevant documentation
- Clientéle’s emphasis on affordable funeral cover
- Up to R500 000 family cover
- Cover for 3 of your children at no extra cost
3. Sanlam Funeral iCover
Sanlam has long been a trusted name in insurance for South Africans. They suggest you begin with having a look at the accidental death cover and funeral cover. It is designed to provide your family with all the financial support they need in times of sorrow. What’s so convenient for those of us who don’t have the time to make dozens of phone calls, Sanlam give instant quotes online. They make it really easy to ensure you look after the ones you love.
- Up to R40 000 funeral cover with Family Funeral Plan
- An affordable R25 a month
- You can custom make your plan
- Cover for both spouse or partner
- Add a member or make changes at any time
- Majority of funeral claims paid out within 4 hours via online, phone, or call back request
With the options of buying one individual plan to provide funeral cover for your whole family, Sanlam extend a helping hand for anyone who needs convenient and affordable cover options. The easy to navigate website page where you can buy online or get a quote is a doddle for everybody to use. We really like that you can check it out without worrying about call backs from salespeople.
What We Like About Sanlam Funeral:
- Pay your monthly premiums via debit order
- Zero paperwork
- No medical tests required
- No sales call-backs
1Life believe that the worst thing anyone can do is to dip into their savings or borrow money when they have to pay for funeral expenses. That’s why 1Life offer flexible funeral cover between R10 000 and R50 000 for the main policy holder. Funeral cover between R5 000 and R50 000 is available for a spouse and additional family members. If you are in a traditional marriage partnership, you can include up to 2 spouses, 9 extended family members, and 5 children on one policy.
- Includes R5 000 memorial benefit
- Includes R6 000 groceries benefit
- Claims paid out after completing a successful claim application
- No premium increase for the first year
- Continuation option for spouse/s after death of main policy holder
Overall, 1Life seems to be one of the only funeral insurance providers who have considered the needs of those who have more than one spouse. Because they include a burial repatriation service from SADC countries (Southern African Development Community) which emphasises 1Life commitment to providing a truly African funeral cover service.
What We Like About 1Life:
- Pays out within 24 hours
- You choose the amount you can afford, and your premiums are calculated around that
- Cover continues for 24 months for other members after death of main policy holder – with no further premiums paid
- Immediate cover for accidental death
Hollard have thought to provide a wide range of funeral cover options. This is good news for South Africans who want to find a funeral plan to suit their pocket. With a choice from R10 000 to R75 000 payouts and proportional monthly payments, you can be sure to find a monthly payment with which you feel comfortable. After all, not everyone plans on having a big funeral nowadays.
What We Like About Hollard Funeral Cover:
- Their standard benefits include burial repatriation, airtime of R250, and legal assistance services
- Elite package allows you to stop paying funeral premiums when you reach the age of 65.
- You can cover your partner on some packages
- Memorial benefit for tombstone available
- Packages offer R2 000 paid to family for one year after your passing
- Lump sum payout of 20% of premiums after 5 years and every subsequent 5 years
Overall, Hollard offers an extremely comprehensive range of additional benefits. It seems that they have thought about any and every circumstance that might happen after your passing. We recommend having a thorough look at every benefit they have in addition to the standard package. Then you can tailor-make the perfect funeral package for you and your family’s needs.
- Moneyback benefit percentage after every 5 years
- Premium waiver benefit for family members if the policyholder passes before 65 years old
- Premium holiday benefit where you can skip December monthly payment after 1 year
- Vehicle access benefit to help with funeral arrangements
Capitec is not just one of South Africa’s favourite banking institutions, it also provides comprehensive funeral cover. You don’t have to bank with Capitec to make the most of their funeral policy, but you can pay up to 50% less if it happens that you do. When Capitec were looking for a life insurance Company to underwrite their funeral cover for customers, they chose Centriq Life: a trusted name in life insurance with excellent ratings.
- Can cover one spouse, 4 parents/in-laws, 8 children, and 8 extended family members on one plan
- You can simply tell Capitec what you can afford, and they will calculate a plan for you
- Premiums never increase automatically
- Claims can be made through a branch or 24 hour Client Care Customer Centre
- Able to pause and then restart policy for up to 6 months
Overall, Capitec stand by allowing their customers to take control of the amount they wish to pay each month. It is this unique combination of high cover payout amounts, accessible premiums, and number of lives covered by one policy that has made Capitec’s the fastest growing funeral plan chosen by South Africans today.
Things We Like About Capitec Funeral Cover:
- If you apply for it using the Capitec app, you get lower premiums
- Decide how much funeral cover you want and premiums calculated on that
- Able to choose a premium to fit your budget
- Up to R100 000 cover for yourself
- You can add up to 21 dependents on your policy
How to Choose the Right Funeral Cover for you?
It isn’t the easiest thing to plan for your funeral expenses, but going online to look at all of your best options is the first step. Once you have made up your mind which funeral insurance provider is the perfect one for you, you can go ahead and make arrangements.
Here is an easy step by step guide how to choose funeral cover with no hassle or stress.
Step One: You Need to Estimate What Will Be Your Final Expenses (Funeral Costs)
Your first step on the path to choosing the best funeral cover is to figure out approximately how much your family will need to cover your end of life costs. The expense of the funeral is the first thing most folks think about because it is definitely the largest single cost.There are other funeral expenses to consider though. Think about remaining medical expenses, legal fees, cost of living increases, and credit card bills. That’s only a few of the incidental payments your family will face after your passing.
Step Two: Work Out if Your Funeral Cover Amount Will Be Enough
You might need some help in working out how much money will be spent on funeral arrangements. If your family prefer a religious or traditional funeral, these may cost more than an average send off. Remember that your bank and savings accounts will be tied up for a while in something called probate. If that money is not available to pay for things, your family needs access to your funeral cover payout.
Step Three: Look Beyond Paying for the Funeral
Referring back to the probate, if your other money is tied up in a savings account, you will need to think about your family’s needs beyond simply paying for the funeral. Funeral cover is not intended to provide your family with any supplemental income (extra money) – it’s only to cover funeral arrangements and costs.If you want to ensure your family are provided for afterwards, you need to get regular life insurance too.
Step Four: It Might Suit You to Get Funeral Cover Over the Phone
South African Funeral Cover Providers understand the difficulties many of us have to get to an office in town somewhere to sign papers or get a medical check-up. That’s why many enable you to choose funeral cover online or over the phone. When you do this, make sure that you understand everything that you are agreeing to first.At the same time, find out if it’s you who has to arrange for the monthly debit order or if the debit order will be arranged by the funeral cover provider. If they arrange for it, check that this is possible with your bank first. Many policy holders think their cover has started when it has, in fact, been held up on the bank’s side.
Step Five: Answer Questions Truthfully
If you are applying for funeral cover online or over the phone, always be truthful with your answers. Any pre-existing conditions, whether you smoke or have a dangerous job, and your correct age are some of the questions for which insurance companies need to have the accurate data.If you prefer it, you can choose to get a funeral cover policy that requires a physical examination first. This is sometimes an added benefit, as the examination is for free. You will need to have transport to where the medical professional who does the exam is based.
Step Six: Watch Out For Restriction Periods
Some funeral insurance begins from the time you agree to their terms and conditions. Other policies have a restriction period. This means that the policy doesn’t kick in or go into effect for a certain period of time. It could be anything from 3 months to 3 years in some cases. During this time, you won’t be covered if anything should happen to you. Or it might mean that only sudden or accidental deaths are covered. The upside of having a restriction period is that the monthly premiums will be lower.
Step Seven: Check and Double Check that Your Funeral Cover is for As Long As You Need
When you are looking at Funeral Cover options, the most basic decision you should make is for how long will the policy be in effect? If you live to be 100 years old, will you have to pay monthly premiums up until that time? You need to make sure your funeral coverage is in effect at the time of your death and that you can afford the monthly deductions throughout the period.
Step Eight: Check that Your Funeral Cover Doesn’t Link You to One Funeral Service
If you have specific funeral arrangements, such as a religious or traditional funeral, check that your policy allows you to choose your own funeral service provider. Consider using a recommended funeral home if possible, as they will have better pricing options. While you are about it, check that your policy is staying abreast of funeral home inflation costs.
Step Nine: Always, Always Choose an Amount You Can Afford
As much as we want to save our family from the expense of paying for an costly funeral, it’s just as important to choose a monthly premium that you can comfortably afford. It might be better to start off with a modest amount for funeral cover, and then increase it as you earn more money, as you get older, or as your family grows.In this way, you will have that safety net in case of unexpected accidents, but you will also be living within your budget at the current moment. If you ever find it a problem to make your monthly premium payments, contact your funeral insurance provider immediately and discuss the situation with them.
This is why we recommend these outstanding South African funeral cover policy providers – because they are the best ones around, in our estimation.
Keep in mind that the exact price of your funeral cover ultimately depends on your own unique details and needs. That’s why the only way to get a better idea of what your monthly premiums will be is to get a quote.