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Common Misunderstandings When it Comes to Funeral Benefits
Common Misunderstandings When it Comes to Funeral Benefits
31 May 2019

The latest Ombudsman for long term insurance report revealed that policyholders complained the most about funeral benefits of a funeral policy, but many didn’t understand what they were covered for.

The common mistake that most policyholders make is to take the first policy that is affordable, and then forgetting about it which can lead to issues later. We have put together the most essential points to get started when it comes to understanding funeral benefits.

Take time to read the T & C’s

When was the last time you read the terms and conditions of a contract, deal or competition? In detail? Reading the fine print of any contract can feel like you are having your eyelashes plucked out one at a time, but this could save you from many problems later. One of the prominent complaints that the Ombudsman found is that people had higher expectations of what their policy covered them for than what was stated on the terms and conditions. Only relying on the information that you have been told over the phone is not enough. That is why it is vital for you to read through the contract that has been sent to you which lists both waiting periods and exclusions.

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Understanding waiting periods

Every funeral policy has a waiting period. This is a time frame that must pass before the benefits kick in. This period will differ from insurer to insurer. For example, some policies could state that the benefits will only start after a period of 6 months, 9 months, or 12 months. This means that should you take out a policy that has a 6 month waiting period and you, or a beneficiary you have listed, happens to pass on during the six month period your claim will not be paid. This is something that trips up many people and can be painful, especially when they need the finances to bury their loved one.

There could be a cap on the amount for children

Funeral policies have come a long way compared to a couple of years ago. There are policies on the market that allow you to embed the funeral feature on your life insurance under one premium. You can also add beneficiaries to your policy and cover them for the same amount that you are covered for. However, there is a cap on the amount that you can cover children for. For example, newborns and children up to 5 years can only be covered for R10,000. It increases for children aged 6-14 years to R30,000 due to legislation. Reading the terms of the policy can give you better insight into the amount you are covered for and the exclusions that come with it.

It’s not a trap

According to the law, insurers cannot hide information that can affect your policy such as premiums and the amount that you are covered for. The fine print is there to help you understand what comes with the policy; what is covered, and what isn’t. It is also to protect you by ensuring that your insurer holds up their part of the deal when it comes to making a claim. Understanding the claim process can also make the process less daunting and frustrating for your loved ones when it comes to making a claim.


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Terms and conditions apply. Eligibility, cover and benefits are determined on individual risk profile. MiWayLife is an authorised FSP (No. 45741) and its product offering is underwritten by Sanlam Life Insurance Limited, a registered long-term insurer. MiWayLife is a division of Sanlam Life Insurance Limited - Reg No. 1998/021121/06