By Nchimunya Miyanda
Looking after family is a priority for most of us. You can never tell what is just around the corner – and most of us have received sudden news of a funeral in our family. We all generally agree that a funeral never knocks, we do not know when God will call us to the other side- and on this matter, we have no control whatsoever. It is therefore, important that you always protect yourself and family against financial stress that comes with funerals.
Death does not wait for you or your family to be financially stable or for your pay day for those that are in formal employment. It comes suddenly and can sometimes leave you in debt. Some people are breadwinners in their families and the burden of a funeral may rest entirely on them. For an average Zambian, funeral expenses can take a toll and this is why we usually rely on contributions from relatives and friends.
So why depend on others who may at times not come through as they may also have other pressing financial needs when you can have an insurance policy by just paying a small premium per month?
One of the most important steps to take in looking after your family is to take out a funeral cover, which can also include your extended family. This means that can depend on the insurance company to help you financially during a funeral and your family can also use the money to pay for your funeral. Below are some of the reasons why you should consider taking up funeral cover.
It pays for the funeral: Family funeral cover is used to pay for your funeral or the funeral of a loved one who is on your policy. The money your family receives upon your death or the death of your loved one will go a long way towards giving you or a departed member a dignified burial without stressing financially.
If you are the sole breadwinner, you will most likely worry about your family getting into debt when you pass away. Similarly, you might feel that having to pay for the funeral of a loved one will become too expensive for you to handle with your current finances. Not having the funds to give your parent or spouse a dignified funeral due to expenses will rob you of closure, so be sure to invest in funeral cover sooner rather than later and you will find that it will save you money in the long run.
Most family funeral cover options will payout within 48 hours of a death if it is due to natural causes, but others may require further investigation.
It is affordable: Many people assume that including the extended family in a funeral cover is expensive, but the truth is that funeral cover is quite affordable. Funeral monthly premiums are usually much lower than other types of insurance cover. Ensure you read the policy on how children above 21 years of age are treated.
Protection against any extra funeral expenses: Beyond the cost of the of the coffin/casket, funeral parlour and burial space, you also have to incur extras that includes food and transporting family members. A funeral cover will enable you not to use your savings, ask for contributions or borrow money for extra funeral expenses.
In conclusion, funeral cover should form part of your financial planning. You can never tell if death is just around the corner, and so you need to protect your family financially. This might sound impossible, especially during economic tough times like the current period of COVID 19, but you can do so by taking out insurance cover and ensuring that you save a small amount each month.
On a personal level, I did not pay much attention to funeral cover until the dismiss of an aunt a few years back. Her funeral was smooth in that most of the expenses were covered by the Insurance Company as she had funeral cover. Costs including coffins and other ancillary services such as transporting the body to the village for burial were taken care of by the insurer. This experience enabled me to appreciate the value of insurance and changed my perception about funeral cover – having a funeral insurance policy is neither courting death nor a taboo, it is good financial planning.
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The author is an inspector in the Insurance Prudential Unit at the Pensions and Insurance Authority.