Sandile Xolo - Preparing For The Inevitable Is A Priority In Tight Financial Times
Sandile Xolo, marketing and communications manager at Ithala SOC Ltd. says, "Funeral cover is the most soughtafter insurance in the country.
Death remains an inevitable part of the human journey, making funeral cover a necessity." With South African consumers under considerable pressure in a tough economic environment, a funeral cover is the most cost-effective way to prepare for the inevitable and to ensure peace of mind.
There are over 50 registered funeral insurance providers in South Africa and the industry grows rapidly each year. The inaugural Funeral Indaba in 2017 found that the industry is worth between R7-10 billion. Whilst the majority of schemes are affordable, the saturated market makes it imperative for consumers to select a funeral cover that will best meet their needs.
The Consumer Protection Services receives countless complaints against various notable funeral insurance providers from dissatisfied clients.
"The most common complaints that we receive relate to consumers not receiving cash in hand when they make claims; policies that pay out much less than what was promised; and policies that don't pay out at all," said Tereza Naude, Assistant Director of Consumer Complaints at Consumer Protection Services.
Financial services provider, Ithala SOC Ltd, emphasises the importance of submitting all required documentation when lodging a claim as failure to do so will result in the claims process being stalled which subsequently impacts pay-out.
"The turnaround time for processing a claim can be as little as 48 hours but it is dependent on the client providing us with all the necessary documentation. Lodging a claim should be as easy as possible and it simply requires the client to visit any one of our branches to do so," said Xolo.
Xolo added that this would help to determine the need for exercising other policy benefits such as counselling. "Inflation also largely impacts the monthly premiums," he said.
"When choosing a funeral plan, the most important questions to ask yourself are:
Who you want the policy to cover?
What expenses you would like the insurance to take care of, such as groceries and the tombstone?
How much you can afford to pay on a monthly basis?
What impact that the particular covered member's death would have on the family?"
The cost of a funeral currently can range anywhere between R15 000 and R200 000, which most families are unable to raise upfront in the event of a loved one suddenly passing away.
"When a family tries to adjust to living without a loved one, the last thing they should have to worry about is how they will remain afloat financially. You can take out a benefit that will pay monthly instalments to your family over a 12-month period, after your passing. The premiums are generally affordable, depending on the monthly amount that the family would receive."