The high cost of funerals will come as a nasty shock to anyone that has not had to deal with this kind of thing before.

If you haven’t given this much thought before, it is best that you start thinking about it now. A funeral can cost anything up to R50 000, when considering the cost of tombstone and custom considerations.

So, on top of trying to cope with the grief involved with such an occasion, you still need to worry about coming up with the costs to cover the funeral. Very often this can lead to debt that at times can be hard to get out of.

Added interest onto loan payments make it exceedingly difficult to extricate yourself from the spiraling debt trap, especially with low-income groups.

Work it into your budget

Taking out a funeral cover policy will put paid to such worries, but the fact is that it is still necessary to fork out a monthly payment. The good news is that many of the policies have a very low monthly payment option so you will be able to work it into your budget without too much juggling.

The best advice is to investigate all the funeral cover policies out there – and there are many. Are there any that will take advantage of you? Yes, there are, as in anything that’s available “out there”.

Look at all the options and go online to see what’s been written about them. Any recognised name, like the big insurance companies, are safe bets. It’s when you get into the smaller, never-heard-of guys that you could encounter problems. Be careful.

What to look out for

You still, though, must find a policy that suits your needs and that you can afford. Here’s what to look for in a funeral policy:

  • Make sure the policy is from a financial services provider that is registered with the Financial Services Board.
  • Make sure of the benefits that the plan provides. Speak to the people who are administering the policy and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Go through the fine print with them and ask them to explain anything that you are unsure of.
  • You must know how long it will take for the policy to pay out. This is vital for the peace of mind of your family.
  • Find out if the policy has any other benefits besides the funeral costs. Some policies have great benefits, such as having access to doctors, optometrists and dentists; an amount of time for cellphone use, and monthly groceries covered for a period after the funeral.
  • Also find out if the benefits increase as time goes on. Useful to know so the amount you are covered for keeps pace with inflation.

Only after you have done your research properly, and not followed the first SMS you get from a financial provider you have never heard of, can you work out the finer details. Don’t let your payments for your policy lapse. You will be leaving your family in dire circumstances.

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