The importance of funeral cover

Consumers who don’t adequately plan for post funeral expenses may find themselves having to borrow money to cover tombstone unveiling costs.

Lee Bromfield, CEO of FNB Life, said that post funeral expenses which can cost up to 50 per cent of the initial funeral expense can put significant financial pressure on dependants.

“Many people overlook this expense when taking out funeral cover, resulting in tombstone unveiling costs being paid out of pocket or through loans.”

A tombstone unveiling is an important ceremony used to remember and honour the life and final resting place of a deceased loved one. A majority of consumers who take out funeral cover often hold an unveiling ceremony immediately after a funeral, in order to cut costs, or a year later after the grieving period.

Bromfield said organising this type of ceremony can be expensive as families have to cater for tombstone costs which can range anything from R4 000 to R35 000, transport for family members, food and catering, flowers and tents, amongst other expenses.

“These costs can set back a family financially if they were not factored in when taking out funeral insurance.”

When a family is dealing with the loss of a loved one, it becomes challenging to plan for the funeral and tombstone unveiling at the same time, as the latter usually doesn’t take preference until the grieving process ends.

“It is advisable for consumers to consider the tombstone unveiling costs immediately when taking out funeral insurance or reviewing their cover. This should be followed by a broader discussion with their family or dependants on the type of tombstone unveiling they would prefer and whether the cover allocated will be enough,” said Bromfield.

This goes a long way to helping a family plan and budget for the tombstone unveiling ceremony without having to worry about costs.

“Having to borrow money or paying from your own pocket to cater for tombstone unveiling costs defeats the purpose of having funeral insurance, as the cover was initially taken out to ensure that those left behind do not carry the financial burden.”

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