funeral insurance new zealand - compare funeral cover plans   

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Are there restrictions on what funeral insurance NZ payouts can be used for?

Posted on 9 October, 2017 at 6:30 Comments comments (0)

For Funeral Insurance in New Zealand there are absolutely no restrictions on how the claim money can be spent. Claims are paid out as a cash lump sum to the person who was nominated as the beneficiary of the funeral cover when the policy was commenced.

Some overseas style funeral insurance policies are tied to specific costs, so you have to present invoices to the funeral plan provider for reimbursement for the coffin, service, flowers etc. But there is no such requirement if you have a standard Funeral cover NZ. The cash can be used for whatever purpose, sometimes this even extends to helping family members if they have to fly in from overseas, clearing some small debt like credit cards or a loan.  

As the money is paid to the nominated beneficiary to use it is important to choose this person carefully. Usually the beneficiary is a spouse, adult son or daughter or a trusted friend. Remember too that you can alter this person at any time if your circumstances change. Make sure you always give a copy of the funeral insurance NZ document to your trusted person so that when the time comes they know who the insurer is and have all the contact details, policy numbers etc. 

We also suggest a one off chat occurs about what you want to happen at the time of your funeral. It is not a fun subject I know but better to sign off any final wishes in case you do not get an opportunity to do so later. Even simple things like cremation or burial, what sort of service you want are worth discussing just so there is no confusion later, maybe even after you are gone.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

Cigna Funeral Insurance, AA Funeral Cover versus the rest? What are the options out there?

Posted on 2 October, 2017 at 19:35 Comments comments (0)

If you watch a bit of day time day TV you are likely to have seen more than your fair share of ads for Funeral Insurance NZ, in fact ads such as some from Cigna Life for their Cigna Funeral Cover are not particularly well thought of. A recent ad for Cigna Funeral Insurance did not fair so well in the Fair Go best and worst ads but that was probably a bit harsh. It is not so much people that do not see value in funeral insurance it is likely just that people prefer not to have this topic shoved doen their throats in the manner those ads rightly or wrongly portray.  .

AA Life also advertise quite a bit on TV so between the AA Funeral Cover and the Cigna Funeral Insurance you are likely to think of those two insurers prominently when considering funeral insurance in NZ. But just because they have the big pockets for advertising does not necessarily mean they are the only, or best, options. While it is sensible to consider these insurers in any decision making you should also understand there are a number of other very good potential funeral plans available. 

Funeral Insurance is often promoted by more niche, specialist, insurers. Some of the larger NZ insurers do not actively promote funeral cover or they sell a product under a different brand name. So, you do not often see the likes of Sovereign, nib, Tower, AMP promoting funeral cover NZ. They may have a product but you may not easily come across it which means they are not that keen on you buying it. 

Some smaller, or niche, insurers such as Pinnacle Life, Greenwich Life, Legacy Life come in to play as options that are worth adding to the mix when deciding on your funeral insurance. They all have unique features and pricing so are often good alternatives to the likes of the Cigna Funeral Cover or the AA Funeral Cover.

For a full comparison of these, and other, funeral covers please view the funeral insurance comparison page of our website. .

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ   

Why do funeral insurance NZ premiums differ so much from one funeral plan to another?

Posted on 22 September, 2017 at 6:00 Comments comments (0)

If you are comparing funeral cover NZ quotes across a range of insurers it will become obvious very quickly that the range between the most expensive and the cheapest funeral plan can be significant. And often, when it comes to funeral insurance the plans are not too different from insurer to insurer. Most expensive does not always mean the best and cheapest does not always mean the worst.  

Some insurers tend to be naturally expensive, they may have big high street offices, lots of staff, high advertising costs and think of themselves as a high value brand. So they deliberately position themselves at that end of the market when setting premiums.There are other insurers who could be referred to as no frills ie they are smaller, or niche insurers and who do not advertise so much. 

Both could perfectly meet your requirements. But you need to be aware that there are differences between insurers and factor that in to your decision making process. Some insurers also reflect their own claim statiistis in to settting premiums. For example, insurer A may have had very bad experiences with claim numbers for smokers of a certain age or sex. So, they might load premiums for those people, whereas insurer b may have had a very good claims experience with the same group of people so they may set entirely different premiums for them. 

When you buy funeral insurance, or any insurance type for that matter, you do need to compare at least 2 insurers but often we recommend at least 3 or 4. If you have heard of one particular insurer and look at their quotes without checking other insurers you could very well find yourselves paying a lot more than you should be. 

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

How easy is it to claim on funeral insurance NZ?

Posted on 15 September, 2017 at 6:20 Comments comments (0)

Good news!, making a funeral insurance claim is really easy. But it needs to be right? at that time the last thing you want is any hassle from any insurance company. Funeral Insurance is designed to be simple right from the quoting and application stage to the claim stage. 

When the funeral cover is first arranged you will have nominated a beneficiary which will typically be your spouse, son, daughter or trusted friend. We encourage people to provide a copy of the funeral insurance policy to the beneficiary, together with some thoughts on their funeral plans, so that the beneficiary can take immediate action come claim time. 

The beneficiary in the first instance should ring the insurance company and advise the policy details and confirm the insured person has passed away. The insurance company will assist, and from our experience in a compassionate and fair manner. Typically they will send you an email with a short ist of requirements.

In fairness to the insurance company they will need some speciifc information to meet the legal requirements to justify a claim. One helplful thing is that funeral insurance is not dependant on medical disclosure so there is virtually no reason why any sort of 'non disclosure' issue can arise from when the policy was issued. Your beneficiary will need to provide sufficent, legal, evidence of the death. A death certificate is the number one, and best, document to provide but that is not always available immediately. In most instances the insurer will also accept a letter from the presiding Specialist. 

As it is a legal matter a claim from will need completion, but is it a simpe one, and also evidence the prove the beneficiary is the 'true' person ie just to prove you are the person nominated at the time the policy commenced. You will probably be asked for your passport or drivers license. 

Other than that it should be simple, simple! 

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ 

To apply for funeral insurance NZ online what information do I need to provide?

Posted on 2 September, 2017 at 6:45 Comments comments (0)

Funeral Insurance in New Zealand is one of the more simple insurance plans as it is guaranteed acceptance. Therefore the questions asked are not invasive or extensive like many life insurance or health insurance application forms are. With funeral plans you do not need to disclose any previous or current health issues. 

So, the first part of any application is really just to collect basic personal information such as your name, address, contact phone numbers, email address, date of birth, male of female, citizenship / residency status and a question to confirm that you live in New Zealand at the time of the application. 

Some insurers seek your height and weight for premium rating purposes but the majority do not. Some applications will also include a security type question that they would then always ask you when you make an enquiry. This is to ensure your privacy is not breached. 

Typically the next question is the level of cover sought and who you wish to nominate to be the beneficiary of your claim money. You will be asked for their name, address, date of birth and usually contact details but we know that last part alters from time to time. It is also important to note that you can alter the beneficiary at any time in the future if your circumstances change. 

You will then be presented with an online declaration that you need to 'sign' which in keeping with online type applications is done via tick the box process, The person being insured must be present to tick the box, it cannot be done by a family member on their behalf as it could prejudice the application as it would amount to a false declaration (ie some signing something they are not legally able to do). Power of Attorney situations are an exception and you need to discuss with us first.

Finally you will be asked to choose a payment method which could be direct debit, credit card or in some instances internet banking / automatic payment. Each online funeral insurance application will present all available payment options to you. In most instances your payment is then sorted online then and there.

After applying online you will then receive a confirmation email (typically) with the policy details and wording. So, really it could not be easier to apply for funeral insurance in NZ. 

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ 

If you prefer to pay your funeral insurance by internet banking or automatic payment we can assist.

Posted on 14 August, 2017 at 2:55 Comments comments (0)

Paying for your funeral cover NZ by direct debit is the only option most funeral insurers offer. But many people on a fixed superannuation or lower income find this option unsatisfactory to fit in with their budgetting. It also seems that the older we get the more we prefer to manage payments such as insurance ourselves. There seems a mistrust in direct debits and it also does not allow for the same level of flexibility to the customer. 

One of the funeral insurance NZ providers we often find is on our list of recommendations will allow you to pay your funeral cover by internet banking or an automatic payment. The premiums are no more than if you pay by direct debit but it allows you to be in control. The only requirements on you is to make your premium payment before the end of the month it is due. Other than that you can make it any time to fit in with your salary, superannuation or to work around any bllls you might have, especially those unforeseen ones that might have otherwise cause a direct debit to fail. 

For many people buying funeral insurance this is very beneficial. If you complete our online enquiry form below we will be sure to include details about this payment option (and insurer) when we respond with funeral plan premium quotations, recommendations and any other general information.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

Funeral Insurance NZ for those aged 70 and over, what is best funeral cover NZ?

Posted on 8 August, 2017 at 6:50 Comments comments (0)

We do get a lot of funeral insurance enquiries from those aged 70 and over. It probably makes some sense that people of these ages are very likely to be mindful of what may come about in the next chapter of their lives and to start preparing to make sure that things like their funeral costs are going to be looked after. Many such people are also on a tight budget sadly. 


While the cost of Funeral Cover NZ is a big consideration regardless of your age it is fair to say that after age 70 it is even more important. As with all insurances there is a cost and with funeral plans the biggest factor in determining the premium is age. Premiums are largely dictated to by average life expectancy, so a 50 year old will pay a ot less than a 70 or 75 year old. 

If you are aged 70 plus, unfortunately there is no getting around the fact that premiums will be quite high. For that reason we do tend to recommend the lower sum insured levels of maybe up to $7500. This at least keeps the cost to the lowest it can be. The good news with funeral plans is that the premiums are fixed so at least you know what you are going to pay longterm, it is not going to creep up every year as you age. 

Also, very importantly for our age 70 plus customers we strongly recommend only purchasing a funeral cover that has premiums that stop being paid at a certain age (say 85?) but where the cover then continues for free thereafter. If you are aged, say 70 to 75, and know that you will only pay to age 85 and then it is free then that is an enormous benefit to you in the long term. We have access to such insurer options and when you enquire we will definitely provide options that include this premium cut off. With some big funeral insurance providers you just pay until claim time, so you could still be paying at 90 plus etc which is ridiculous. 

If you are aged 70 or more please let us help you to find a funeral plan that is the best available, it may still be unaffordable for some but we will do our best to come up with something for you to consider. 

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

Cigna Funeral Insurance v. AA Funeral Cover v Pinnacle Funeral Plan?

Posted on 29 July, 2017 at 3:05 Comments comments (0)

If you do a quick funeral insurance search of google NZ you will see 3 funeral cover NZ providers close to the top of page 1 nearly all the time. Cigna Funeral Insurance (or Cigna Funeral cover), AA Funeral Cover and Pinnacle Life Funeral Cover are 3 of the dominant players on the area of Funeral Insurance online advertising. So let's do a quick comparison of their products (where some obvious differences are known);

Cover levels and age entry points;

  • Cigna Funeral Insurance; ages 50 to 85, cover from $5000 to $30000
  • AA Funeral Cover; ages 50 to 79, cover from $5000 to $30000
  • Pinnacle Life Funeral Cover; ages 30 to 75, cover from $7500 to $25000

Premiums payable until what ages? (then free thereafter)

  • Cigna Funeral Insurance; until age at claim time
  • AA Funeral Cover; until age 90
  • Pinnacle Life Funeral Cover; until age 85


I am 60 and have Life Insurance, why might Funeral Insurance be a better option?

Posted on 23 July, 2017 at 3:40 Comments comments (0)

We get a lot of people with current Life Insurance enquire about Funeral Insurance, especially as they reach 60-65 (or older). It is a very common, and understandable, question and tends to be asked on renewal of the life cover when a customer sees a year on year increase of 10%, 15% or even more. Unless your premium was fixed until a certain age, life premiums are based on your current age so the older you are the higher the premium. And of course each year you become older so the premium rises. 

So, you get an anniversary notice with another big increase on top of all those in previous years. Where to from there? For those who maybe no longer have debt or do not feel the need to provide a lump sum for any other family members then they often consider it best to alter cover to just pay the costs of a funeral. A funeral cover then springs to mind, often in the hope of lower premiums too. 

In some cases funeral insurance premiums will be cheaper than you are currently paying for your life insurance but that depends on the levels of cover. But there is one major difference, that is the funeral plan premiums are fixed for life when you commence the cover. So, on day one the premiums may be higher than what you alre already paying but they are not going to go up year on year as you age. At the time of considering this new funeral cover you must also remember your life premiums will go up and up and up and eventually may simply become unaffordable, often at the time you need it most. 

The issue we see nearly every time someone consders a move from life insurance to funeral insurance is this cost complication, particularly where the life cover is still cheaper at that time of consideration. All you really can do is to try and project costs out and make a decision based on fixing premiums now or just carrying on with life cover. It is often really tricky with no obvious answer. If you leave the funeral insurance for a few more years then it will be more expensive ongoing at that time because it will be based on your new, older, age. 

If we can help you with some numbers we are happy to do so, might make the decision making easier.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

Real life example of a funeral insurance being a benefit to the family

Posted on 14 July, 2017 at 5:20 Comments comments (0)

About 5 years ago we arranged a funeral cover for Viliami who was 67 year old and living in Auckland. His wife had died a year earlier and he was now living with his son and family. The family did not have funeral insurance for Viliami's wife and the costs associated with the funeral were close to $20000 as there some family members from Samoa who wanted to attend the funeral in New Zealand but needed help with money for fights. Viliami and close family mainly borrowed from other family and also needed a high interest personal loan as well. 

So sadly, on top of the loss of a wife and mother the family also had a loan for 3 years to worry about too. To prevent this situation again funeral cover was arranged for Viliami. His son assisted with the paperwork (but Viliami had to sign as the person being insured) and he was also shown as the nominated beneficiary. The son also set himself up as the person to make the premium payments but other family were going to pay in his bank account to share the cost. The funeral cover insurance was taken for $20000 as they knew that again they would need to help some Samoa based family fly to New Zealand for the ceremony as well as paying for all other costs. The monthly premiums were affordable for the extended family to pay and they then had peace of mind for the future.

We heard recently that Viliami had passed away. But his son did call us sometime after the funeral to let us know that the funeral insurance money had come through within a few days and that it had helped everyone so much when they were trying to cope with all the other sadness with his fathers passing. 

It is quite common that with Pacific Island families they experience quite high funeral costs because of the expense to bring family members from overseas. Funeral Insurance is of great benefit to help pay for this. And as funeral insurance premiums can be paid by any family member it is easy to arrange cover and have various family member helplng in the cost of the insurance. 

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ