How can my Funeral Cover claim proceeds be spent?

Posted on 21 February, 2018 at 23:35

A nice simple answer here, the money can be spent any way you want. The insurer will promptly credit your chosen person with the cover amount as a tax free cash amount. This is paid directly to their bank account as soon as all claim documents are approved. The involvement of the funeral plan provider then ceases, they are not involved in distribution of money which happens in some overseas funeral insurance type policies.

We always recommend the person taking out the cover has a good talk with their beneficiary, when the policy is taken out, so everything is understood in terms of what the funeral cover money is subsequently to be used for.

While the simple answer is that the claim money goes to pay all your funeral costs that is not all it is typically used for. Our customers have told us that other reasons for talking funeral insurance include the following;

Firstly, and of no surprise is that your funeral costs such as any cost of cremation or burial are fundamental uses of funeral insurance together with paying for the service. Often there will be a gathering (where the funeral is held or at a private home) and they can be significant costs when catering for a large group.

It is not unusual to have family or close friends who live in Australia, Pacific Islands or just elsewhere in New Zealand. So it is common to take a higher sum insured to provide funds to help people travel at short notice where the costs can be high. Cover of up to $25000 is often sought to help for this reason. Particularly so for our NZ based Pacific Islands clients who will have some family residing overseas more often than not.

There is also a chance the customer may leave behind some small debt, eg a personal loan, hp or credit card debt. So, by taking a small amount of extra funeral cover that debt can be repaid at the same time as all other costs are being handled.

For these main reasons it is vital the insured person and their named beneficiary have spoken about any expectations to make sure the funeral insurance money can be used as ideally as possible.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ



What makes Funeral Insurance in New Zealand so attractive to the 60 plus age group?

Posted on 19 February, 2018 at 21:40

Customers often let us know that one of the real advantges of funeral insurance is that the premiums are set at the time the policy starts. So they know exactly how much the funeral plan premiums will be when they choose to purchase the insurance. There are no annual increases as you get older and no unexplained increases because the insurance company suddenly makes a change to their premiums.

Insurance clients aged 60 plus are the most heavily affected by age related increases to premiums with life insurance and health insurance in particular, so the certainty of funeral insurance premiums is very benefical to them. Funeral Insurance cover has a big advantage over other insurances because the ongoing premiums are known upfront with no hidden surprises. You can then make an easier decision whether to buy a funeral cover or not knowing this at the start. .

A further reason for funeral cover NZ to be so attractive is how easily it is to obtain. Funeral Insurance is guaranteed acceptance for NZ citizens and residents who now live in New Zealand. You just need to meet the age entry points of the insurer for your application to be accepted. You are not asked about your medical history or any other criteria that will influence whether funeral cover can be accepted or not. This is different to life insurance and health insurance that asks for full disclosure of all lifetime medical matters.

Funeral Insurance applications are easy. Many funeral plans can be applied for online and if not then it is a simple one page type application form.

Funeral Cover customers also appreciate that the claims are paid out as a lump sum to your chosen person very promptly. Typically within 48 hours of all required documentation being supplied to the insurer the claim proceeds are in the hands of your beneficiary so they can pay the funeral expenses promptly and without any stress.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

If I currently have funeral insurance (held for some time) am I likely to find a new funeral cover NZ that is better for me?

Posted on 11 February, 2018 at 5:20

Usually the answer to this question is NO. If you currently have a standard funeral insurance then the odds of being able to replace it with a new funeral plan on better terms and premiums now is low. This comment assumes your current funeral cover has been in existance for at least a few years.

There are two main reasons your current funeral cover may be better value;

1. All ‘standard’ funeral insurance policies sold currently come with a two year stand-down period for claims arising from death by natural causes (death by accident has no stand-down). So if you take a new policy today then you will have another 2 year stand-down period to go through. So, if you are already passed this period with your current insurance then this is a serious disadvantage. We do not recommend you start again with the stand-down period unless the premiums or other terms of a new policy are so beneficial that they outweigh the disadvantage of a new stand-down period being taken. Another valid reason to change funeral insurance could be if your existing one has a date or age it automatically ceases.

2 Currently sold funeral insurance premiums are based on your age at the time that  the policy commences. So, if you are 65 then there is a premium based on that age. And if you are 55 there is a lower premium based on that age. So, if you are now 65 and you took a policy out 10 years ago (at age 55) then the premiums you are paying now will, most likely, be set at that original age of 55. Standard funeral insurance premiums are fixed for life so that policy bought 10 years ago should be cheaper than buying now as you get the advantage from buying at a younger age. An exception to this rule could be if your current policy does not in fact have fixed for life premiums.

It is very rare we find a new funeral cover is better than your current one but if you want to check just in case then please complete our online enquiry form. Also, if your current funeral plan was only taken out very recently, say in the last few months, then better options almost certainly exist.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

Cigna Funeral Cover alters their funeral insurance age entry points and cut of age for premiums

Posted on 30 January, 2018 at 21:35

Cigna Funeral Insurance is now available to those aged 45 to 80 at the time of policy commencement (this was previously 50 to 85). Premiums previously were paid until claim time however they now cease at age 85 with cover free thereafter on ther currently sold products. .

By way of comparion the AA Funeral Plan has entry ages of 50 to 79 and the same age of 90 for the premium cut off point and Pinnacle Life Funeral Plan has entry ages of 30 to 75 with a lower age for premiums ceasing (85) and cover free thereafter.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

Cigna Funeral Cover, AA Funeral Cover, AMI Funeral Cover, State Funeral Insurance, Pinnacle Life Funeral Plan, Fidelity Life Funeral Cover, Greenwich Life Funeral Cover, Partners Life Funeral Cover and on and on it goes!!!!!

Posted on 24 January, 2018 at 2:50
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Questions for Funeral Insurance NZ?

Where do you even start to decide the best funeral insurance NZ for you?. There are some very well known funeral insurance brands out there like the Cigna Funeral Insurance or the AA Funeral Plan, who advertise extensiv

ely (and in the case of Cigna Funeral Cover even winning an unflattering Fair Go award). But while they are well known brands with big advertising budgets they are by no means the only funeral insurance options out there.

A number of the biggest mainstream life insurers either do not sell funeral insurance or if they do it is tucked away in a corner somewhere not easily found as it is not their core business. In fact, some the best funeral cover NZ options to consider alongside the likes of AA Funeral Plan and Cigna Funeral Plan are the funeral plans offered by niche insurers. These are smaller, often not so well-known insurers who specialise in certain covers as opposed to offering every thing to every body.

The likes of Pinnacle Life, Legacy Life, Greenwich Life may fall in to this category. They each have funeral insurance policies that have a point of difference and may suit you better than the options only from the big players. The fact some insurers specialise in few products often means you get better products with unique policy benefits, more knowledgeable service and good premiums.

You may also get more user friendly payment options like internet banking / automatic payments (that are usually frowned upon by the biggest insurers) to go with the unique benefits. When choosing funeral insurance we always recommend you have a look at at least 3 funeral plans before deciding on who to insure with. Funeral Insurance premiums and policy benefits definitely do differ from insurer to insurer and you can save save significant money by spending a little extra time at the start reviewing the options.

We can help you with that too, our free service automatically provides comparative information for you as part of our standard service, We will provide product comparisons to help you. We have already done the running around so you do not have to. We will also reasearch, and advise you, of the best premiums from the extensive panel of NZ funeral insurance providers that we have access to.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

Can I assist family members to arrange Funeral Insurance?

Posted on 24 January, 2018 at 2:30

We know that due to medical reasons it is sometimes not possible for the person needing to be insured to also be physically or mentally able to make an application themselves for funeral insurance. We often hear from family members wanting to arrange cover for those who may suffer from dementia (or similar) or some form of physical illness.

In most instances a person to be insured must sign an application form or if it is done online they must sign/tick an online declaration. So, this prevents some people beng able to do this. If you have full power of attorney you can sign an application form on behalf of that person. You can also be the claim beneficiary and the person to make payments. The insurance company would need a copy of the Power of Attorney document but that is really the only inconvenience. We can guide you through that process.

If a person to be insured cannot understand and sign documents plus there is no Power of Attorney then we do have an option for funeral insurance if they are aged 30 to 70. This insurer allows you to sign the documents as a ‘policy owner’ so in fact it allows you to arrange cover with little or no difficulty. The person being insured need not even know cover has been arranged. This is also good in some instances we come across where a person simply is not interested whatsoever in having cover but ther spouse or family may see things a little differently. In these cases the only criteria is that you are close family, usually a spouse, son, daughter, parent or sibling.

In the past we have had the odd instance of a family member signing up for standard funeral cover for another person, maybe their parents and they sign for them or do it online for them. This is not allowable and will invalidate any insurance as the declaration becomes invalid as it is not the insured person actually signing. It is often done with genuine intent but can cause major problems later. There is nothing wrong however with you are assisting / completing the online application for someone if they are present and next to you and they read the declaration area before the application is finalised. So, you can help then arrange funeral cover in this manner.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

Why are the Cigna Funeral Plan, AA Funeral Plan, Pinnacle Life Funeral Plan and others so different from each other?

Posted on 24 December, 2017 at 5:20

If you are comparing leading funeral covers NZ you are likely to be drawn to big insurers like AA Life with their AA Funeral Plan, and the Cigna Funeral Insurance at Cigna Life. They are big spenders on TV ads so they quite possibly are names you will think of first when considering funeral insurance. You may also think of names like State Insurance and AMI Insurance even though they mainly sell house, contents and car insurance.

They are options to consider but funeral insurance is actually quite a niche market so there are plenty of other funeral plans out there from insurers you maybe do not recognise so well, if at all. Some just sell funeral covers or a small range of life insurance type products that try to have a point of difference than the bigger name brands have. They are quite often very worthwhile checking out, expecially we find for funeral insurance. Likewise some of the biggest life insurers do not actively promote their funeral plans in the same way as they do for life insurance.

Some of these niche type funeral plans that are worth at least reading up on are the Pinnacle Life Funeral Plan and covers from the likes of Partners Life, Greenwich Life and Legacy Life. They all have points of dfference so their funeral covers vary and ther premiums can also be quite different from one insurer to the next. Fidelity Life have two funeral type plans, one their funeral fund which you pay in to for 10 years and also their Golden Life product which sometimes suits those seeking funeral cover.

Some examples of how the various funeral covers NZ differ include;

Cigna Funeral Cover – entry ages 50 to 85, cover $5000 to $30000, premiums payable until claim time regardless of age

Pinnacle Life Funeral Plan – entry ages 30 to 75, cover $7500 to $25000, pay premiums until age 85 then free thereafter

AA Funeral Plan – entry ages 50 to 79, cover $5000 to $30000, pay premiums to age 90 then free thereafter

Fidelity Life Funeral Plan – entry ages 17 to 64, Cover $12000 only, pay premiums for 10 years then free thereafter (NB pay in at a faster rate)

So, if you are looking at the Cigna Funeral Plan or AA Funeral Plan spare a thought for Pinnacle Life, Fidelty Life or one of the others we can detail. We can happily provide more information to you regarding those lesser known options so you can consider if they are more what you are looking for. We can email you comparative information and include a range of quotes if you click here

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

PS Update at Jan 2018, Cigna Funeral Cover new age entry points 45 to 80 and premiums now payable to age 90 only

A example of why funeral insurance can be so beneficial, hoorah for funeral cover!

Posted on 16 December, 2017 at 6:00

Some years back a Samoan family purchased a funeral plan for their mother. This ended up being a real financial benefit to them when she eventually passed on.

Before arranging this funeral cover for the mother, their father had just passed away. The cost to the wider family had been significant at that time due to the large numbers of family in New Zealand and from Samoa who wanted to attend. Some of the Samoan based extended family did not have the ready funds to pay for flights so this also fell on the rest of the family to help them. There was no funeral insurance for the father at the time.

Funeral Insurance was arranged for the mother at $25000. The family helped her with the paperwork and they arranged as a wider family group to contribute to the premium payments. So, with the help of a number of people to premiums were manageable. They took $25000 funeral cover as they knew from experience that would likely be the likely cost, including helping some overseas family to attend.

We understand their mother passed away last year. But, comforting was that the funeral insurance at least was there to help the family easily and quickly pay for all the funeral and related travel costs.

Insurance gets a bad rap a lot of the time, sometimes warranted, but at least here is an example of funeral insurance really doing the right thing at the right time.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

Funeral Insurance premium payment method by internet banking or automatic payment now available

Posted on 16 December, 2017 at 5:55

We find that many people aged 60 plus have a real aversion to paying funeral insurance (or any bill for that matter) by direct debit. We are not quite sure why but maybe it is because that age group prefer to control the payment requirements more than leaving it in full control of the service provider.

Most funeral plans allow only payment by direct debit, and to be honest the insurers mainly do it for their own benefit as it saves them a lot of administrative time, but that is not user friendly to customers.

One of our preferred funeral cover NZ insurers will allow you to pay your funeral insurance by internet banking or automatic payment at no extra cost. They allow you control the payments as they understand that when on a fixed income it is not always easy to fit in to a pre-determined payment schedule of a certain day (often of the insurers choosing).

With this option you just have to make sure your payment is received by the funeral insurance provider before the end of the month it is due. So, it can fit around other bills or when an income or superannuation is received.

If payment by internet banking or automatic payment for your funeral insurance is important to you please enquire with us, fill in our online enquiry form and we will include details of this option in any information we email you.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

Funeral Insurance payout of $25,000, how was it used by the family?

Posted on 3 December, 2017 at 2:45

It is important to understand that your funeral insurance claim payout is a cash amount that can be spent at the discretion of the beneficiary. You do not have to account the the insurance company how the money is spent. Once they have accepted the claim the money is deposited with the beneficiary and that is the end of their involvement.

We recently had a customer pass away and they had a cover amout of $25000 . Now, such a cover amount is not common amongst our customers. To be honest the majority select a sum insured of $7500 – $10000, just with an intention of covering the funeral costs. But, a higher level of cover is available for those who wish to have it. Some insurers provide cover as high as $30000.

Just in case you were thinking about whether to take a higher level of cover here is an approximation of what this particular customer had their claim payout used for. The funeral was a reasonably large affair as theirs was a large extended family. So the funeral itself was about $12000, Some family reside overseas so it was always planned to use some of the claim money to help them with airfares. This totalled around $5000. The customer also had a small amount of debt of around $5000 from a current car loan.

So that was around $22,000. We understand the small balance was just used for family to plan some memorials. So, in this case you can see the value of funeral insurance that was taken for more than just the likely cost of the funeral. Had they just taken $7500 or $10000 there would have been a lot of cost extra to be covered by other means.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ