What are the main reasons people arrange Funeral Insurance Cover Plans?

Posted on 26 March, 2017 at 2:15

In the course of our work we do speak with many people looking for funeral insurance. There are obviously many specific reasons people may be considering a funeral cover but largely the over-riding thing we hear all the time is that they want to make sure their spouse or children are not lumbered with the significant financial burden of paying for their funeral when the time comes.

Most older Kiwis are very sensible about their money matters as they have had to work hard for what they have, whether it be a little amount or a lot. We are also very family orientated and none of us want to see those left behind struggling to cope with the not inconsiderable costs of a funeral. This is especially important when you consider the grief the family are already under.

Unfortunately, many people are not in a position to have, say $10000, left aside sitting in the bank to cover funeral costs. Some people are also asset rich but cash poor so while they may own their house, any cash on hand may not be significant. And Mum cant sell the house to pay Dad’s funeral costs!

So it is very much an inbuilt need to protect those close to us that sees people looking to buy funeral cover. The number of times we have heard that people could not bear the thought of their spouse or children having to try and find lots of money in a short time is signficant.

Having the money ready within days, from a reputable insurer, so that the costs of a funeral can be met does seem to give a lot of older Kiwis a sense of peace of mind and they are prepared to make a monthly insurance commitment to get that financial protection.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

What cover amount is generally suggested for funeral insurance in New Zealand

Posted on 20 March, 2017 at 1:05

Only a Funeral Director is qualified to provide advice on the likely cost of funeral, in particular to meet your own personal expectations. However, if you browse various websites you see many organisations comment that somewhere between $8000 and $10000 is likely to cover the cost of most standard funeral services (including a ceremony and cremation). But equally we hear that the cost can be much more or a little less, it very much depends on your location and what you see as being important to include.

The vast majority of our customers tell us they want $7500 or $10000 cover. Probably around 80% of policies our clients take are for those cover amounts. Some clients select $5000 for a very basic service although we suspect some choose that level of cover as it meets their budget which s also a very important consideration.

The good news with funeral plans in NZ is that the cover amount is paid out as a cash settlement to your nominated beneficiary. So, if you select, say $10000, and the cost of the funeral is less than that extra money can be used by your beneficiary as required.

It is also common for people to take a cover amount more than the likely cost of the funeral in order to have a small amout extra to clear such things as credit card debt or other small loans.It is also common, especially with our Pacific Island customers, to take extra cover to help family members who might want to travel to NZ from overseas or just also where lots of family have to travel from various locations in New Zealand.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ

Arranging Funeral Insurance for your parents when they may be unable to do so themselves?

Posted on 16 March, 2017 at 6:15

We get many enquiries from family members who want to arrange a funeral cover for their parents (or parent). This is especially so with Maori or Pacific Island families where the cost of a funeral can be significant. We welcome all such enquiries as we are experienced in helping in these cases and understand the difficulties that can arise with arranging such cover.

We find there are two main situations that arise. First, cover is required and the parents are ready, willing and able to sign an application with or without family help. This is the easy part. Secondly, and more difficult, are the situations where the parents are unable to apply and sign due to health issues (say related to old age, dementia or other illnesses) or where they are simply uninterested and do not want to have any to do with a funeral insurance.

Most funeral plan insurers require the insured person (ie the parents) to sign the application form. Where they can, then many options exist and we can provide quotes from a range of insurers for you. You can always assist the parents with form completion but they do need to sign declaring everything is in order. A family member can also be shown as the beneficiary and be the one to make the premiums payments if they wish. We can guide you through all this.

Where the parents are unable to sign you can arrange cover but you do need full Power of Attorney with copies to the insurers etc. This can make the application process a little cumbersome. In some instances health or other issues prevents a parent applying yet there is no formal Power of Attorney.

In the situations where a parent cannot or will not sign there is an insurer option we can source, but the parent does need to be aged 50 to 79 to qualify.In this situaiton another family member can be shown as the ‘policy owner’ and the parent can just be shown as the person to be insured but they do not have to sign (or in fact even be aware of the insurance). The other family member (close relative only) can then sign as policy owner. We find this option extremely handy for these sorts of situations.

Let us know if we can ever help if you fall in to one of these categories and require some guidance or specific advice.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance NZ