While we all know death is inevitable, most of us don't know exactly when it's going to happen. We do know we can prepare for the expenses that are associated with a death. Let's face it - we all want a dignified send off – for ourselves and our family members.
1. Regulated vs unregulated
There are two options to consider when looking at covering funeral costs. There's the formal, more regulated funeral cover or plan as provided by financial services companies. And then there's the community-orientated and supported, less regulated burial society.
2. No contract
Burial societies were created by communities to address the very real need of having to pay for a funeral. The amount of money required for such a solemn affair was seldom readily on hand for the majority of the population.
A burial society typically consists of members of a community who contribute a monthly fee. It is governed by a constitution and there are rules as to how many family members you can cover and how much should be paid out. The key differences between a burial society and a stokvel is that payouts only occur when there is a death (either of the member or family member) and a new member can only benefit after a three month waiting period.
3. Faster payout?
A burial society is in a better position to pay out faster (there is less of a need for formal documents such as death certificates as the member is/was known to the community). Many go as far as giving you social support by helping with funeral arrangements and cooking food, and emotional support.
4. Cover more family members
A funeral plan is also funded on a monthly basis. The funds are invested and used to payout when a claim is submitted. Payout times vary but if all the documentation is accounted for then you can expect payment within 48 hours of submitting a claim.
5. Cash back and added benefits
Funeral plans offer a bit more flexibility in terms of how many family members you can cover. And then there may be are the added benefits such as cash-back guarantees , airtime which you can use to plan the funeral and even a grocery benefit to see the family through a set number of months after the funeral.
Deciding on which funeral cover is best for you is a personal choice. The sense of community you get to experience with a burial society can't be matched by a funeral plan. On the other hand, the extended benefits offered by a funeral plan could be better suited to your needs. Do your research beforehand and then make your choice.
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