Funeral planning in the loadshedding era
Johannesburg - Ongoing load shedding is affecting every sector of society and business, including the funeral industry.
The South African Funeral Practitioners Association (SAFPA) has recently explained that while most funeral parlors have invested in backup solutions to cope with power outages, frequent load-shedding has resulted in significant increases to operational costs.
In particular, the cold storage of deceased persons has been made more difficult.
The Association is asking for communities to bury deceased relatives within four days as this would not only reduce the operational costs incurred by the industry, but also ensure that the deceased are buried with dignity.
According to Liberty’s Executive for Emerging Consumer Markets, Lindi Monyae, there are now critical new factors that people need to consider when it comes to funeral planning during this load-shedding era.
These added pressures during a family crisis like a death exacerbate the stress of funeral planning.
Cost of a Funeral
On average, a funeral in South Africa costs between R12,000 and R60,000, while more expensive funerals can cost as much as R150,000. Making this more expensive now is the need for the rental of gas stoves and generators to power the household and venue during the ceremony.
The ongoing expenses relating to funerals is why in 2021, 42% of South Africans had funeral cover, Monyae says.
The earlier you have the money, the earlier you can plan the funeral
Expecting quick turnarounds for funerals highlights the importance of choosing a funeral policy that prioritizes accessibility, efficiency, and quick payouts.
“As a policyholder, it is important that you are well aware of the claim process to ensure that when the time comes, you are informed of what you will need to make your claim valid,” said Lindi.
Liberty recently launched a WhatsApp feature where clients can make claims more quickly. Having an accessible checklist and required criteria enables quick completion of the claim process and quick payment.
“It will help you to have information at the tip of your fingers during a crisis and put you at ease knowing you know what to do.”
Include a Funeral Cover in Your Financial Plan
“This shortened burial period because of power outages not only creates challenges around cultural practices but also about cash flow. Your funeral cover serves as the resource to help you during this time of crisis’ she says.
A funeral plan is one component of good financial planning that can help families deal with the expenses associated with death and funerals. However, it is essential to choose a funeral plan that is suitable for one's needs and budget. Policyholders should carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of the policy, including the coverage provided, the premium amount, and any exclusions or limitations. Consider the market cost and changes that are applied.