Death is an expensive affair, plan for it

Tuesday January 15 2019

Burying a loved one can be an expensive affair.

Burying a loved one can be an expensive affair. However, it can be less costly if you cared to take an insurance policy. PHOTO BY ERONIE KAMUKAMA  

By Eronie Kamukama

Death is the ultimate destination that we never plan for.
Some die after a long illness while others suddenly. It does not matter how we die. But the question is how prepared are you for that eventual destination.
For a long time, managing funerals as a business, had never crossed the mind of Uganda until the early 2000s when Uganda Funeral Services entered into the picture.

Now, sadly, it has become serious business with players churning billions out of what might pass as misery for others.
In a way, this has given insurance companies some homework and they are deeply engaging in boardrooms to come out with sufficient cover for funeral insurance.

Planning for death can be a little uncomfortable but have you ever stopped to think about how expensive death is?
According to A-Plus Funeral Management, it costs between Shs8m and Shs12m to send off a loved one.
On the high end, it can also cost as much as a wedding depending on the status of the deceased in society.
This can go as high as between Shs80 and Shs100m.
However, this can be less costly if one cared to consider an insurance policy in form of funeral cover.

The policy enables the holder to meet unnerving costs of burial.
“Insurance is risk and funeral is also risk. Funeral insurance targets the average Ugandan. You pay a premium of Shs37,000 per month and get a benefit of about Shs2.5m in case you or a family member passes on,” says Ronald Zaake, the A-Plus managing director.
Today, some insurance companies have innovated around the cover to include a savings component on the funeral cover.
“The policy covers you like any other but you get a certain percentage of that money as a cash-back,” he adds.

Technological innovations have also been introduced on the market so that you can easily access funeral insurance on phone.
Through this you are able to get your payment receipt in real time and avoid the costs that come alongside human interaction.
But why plan ahead for your funeral?
According to Arjun Mallik, the Prudential Uganda chief executive officer, you do not take out insurance because you are going to die but because the people you love are going to live.
Players in the insurance sector believe death creates a costly and emotional obligation for the people we leave behind.
Therefore, “because death never announces, you create a situation where people have a burden”.
“Taking on funeral insurance is ensuring you have a dignified sendoff where instead of your family seeking contributions, they are able to carry on with their lives normally so it is a necessity,” Mallik says.

What is covered?
The policy provides a lump sum to cover the cost of the funeral. For some insurers, there is an option to cover the policyholder, one spouse and a maximum of six children with a choice to add parents, in law and extended family members.
Based on the insurance provider, you can also receive a lump sum at the demise of a loved one.

According to Liberty Insurance, this helps the family deal with urgent costs associated with funeral expenses as well as assisting with the living expenses such as groceries.
There is a Tombstone benefit too so your insurer will provide for a tombstone and cover the cost of the unveiling ceremony.
Companies like Prudential will go as far as providing basics like airtime to get you through the arrangements.
At Jubilee Life, the amount paid upon death is to provide finances for mortuary fees, casket, hearse, flowers, funeral programs and refreshments among other expenses.