Are you fearing to plan for your death?

A woman mourns a loved one in Kampala. Death can sometimes be swift and sneaky but a a group family protection plan can relieve your family from the stress of pooling money.  PHOTO/MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

What you need to know:

  • While losing a loved one is painful because of the sentiments and responsibilities attached to someone, it should not be a strain on the family and should never rob family members of every penny they have saved. 

‘Kolerera akalambo ko’ is a common phrase in the Luganda lingua that literally means “work for your corpse”. 
It is coined around the notion that you don’t have to get ashamed in death. 

While the word kalambo, which translates to ‘corpse’ will always be grim, and the topic of death is forever a horror, it is certainly a conversation that needs to be had. 

While losing a loved one is painful because of the sentiments and responsibilities attached to someone, it should not be a strain on the family and should never rob family members of every penny they have saved. 

Support from social circles
While it is indeed, true, your social circles might chip in with some condolences, it is never guaranteed that what might be collected will facilitate you to the very end, albeit in a decent way possible. 

You have seen cases where the death of a loved one becomes a major strain on the family. Savings are lost and assets are sold. 
Yet, while we are still alive, we are exposed to opportunities that can save us from such scenarios but we choose to ignore them. In whichever way you view it, your death should only bring grief, but not a financial burden. 

The phrase ‘Kolerera akalambo ko, is a call from society that rallies you and me to plan for our death. 
Therefore, notwithstanding how you do that, the end result is to plan and this is how you can do it with insurance. 

Get an insurance plan 
Death can sometimes be swift and sneaky. You never see it coming. One day you are seated at a café laughing about childhood memories and the next moment, you are gone.

You can’t do anything about the time, but you can plan and stay ahead of the curve. Your best bet is certainly a group family protection plan. 

In that way, your family will have access to a lump sum cash out. It could be used on you or a family member under the cover to pay for funeral services, catering and whatever form of entertainment you may deem necessary. 
Beyond relieving your family from the stress of pooling money, it ensures family savings and properties are protected while steering clear of huge debts. 

How it works
First, you have got to choose the right insurance partner, after which you enroll for a suitable policy, for which you must endeavor to adhere under the terms and conditions.
This is very important because you must have seen that a number of conflicts develop from here. We have seen claims that are outside the terms. This is not to say that every insurance pays what is due to the claim. That is why I told you, get the right insurance partner. 

The premium payments in this case are structured to be one-offs every year. And in the event that there is no death in the year under subscription, we recommend for a renewal for another year, until when there is a death.
The policy doesn’t require any medical tests and therefore doesn’t exclude death born out of HIV/Aids, terrorism, riots, strike or civil commotion.
It has different categories, and therefore different levels of premiums for each category. For example, the money a company pays for its employees can differ from one level of employment to another. And in the same vein, a spouse, children (the cover accommodates four), parents (father and mother of the spouses) and parents in law (maximum two) all pay different sums. 

To claim, one will need a death certificate from the hospital or (form 40), which is accompanied by a local council one letter conforming the death, identification (national ID) and police or postmortem report in case of accidental death. If all the above are availed, then we shall proceed to process the lump sum cash out within 48 working hours.  While someone might be whispering over the 48 hour requirement, this is where we request the policy holder to hire a funeral service provider who will offer a service within the amounts insured. 

Beyond individuals, an entity such as an association, employer, village savings and loan associations, can choose to enroll members or its workers for purposes of social protection. 

In a typical African setting, once an employee or close workmate passes on, the community is always expectant on what the employer planned. As an employer, you may not have to dig deep into your working capital at such a time. Therefore, this  is where insurance works for you. Many people are already insulated during times of death but in an informal way.  For instance, the 2018 Finscope notes that many Ugandan adults protect themselves through membership of community health schemes, burial societies and community-based savings groups. 

The writer, Jackie Martha Kalembe, is the marketing and communications officer  at UAP Old Mutual Life Assurance.