5 things to look for in funeral cover

The cost of a funeral can range from R7,500 to much, much more. Having a backup plan – like funeral insurance – makes sure that you and your family are covered when you need it.

Here are 5 important things to look for in a good family funeral plan:

1. who is covered by your funeral plan?

  • As the main member of the funeral cover, your immediate family (spouse and children) will be covered on your policy.
  • Extended family, such as parents, in-laws and your domestic help, can also be covered on your policy, provided you listed them as insured members.

2. how easy is the claims process?

  • The claims process can be done telephonically.
  • A dedicated claims consultant will inform you exactly what documentation you need to submit, send you the forms that need filling in and walk you through the claims process.

3. how soon do you receive your payout?

  • With the necessary documentation, payout should be within 48hrs of submitting a claim and it being approved.

4. what other benefits do you receive?

Funerals are not a simple process, which is why it helps that there are other benefits that you can claim:

  • Look out for a grocery benefit. This is a lump sum benefit which is payable to assist with the catering costs during the mourning process.
  • Also look out for an airtime benefit. This will help you reach out to everyone that you need to, and make the necessary funeral arrangements.
  • Ask if there are any double payouts. A good funeral plan plays out double in the event of the main member’s and/or spouse’s accidental death.

5. what about the tombstone?

  • This would be in the form of the memorial benefit, which is another lump sum that is paid out to be used toward the tombstone or memorial service.
  • This is typically a separate lump sum payment. Some insurers only pay this out one year after the funeral; but Virgin Money Insurance provides this lump sum payout along with the funeral claim.

added benefits of funeral cover

In addition to getting a lump sum payout in the event of a death, you are also entitled to extra benefits that will make it that much easier to organise a funeral. For instance:

legal assistance

We don’t want to have to call on a lawyer after a death in the family, but having the option on your funeral plan does help.

  • You and your family have access to 24hr, telephonic legal advice within any aspect of the law.
  • This benefit is only available for immediate family funeral plans, but does include a 30-minute free consultation should any matter require legal action.
  • As an added bonus, you can have standard legal documentation provided for free.

crime assistance

  • You and your family have 24hr access to crisis management in the event of a hijacking or home invasion.
  • If your cellphone is stolen during the hijacking, we will replace your phone with R100 airtime loaded, so that you can reach out to those you love.
  • If your credit card is stolen, you will receive a debit card pre-loaded with R500.
  • You also have access to a locksmith in the event of your keys being stolen during a robbery or hijacking, a security guard at your home and alternative accommodation, if required.

hiv assistance

  • This provides confidential testing and treatment within 72 hours of an incident.
  • This benefit is also accessible to all members on the policy providing 24hr telephonic access to trauma counsellors.
  • You get access to anti-retroviral therapy as well as STD-preventative medication.

These are just a few of the many benefits that you can enjoy with your funeral plan. For a full list of details, get in touch with us.

can my funeral plan cover my extended family?

Your funeral plan might cover your spouse and your children. But what about your aunt, or perhaps your domestic worker? Funeral cover for extended family is just as important as making sure your immediate family is covered.

who is considered “extended family?”

An extended family member can range from your parents through to your domestic worker. Extended family members are those in your life who you want to ensure have a proper burial. You are able to add up to 14 extended family members on your Virgin Money Insurance Funeral Plan.

  • Your parents and your parents-in-law.
  • Aunts, uncles, grandchildren are also considered extended family, and can also be covered by your extended family policy.
  • One domestic worker can also be covered under the extended family funeral plan.

extended family funeral planning

Knowing who is covered is one thing, but know what they are covered for is also important. Did you know that the minimum cost of a funeral is roughly R7,500? This can vary drastically depending on the coffin, service, etc. Here are a few other essentials that you need to consider for a funeral:

  • Catering is a big part of the funeral proceeding. Hiring caterers or preparing food to feed the mourners before and after the funeral is essential.
  • You need to transport the deceased to and from the church, so make sure that you take transport costs into consideration.
  • Your extended family funeral plan will help pay for placing the deceased in a funeral home prior to the burial.
  • It will also ensure that you can afford to buy flowers and have programmes printed for the funeral.
  • Most importantly, you will be able to purchase the tombstone for your loved one, so you can visit them long after the service has ended.

Extended family funeral cover is the perfect way to make sure that everyone you love is covered.

funeral cover made easy

Here are the basics you need to know when taking out funeral cover:

  • A family funeral plan will pay a lump sum over to your beneficiaries in the event of your death and to yourself in the event of any of the other insured family members passing away.
  • This lump sum is also doubled if the main member or the nominated spouse on the policy passes away, ensuring that your family is well taken care of.
  • The money that you receive after the death of a loved one is then used to cover the expenses of the funeral arrangements.

what is covered?

Knowing what we get when we claim from our funeral policy is one thing, but knowing what you are covered for is another. You know what you get out from your funeral plan, but what are you covered for?

  • Not only are you able to cover your immediate family, but your extended family can be covered as well.
  • There are waiting periods – natural death has a 6-month waiting period for immediate family and 12 months for extended family.
  • There are maximum entry ages – 70 for immediate family and 75 for extended family.
  • A good funeral policy has extra benefits, such as paying for airtime, groceries and tombstone benefits.

So although it might seem complicated and overwhelming, family funeral cover isn’t all that difficult at all. Virgin Money Insurance has your best interests at heart.

funeral cover: the stages of grief and mourning

Coping with the loss of a loved one is a tragic and deeply personal experience. Grief is an overwhelming experience that can be categorised by the five common stages that follows the passing of a loved one.

1. denial or isolation

For many, the first reaction to learning that someone dear to you has passed away, is to deny that reality of the situation entirely.

  • This is a normal reaction to the overwhelming pain that you start to feel at the news of a death.
  • We also block out the words and try to hide from the harsh truth that someone we love has died.
  • This is a temporary response, but a necessary one to help us cope with the first rush of pain we feel.

2. anger

This stage is when the denial and isolation that we initially felt starts to wear off. This is when the pain we tried to hide away from can’t be denied anymore.

  • We feel vulnerable and raw after the loss of a loved one, and become angry that we have to experience that pain.
  • This anger is sometimes aimed at strangers, inanimate objects, but most frequently toward friends or family.
  • This anger can often spiral into guilt over the way we treat those around us, which will only make you feel worse.

3. bargaining

This is the point where you start negotiating or bargaining to reverse the reality. A typical reaction is to try regain control over the situation and our own emotions.

  • You’ll wonder if you were a good person toward them.
  • You’ll also start questioning whether you did enough for them during their final days.
  • You will also start second guessing the medical attention that your loved one had access to.
  • You might even secretly want to make deals with God or a higher power to reverse the inevitable.

4. depression

There are two types of depression that are associated with mourning. The first being reactional to the reality of the loss.

  • Sadness and regret are the main focus of this type of depression.
  • There is also the worry of costs and burial, and whether our funeral plan will cover everything we need it to.
  • At this time we could also need some words of encouragement, to help you cope with the sadness that you are feeling.
  • The second type of depression is more private and personal.
  • This is where we prepare our farewells and come to terms with the loss.

5. acceptance

The final stage of grief and mourning is not something that everyone will experience.  Sudden death or unexpected loss of a loved one can cause us to stay in a state of anger and denial.  But, those who can and do move forward learn to accept the loss.

  • After the funeral plan has paid out and the burial has been done, closure comes to some.
  • They see this process as a way to come to terms with their grief, sadness and loss.
  • Typically this phase is marked by a quiet calm where the person experiencing it is withdrawn from loved ones while they heal.

what isn’t covered by your funeral policy?

The sad truth is that death is unavoidable, but at least we can prepare for it.  Knowing what you are covered for is important for when the unthinkable happens, but do you know what you aren’t covered for?

violence or war

There are certain instances where your family funeral cover will not pay out:

  • If you or a loved one was involved in a criminal act, which caused the death.
  • If there is a war, invasion of foreign enemies, public disorder, civil commotion or even riots, there will not be any funeral cover in the event of a death.


Have you ever seen it happen in the movies where an actor fakes his own death? In reality, people do try and trick the system, to try claim the lump sum payout of a funeral plan.

  • Your funeral cover will not pay out if the beneficiary claims fraudulently.
  • This means that if you claim for a death that has not happened, your policy will be cancelled and you will be reported to the SAPS.
  • Fraud is a serious criminal offence and will not be tolerated by a reputable financial institution, so best leave it to the movies.

skipping premiums

When you miss paying consecutive premiums, your policy will lapse.  This means that if you need to claim from this benefit, you won’t be able to.

  • Even if you have paid your family’s funeral cover for years, that cover will freeze if your premiums go unpaid.
  • Your funeral coverage will start again as soon as your first premium is received.