Are you over 80 years old? Find out what options are available when it comes to funeral insurance.
When a loved one passes away, a funeral is often a welcomed chance to bring together all remaining friends and family to celebrate and remember a wonderful life. However, too many Australians remain unaware of just how costly a funeral can be and it is not uncommon for remaining family members to be left struggling to make ends meet during an already highly emotional time.
Why should I get funeral insurance?
Funeral insurance allows you to look out for your family and provide peace of mind for all by providing you:
- One payout to your loved ones. Your dependents are provided a lump sum to cover your funeral expenses when you pass away.
- Choice of payment type. Ensure your premiums are affordable in your 80's.
- Features that protect the elderly. Some policies allow you to cap your premiums at a certain age or total to ensure you don't pay more in premiums than the cost of your funeral.
Can I get funeral insurance if I am over 80?
Look out for these features in your policy if your after funeral insurance.
Features that protect the elderly
What does this mean?
|Choose your premium payment type (levelled or stepped). A levelled premium stays the same for the life of the policy which can improve how affordable your policy is in the long term.|
|Your policy becomes free if you've paid premiums up to the amount that you originally insured.|
|If you can't pay for your premiums, some policies offer a grace period for you to start paying again (1-3 months). During a grace period you're still covered for accidental death.|
What are the main features and benefits of funeral cover?
Some common features and benefits of funeral insurance covers for seniors over 80 years of age can include:
- Lump sum payment. A key feature of funeral insurance covers is a lump sum payment that is paid without delay to your family. This can be used for whatever costs your loved ones see fit, such as funeral costs or helping to pay off personal loans such as mortgages.
- Choice of benefit amount. Many insurers offer flexibility in your choice of benefit amount to cater to your budget, and will adjust your premium payment amounts accordingly.
- No interview, forms or medical examinations required. Most insurers offer funeral insurance without the hassle of complicated forms, intrusive questions about your health or medical examinations, making it a breeze to protect your loved ones.
- Extra benefit for accidental death. In some cases, your beneficiaries could receive as much as triple the amount of your benefit if you pass away due to an accident. This could be as high as $45,000, depending on your cover.
- Flexible payment options. You will often have the choice of fortnightly or monthly payment options, giving you more flexibility and control over your financial commitments.
- Single or family cover options. You could be offered the option of adding your partner or children to your funeral insurance cover, which will provide extra peace of mind for the whole family.
- Age-based or fixed rate premium options. Some insurers will allow you to choose between age-based or fixed rate premium options, giving you more control over your premium payments. An age-based premium will calculate your premiums on each annual anniversary of your funeral insurance. If you choose a fixed rate premium option, your life insurance premium payment will be based on an agreed fixed rate.
- 30 day cooling off period. All insurers will generally provide at least a 30 days for your cooling off period so you can take the time to see if your funeral insurance meets all your needs. If not, there will be an option to change or cancel the insurance with a refund.
As a senior aged over 80 years of age, you may be more invested in your funeral insurance than other Australians. There are many special senior funeral insurance providers available, so take the time to review and compare your options to find the most suitable option for yourself and your family. A little preparation and research will go a long way.
Key considerations if you're over 80 and looking for cover
When faced with the option of choosing funeral insurance for seniors over 80 years of age there may be some necessary things to consider, such as:
- Your age. Some funeral insurers will have age limits on eligibility for applying or being covered by their funeral insurance. If you are over 80 years of age, you may wish to enquire whether you are eligible to be covered, and for how long you are able to remain covered.
- Premium rate increases. While you do have flexibility in choosing an age-based or fixed rate premium rate, you may also wish to ask if there is a limit to the premium rate increases. Some funeral insurance providers may offer to stop increasing your premium rate once you hit a certain age.
- Cover overseas. You may have hit 80 years of age, but that may be no reason for you to slow down on your overseas adventures. If you plan on living overseas following your retirement or going on holidays, you may want to consider whether your funeral insurance will cover your death if it occurs outside of Australia.
- Exclusions. As with all insurance policies, understanding the exclusions of your funeral insurance cover is very important. For many funeral insurance providers, a common exclusion is limiting your benefit entitlements during the first year of your cover so that you are only eligible to claim if the death is a result of an accident.
- Cancellation fees. After your cooling off period, you may be required to cancel and restart your funeral insurance cover if you choose to change the premium option you have selected. Be sure to speak to an adviser about any cancellation fees or rules before you lock down your choice of premium.
- Overall cost. It is important to be aware that if you hold your funeral insurance policy for long enough, you may end up paying more in premiums than your selected benefit amount. Some insurers may offer to continue to cover you with no extra premium payments required once you reach your benefit amount, so shop around for a policy that best suits your needs.
To get an idea of how much you will need to insure, it's a good idea to look at how much your funeral will roughly cost.
|Basic funeral costs||$ (AUD)|
|Service fee||from $2000|
|Removal of body||$300|
|Advertising (death and funeral notice in newspapers and obituaries)||$285|
|Extra cars (rough cost per car)||$330|
These costs are estimates based on NSW State Library's 2011 study of funeral costs.
|AIA Funeral Protection Insurance||Between 11 and 75|
|Apia Funeral Insurance||Between 45 and 75|
|Aussie Funeral Insurance||Between 18 and 79|
|Australian Seniors||Between 18 and 79|
|Bupa Funeral Insurance||Between 18 and 75|
|Clearview Funeral Insurance||Between 18 and 75|
|Freedom Funeral Insurance||Between 0 and 80|
|GIO Funeral Insurance||Between 45 and 75|
|InsuranceLine||Between 21 and 80|
|Metlife Funeral Plan||Between 18 and 70|
|NIB Funeral Insurance||Between 17 and 80|
|Real Funeral Expenses Cover||Between 18 and 79|
|Suncorp Funeral Insurance||Between 45 and 75|
|Zurich Funeral Insurance||Between 35 and 70|
What if I'm over these ages of acceptance?
If you are over the age of acceptance, you may still be able to get cover with a medical examination.
Although policies advertised on TV are real funeral insurance policies, trusting a funeral insurance ad on television can be a bad idea for a variety of reasons:
- A 30 second ad is not long enough to explain a complex product like funeral insurance
- An ad does not take into account your personal circumstance e.g. if you will be able to pay for premiums at a later stage in life
What should I do if I bought a policy over the TV that I'm not happy with?
Ask for a refund. Most policies will have a cooling off period of 30 days.
Similar to ads you see on television, funeral insurance salesman on the phone may:
- Not provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision around funeral insurance.
- Rush you into purchasing a bad policy purely for a sale
What should I do if I bought a policy from a sales man that I'm not happy with?
Ask for a refund. Salesman who cold call or door knock are required to provide you with a 10 day cooling off period.
If you can't get funeral insurance for medical reasons or if it's not right for you, you can still fund your funeral through other means. This includes
- Life insurance. Life insurance policies usually also provide a funeral expenses benefit when you pass away.
- Superannuation. Your superannuation will typically include life insurance cover.
- Savings. A savings account allow you to save up on your own terms. If you no longer can contribute to your savings, the lump sum will still be there.
- Funeral bond. Your money is invested in bonds to fund your funeral
- Prepaid funeral. This is a funeral that's funded by either a lump sum or instalment payments to your funeral director.
Australian famous funeral insurance providers know and understand that your family will be facing a difficult and highly emotional time following the death of a loved one. That’s why making a claim for your funeral cover benefit is often quite easy and simple. To make a claim for funeral insurance, you will typically need to:
1. File a claim with your insurance provider
You will need to notify your funeral insurance provider if you intend to make a claim. Most funeral insurance providers will have their contact details such as a phone number, email or mailing address available on their websites and on your original policy document.
2. Provide the necessary documents
You will need to collect and send the necessary documents to process your claim. A typical list of documents may include:
- a completed claim form
- death certificate
- the original policy document and policy schedule
- a certified copy of:
- evidence of the deceased’s age (e.g. Birth certificate, passport or driver’s license)
- proof of your identity (e.g. Passport, driver’s license, bank card or Medicare card)
- proof of your relationship to the deceased (e.g. Marriage certificate)
3. What's next?
Your insurer will now assess the claim. If the insurer is taking longer to process the claim than promised, get in contact and follow up. You may need to provide further documentation.
Frequently asked questions about funeral insurance
Q. What is the difference between funeral insurance and a prepaid funeral plan?
- A. A prepaid funeral plan is just that – a funeral that is organised by you and paid in advance, either outright or over installments over a period of time. You must meet your payment requirements to receive the funeral you have selected, and if you happen to move interstate or overseas, the prepaid funeral plan may not be transferrable to a different funeral provider. Funeral insurance is different because you pay a regular premium until you pass away, after which a benefit amount is paid. This benefit amount is paid regardless of how much premium you may have paid overall, and the benefit payment is free to be used by your beneficiaries in whichever way they see fit. This could include funeral costs, as well as other outstanding bills or unsettled debts. Funeral insurance offers you much more flexibility than a prepaid funeral plan, allowing your surviving loved ones to take care of the family finances appropriately.
Q. Can I decide who will receive the benefit?
- A. Usually, all payments from claims will be paid to the owner of the funeral insurance policy. If you have a joint plan, the surviving partner who is also insured will receive the payment. If there is no surviving owner of the funeral insurance policy, your benefits will be paid to your nominated beneficiaries. To nominate a person as a beneficiary, contact your funeral insurance provider directly.
Q. Are my premiums tax deductible?
- A. Under current laws, your premium is not tax deductible. However, you will not have to pay any tax for any benefits received from your funeral insurance plan.
Q. If I cancel my funeral insurance policy, will I get a refund?
- A. Most funeral insurance providers provide a 30 day cooling off period, during which time you may be eligible for a complete refund if you cancel your policy. However, after the initial 30 days it is unlikely that you will receive a refund for your premiums.