Looking for the best* funeral insurance but don’t know where to start?
If you're unsure how to find a quality funeral insurance policy here are some key points to look out for:
- Benefits. Find cover with the benefits and features you need.
- Value. Calculate whether the amount you will pay is comparable with the benefit amount you’ll receive.
- Reputation. Assess whether the insurer is a reputable company with a solid claims history.
- Traps. Understand the traps that policies can contain.
Should I just go for the cheapest policy I can find?
Finding the best funeral insurance is not simply a matter of comparing a couple of quotes and jumping on the cheapest offer you find. Simply looking for the cheapest policy can leave you underinsured or with cover that costs more in the long run. Failing to take the necessary steps to review your own cover requirements could leave you both out of pocket and underinsured.
Make sure you compare cover closely before you go with a policy.
Get a funeral insurance quote from the following direct brands
finder.com.au's best* funeral insurance policies
|Policy||Maximum funeral benefit||Features|
|AIA Funeral Protection||$30,000||Free cover for the first three months and guaranteed acceptance.|
|American Express Ezicover Funeral Advantage Insurance||$15,000||Guaranteed acceptance with no medical. Premium cap feature is included.|
|Zurich Ezicover Funeral Advantage||$15,000||No medical examination required. Premium cap feature is included|
- Features worth considering when choosing Funeral Insurance?
- What will a funeral actually cost me?
- What are some traps I need to look out for?
- I'm a senior...how do I find the best Funeral Insurance?
- Not sure if funeral cover is really the best* option for you?
- What other options are available as opposed to Funeral Insurance?
- Steps to successful funeral insurance claims
When comparing Funeral Insurance policies, it's a good idea to check if the following features are included:
|Feature||Details||How can this help me?|
|Premium choice||A choice of stepped premiums (increase with age) or level premiums (a fixed amount for the life of the policy).||Choose how affordable your cover is in the short and long term.|
|Choice of sum insured||A range of cover options from $4,000 to $30,000.||Tailor your cover to what you will need.|
|No medical underwriting||No blood tests, questionnaires or examinations.||Less hassle and more convenience.|
|Payout guarantees||Guaranteed pay out of the benefit amount or total premiums paid, whichever is greater.||Provides a value guarantee.|
|Capped premiums||Your premiums become free and your cover continues for life once your payments equal the benefit amount or you reach a certain age (usually 90)||Long term affordability and provides a value guarantee.|
|Automatic acceptance||Anyone aged 47-75 is usually automatically accepted.||Less hassle and more convenience.|
|Terminal illness benefit||Early payment of the sum insured if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness (offered by many insurers).||Extra cover and value.|
What features are automatically included in a funeral insurance policy?
- Automatic acceptance. This is usually anyone aged 45 to 75.
- Guaranteed renewability. Your policy continues as long as you continue to pay your premiums.
- Refund of premium payments if you die from natural causes within the first 12 months.
- Accidental death benefit. Payment of the full sum insured if you die within the first 12 months as the result of an accident.
Discounts to look out for
In some cases you can find discounts to help reduce the cost of your premiums such as joint policy discounts (up to 20%) and cash back offers for every 3 years of cover (up to 10%).
The main purpose of Funeral Insurance is to ensure your funeral is paid for and that your loved ones are not saddled with a financial burden once you depart. So the amount of Funeral Insurance you need will depend largely on the type of funeral you want.
The cost of funerals varies greatly, with a basic cremation costing around $4,000 and a more elaborate service costing anything up to $15,000. Factors that might influence the cost of your funeral include;
- Whether there are religious or family requirements
- Whether you are being buried or cremated
- If buried, the cost of a burial plot, casket, gravestone, transportation etc
- If cremated, the cost of an urn, flowers, funeral director etc
- Whether there will be a wake after the funeral
- Mandatory costs such as newspaper notices, death certificate etc.
These costs are estimates based on NSW State Library's 2011 study of funeral costs.
How does this compare to the cost of insurance?
The cost of funeral insurance will vary depending various factors including:
- How much you have insured
- Your age
- Your sex
- The state or territory where you reside
- Any additional features you have on your policy
When will funeral cover typically pay out benefits to my dependents?
Understanding whether or not your dependents will be paid is essential to ensure your policy provides value. Payment typically dependent on two factors:
- The circumstances of an insured person's death or terminal illness
- How long after cover is issued does the death or terminal illness occur?
Standard breakdown of how most funeral insurance policies will payout
|Cause of death||How long after cover is issued?||What's paid?|
|Accident||During first 12 months||The sum insured|
|Sickness and other causes||During first 12 months||Premiums are refunded|
|Any cause||After 12 Months||Premiums are refunded|
|Cause of terminal illness||How long after cover is issued?||What's paid?|
|Any cause||During first 12 months||No payment. Policy remains and you become eligible at the 12 month mark.|
|Any cause||After 12 Months||The sum insured|
Funeral Insurance can contain traps for the unwary, so make sure you carefully read the terms and conditions of any policy you are considering. Potential pitfalls to avoid include;
- Paying more over time than a funeral would cost (choosing a policy with capped premiums would help you to avoid this risk).
- Choosing the cheapest policy (if it doesn’t cover all the basic benefits, you could find yourself underinsured).
- Falling behind with premium payments and having your policy cancelled (finding a policy with a Premium Pause option could give you the necessary breathing space).
- Choosing a stepped premium policy when you are on a low fixed income (stepped premiums increase with your age and could become unaffordable later in life).Back to top
Funeral Insurance becomes more relevant as you get older and the need to ensure your family don’t incur your funeral costs becomes more important. But as well as ensuring a Funeral Insurance policy contains all the benefits listed above, seniors need to make sure it also has their best interests at heart. Considerations can include;
- Whether it offers a choice of benefit amounts to cater for your budget
- Whether it has capped premiums after you reach a certain age
- Whether any age limitations affect your eligibility and how long you can retain cover
- Whether it offers level premiums if you are on a fixed income
- Whether it covers you overseas if you plan to travel in your retirement.
Funeral Insurance has several advantages over other forms of insurance
including guaranteed acceptance without medical underwriting, fast easy application over the phone and fast pay out, usually within two business days. But life expectancy is also an important consideration, because if you take out a policy when you are younger, you could end up paying much more over the years than your funeral would actually cost.
So if you are considering Funeral Insurance, it’s important to select a benefit amount that will adequately cover your final commitments and to look for a policy where the premiums are fixed or are capped once you reach your benefit amount or a certain age and after which your cover is free.Back to top
If you don’t feel that Funeral Insurance is right for your situation, there are several other ways you can cover your funeral expenses;
- Pre-paid funeral. Ether in a lump sum or through payments to a funeral director. You could also put the money aside in a high interest savings account to ensure it is there when needed.
- Funeral bond. Your money is invested on your behalf by an insurance company or friendly society, so that it holds its value and is exempt from taxation.
- Super or life insurance. Life insurance inside or outside of super will cover your funeral expenses, although payment from a super fund can take time.
Another important element to compare for various funeral policies is the claim process. Funeral arrangements are generally carried out with a sense of urgency when a death has occurred and the expenses incurred may be payable immediately. Therefore, a well documented claims process by your provider is absolutely essential to ensure that when the time comes, your nominated beneficiaries are able to gain access to the benefits easily and quickly.
- Inform the insurance provider. Let them know that you or your beneficiaries are making a claim. Any premium payments will be ceased until the claim has been processed.
- Seek assistance. Ask whether you will be assigned to a dedicated claims agent that will take care of your claims and provide guidance if you require assistance through the claims process.
- Provide documents. You will need to supply the following documents for your claim:
- A filled out claim form
- Certified copies of Death Certificate, Medical Attendant’s Certificate, or other documents showing evidence of death.
- Certified copies of the deceased’s birth certificate or passport.
- Certified copies of proof of your identity and your relationship to the deceased.
- All copies will need to be certified by a Justice of the Peace (JP).
* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.