Looking for funeral insurance but not sure where to start? Key tips to compare reviews and find suitable cover for your needs.
The best way to review and compare funeral insurance policies comes down to following to these points:
- Decide how much cover you'll need. Decide how much you'll insure by considering how much your funeral will cost.
- Look for a policy with key features. Look for a policy key features such as premium caps to ensure you get the most value for your money.
- Avoid funeral insurance traps. Make sure you have an understanding of common funeral insurance traps to avoid overpaying for your cover.
- Read product reviews. Understand the details of the policy e.g. the cost of premiums and the exclusions. You can read product reviews on finder.com.au.
- Compare quotes. finder.com.au makes it easy for you to get a personalised funeral insurance quote. By filling out a simple form you can easily compare funeral insurance quotes with an advisor.
Compare funeral insurance directly with the following direct brand
Before you dig into a review, make sure you understand
Many Australians get a nasty shock when they discover just how much it can cost to pay for a funeral. According to MoneySmart, overall expenses range from $4,000 for a basic cremation right through to $15,000 if you want a memorial service, flowers, burial, wake and the whole nine yards. Of course, the total cost will vary depending on your own requests and the wishes of your loved ones, but some of the costs you’ll need to consider include:
- Caskets and urns. The cost of an urn can go up to $200.
- Cremations. The cost of cremation is typically around $1,100.
- Gravestones. The cost of a gravestone can go up to $2,000.
- Flowers. Flowers can cost up to $300
- Funeral home service costs. Don't forget the costs of venue hire, director fees, celebrant fees, dressing and embalming.
It’s also important to ensure that you won’t end up paying more for funeral insurance over the life of your policy than your funeral will actually end up costing. With this in mind, look for a policy that offers the following features
- Choice of premium type. Choose either a stepped or levelled premium, depending on your preference for short term or long term savings.
- Accidental death cover in the first 12 months. This feature ensures you're covered in the first 12 months (of taking out a policy) for accidental deaths.
- Premium caps. This feature ensures that your premiums cease once they've reached the sum you originally insured for.
- Premium guarantee. This a guarantee that you're premium will never go up. In some cases you may even be offered a premium discount for holding the policy for a certain time e.g. 5% discount for every five years held.
- Payout guarantees. This ensures you're paid the greater amount between your total premiums paid and the amount your ensured for.
There are also a few mistakes to avoid when shopping for funeral insurance, including:
- Not taking out enough cover. This may result in your family having to cover some your funeral costs. Make sure you have an understanding of what your funeral costs will look like.
- Failing to read the fine print and the general exclusions. Understand what certain policy features mean. For example an automatic index benefit will increase the sum insured each year to meet inflation, however this also means that your premium will also be increased.
- Choosing a policy that will result in you paying more for cover than your funeral would cost. If the policy is held long enough, you may end up paying more than the sum you originally insured. Finding a policy with a value guarantee can help you avoid this.
- Not considering the long term cost of a stepped premium. Choosing a stepped premium will give you a lower premium today however this means it will rise as you age.
- Is there a waiting period? Most funeral insurance policies will have a 12 month waiting period before you are covered.
- What expenses are you covered for if you pass away in the first 12 months of your policy? Look for a policy that covers accidental deaths within the first 12 months. Some policies will also offer a refund of premiums in the first 12 months if your death is due to illness or natural causes.
- What is the cooling off period? Keep an eye out for the cooling off period. This will allow you to get a refund on your premiums if you change your mind. Most funeral insurance policies offer a 30 day cooling off period.
- Who is the underwriter? Look for an underwriter that is reputable. A good underwriter will have experience in the sector and is worth looking out for.
- Is it easy to make a claim? When you read a review, make sure you understand what the claims process of the policy entails. A funeral insurance policy should have simple and straightforward claims instructions. Some policies have specific requirements when claiming that can result in unnecessary back and forth if you're not aware of such requirements.
- Do you already have cover for funeral expenses. Don't double up on funeral insurance (unless your existing cover is inadequate). If you have life insurance, check if you have funeral expenses cover and if it's enough for you.
You can find funeral insurance reviews from the following sources
- Customer review websites and forums. These sites provide customer reviews on their experiences with purchasing a policy, making claims and what a brands customer service is like.
- Insurer websites. Funeral insurance websites will usually feature testimonials from its customers.
- finder.com.au. finder.com.au reviews funeral insurance by breaking down different product features and exclusions, claims process and its company background.
You read reviews to the following products on finder.com.au:
How can finder.com.au reviews help me?
These product reviews can help you understand
- The level of cover available
- How quickly benefits will be paid
- What payment options you have
- If there are any value guarantees
- Whether automatic acceptance is guaranteed
- Where and when you are covered
- Eligibility requirements for policy applicants
- How you can make a claim
Reading funeral insurance reviews can give you a better understanding of the product and insight into the customer service of the provider. It is however, important to not simply base your decision off one review and to look out for the following:
- Disgruntled customer reviews. Beware that some customer reviews may come from disgruntled customers who have not read the exclusions of their funeral insurance policy properly, or the claims process carefully enough. It's a good idea to takeaway how the customer rates the customer service when reading these reviews. Remember, customers will rarely take the time to publish a positive review.
- Reviews found on insurers website. Although these reviews will give you a quick indication of the main benefits of the policy, make sure you take these reviews with a grain of salt as negative reviews are unlikely to be published on an insurers website.
- Ratings on insurer websites. Some websites may include ratings from industry bodies. These ratings however are only one opinion and should never be the sole reason for purchasing cover. Always review the policy thoroughly, using the steps above.
- Reviews that are too good to be true: There are instances where fake customer reviews may be written to give a favourable opinion of an insurer and its policy. Use your best judgement to determine the reliability of the review by comparing it with other customer reviews and review sources.
One of the main reasons people take out funeral insurance is because of the ability take out a lump sum payment as well an easy application process and a lack of medical screenings. Funeral insurance is one of various options available to fund your funeral. To determine the suitability of funeral insurance, consider your own personal and financial circumstances.
What other options do I have?
You can also fund the cost of you funeral through these means:
- Life insurance
- Funeral bonds
You can read more about you other options here.