Making a funeral assurance claim by a policyholder is one of the most important stages in a funeral assurance contract. It represents that time in an
individual’s life where he/she is relieved of the burden of meeting the unexpected funeral expenses out-of-pocket while at the same time being afforded the opportunity to receive or provide a decent and dignified funeral to beloved ones. To the funeral assurance company, it represents an opportunity to provide service as promised. It is, therefore, important that this
process be understood by the public so that it becomes as smooth and efficient as possible during the time of bereavement.
The claims process
In the event of death of a person entitled to a benefit under a funeral assurance policy, the following procedures should be followed.
a) Death in the home:
- If death occurs in the home, this should be reported immediately to the nearest police station. This is a requirement of the law so that the police can come and confirm the circumstances surrounding the death before body removal.
- Almost at the same time, the police is being informed, the person or relative in charge should inform the funeral a s s u r a n c e c o m p a n y o r parlour responsible so that they meet either at the policy station or the place of death to do the body removal once the police is done with its paperwork.
- Members of the public and policyholders should take note that it is not the responsibility of the police to inform your funeral company to come and provide the service or call any other funeral parlour to do the same even where there was no funeral policy. The police is also not responsible for body removal unless they suspect murder or culpable homicide.
- So make sure that you have the correct and functional contact details of the funeral a s s u r a n c e c o m p a n y o r parlour that you want to use.
- Once informed, the funeral assurance company will ensure that they do the body removal from home to their private mortuary and this marks the first stage of their service provision.
b) Death in the hospital:
- Hospital staff will take care of the notification procedures at the hospital’s police post.
- The hospital staff will also notify the relatives of the deceased who should confirm the existence of any funeral cover for the deceased.
- The relatives of the deceased or any other person responsible should then immediately inform the funeral assurance company of the death to immediately make arrangements for body removal from the hospital to their funeral parlour.
Documentation required when making a claim:
After being notified, the assurer reserves the right to make enquiries in order to satisfy itself that the deceased person was covered under the policy and shall also be entitled to call for any documents it may deem necessary. The following documents are usually required in the event of a claim:
- Policy Document
- National Identity card of the deceased person or birth certificate if it is a minor
- Death confirmation or burial order
- Any other authentic documentation endorsed by the police or by a medical practitioner.
When these documents have been presented and the funeral assurance company has been satisfied as to the authenticity of same, the contents of the policy document would then guide the respective funeral assurance company as to the type of funeral service for the particular deceased person.
The parlour would then proceed in consultation with the family in planning the funeral service and availing the services specified in the policy contract like coffin or caskets, hearse, mourners transport, grocery allowance and other ancillary services peculiar to that policy.
This article was written by the Zimbabwe Association of Funeral Assurers (ZAFA)
Address: 240 Samora Machel Ave, Belvedere, Harare
Phone: +263 772 214 117/+263 716 341 734/+263-242-741670