With food prices continuing to increase, rising fuel prices and high electricity tariffs – South Africans could see the average cost of burying a loved one rising significantly in the short-term.
Lee Bromfield, CEO of FNB Life says, on average, the cost of a burial is estimated to range between R30 000 and R40 000, but cautions that along with the rising cost of living, burial expenses could increase substantially.
“The average cost of a burial takes into account standard expenses such as buying a coffin, catering, hiring a tent, buying a headstone, fuel or travel expenses for the family and the amount of electricity consumed when preparing for a funeral. Other expenses that are not always considered include the printing of a programme or an obituary, and even the airtime used to stay in touch with key suppliers such as undertakers or caters.”
If unplanned for, all these expenses could easily overwhelm families and negatively impact the hopes of providing a decent burial. While some families may be fortunate enough to have members who could contribute towards funeral expenses, such goodwill cannot be guaranteed, especially in these tough economic times.
Bromfield says there are a number of options that people should consider, to cope with high funeral expenses:
· Consider taking up funeral cover for your loved ones
· Review your funeral cover to align with your family needs
· Be disciplined about paying your monthly premiums
· Ensure that your cover provides great value at a relative price
· Select a trustworthy provider to avoid being let down when it’s time to claim
“In most cases, people tend to ignore the responsibility of taking up a funeral plan until they are confronted with a situation that requires it. You’ll be very surprised how many people find themselves in excessive debt simply because they neglected to make the necessary arrangements to provide a decent burial for their loved-ones.
“South Africans are fortunate because funeral plans are easily accessible but consumers still need to exercise caution because of the vast amount of unscrupulous providers in the market. This is why your decision to take up funeral cover is as important as the provider you chose to be insured with,” says Bromfield.