Funeral Insurance NZ Helpline

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Funeral Insurance or Life Insurance as an option?

Posted on 17 December, 2017 at 20:45 Comments comments (0)

Funeral Insurance is typically taken for the specific purpose of paying for your funeral (although you can take a little more cover if you think you may want to clear any other debt, say a credit card or small loan). For the purpose of paying for your funeral it is common people take either $7500 or $10000 cover. But this can go to as high as $30000 with some insurers to provide for cover for extra expenses.

Funeral cover NZ can be purchased from age 30 but many customers tend to be 60 plus. So, often they have no debt and any sons or daughters are well past the age where they are dependant financially on their parents. So. cover for funeral costs is then all that is required. In this example life insurance simply would not be required.

Funeral Plans in NZ are guaranteed acceptance, ie no health type questions asked. So, it is easy to get funeral insurance, all you need to do is meet any age entry criteria. Premiums are also fixed for life (apart from some oddball type covers that may still exist) so again it is beneficial that you know exactly how much you will have to pay monthly at any time in the future. Some covers also have a fixed date when the premiums cease and cover continues for free.

Applying for Life Insurance has two distinct differences. Most importantly your health is very carefully assessed, so while many people will easily qualify it may not be so easy for other people depending on their current or past health. In some instances life cover may not be possible, certainly on standard terms and conditions. Life insurance premiums typically increase year by year also so while it may sometimes look a better option that funeral cover right now that may not be the case at some point down the track when you allow for life premiums possibly increasing 10-15% per year, especially once you are 65. Some life covers can have fixed premiums to age 65 or 80 you then have a big problem at those ages when life cover then becomes extremely expensive, usually to the point of un-affordability.

If you still have debt or children who are dependant on you then life insurance is ideal. Cover amounts can be much higher (up to $1 million is often no problem, or more depending on your age). You can take life cover and funeral cover if you wish, while most people take one cover or the other there is no reason why you cannot have both if your circumstances dictate

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance Helpline


Can I arrange funeral insurance NZ for a family member without their approval; or even knowledge?

Posted on 17 December, 2017 at 20:45 Comments comments (0)

Yes, it is possible in some instances although more often that not the signature of the insured person is required. While this always sounds a bit sinister it is not of course, we often are contacted by family wanting to arrange cover for their parents (usually) who would not be interested at all in having or paying, or because of health reasons.

Other than Power of Attorney situations, typically with any form of insurance the person being insured must sign a declaration, therefore by default they are aware of the cover even if they are not arranging it themselves. There is one funeral insurance provider in NZ who we are aware of that will allow a close family member to apply for cover without any knowledge of the person. But that funeral plan is only available for those aged up to 70. The person arranging the cover is shown as the policy owner and typically it must be a spouse, son or daughter of the person being insured. They can also be the beneficiary for the claim proceeds and also be the person who makes the premiums payments.

This options is not just for the more reluctant parent it is also good for a family member who is ill and cannot understand sufficiently to sign themselves. It also avoids all the complications of applying using a Power of Attorney.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance Helpline

How do Cigna Funeral Cover, AA Funeral Cover and Pinnacle Funeral Insurance plans compare?

Posted on 17 December, 2017 at 19:30 Comments comments (0)

One big point of difference is that each funeral cover NZ insurer has different age entry points and sum insured options. For example with Cigna Funeral Insurance they provide cover for those aged 50 to 85 and sum insureds from $5000 to $30000. Pinnacles funeral plan NZ has cover from $7500 to $25000 and you must be aged 30 to 75 to buy cover. AA Funeral cover is available for those aged 50 to 79 and have covers from $5000 to $30000.

Each insurer has distinctly different premium structures so the premiums between these three options can differ significantly. With Pinnacle funeral cover the premiums cease at age 85 and after that time the cover continues for free. AA Funeral cover has something similar but their age cut off is 90. Cigna have no age cut off. Cigna Funeral cover currently comes with a 10% promotional discount for the first 12 months and Pinnacle have a similar promotional 10% discount but its continues for 24 months.

All these options have the same stand-down periods and timeframes for claims settlements. Generally their covers are similar other the above. All can all be counted on as reliable insurers who can be trusted to pay your claim appropriately at the right time.

For a full policy benefit comparison you can complete our online enquiry form, we send this easy to read two page chart together with a selection of comparative funeral insurance premiums promptly to your email.

Paul Woollams, Funeral insurance Helpline

Can you have multiple funeral plans with different funeral insurance providers? Any benefit to doing this?

Posted on 17 December, 2017 at 19:30 Comments comments (0)

There is no reason at all why you cannot have multiple funeral plans in place at one time. You can have one with every insurer if you really want, your only constraint is how much you can afford. Because of the unique nature of funeral insurance NZ, ie it being so easy to obtain, sometimes people feel having a second policy is good value. In saying this the normal reason we are told for doing this is that they require a funeral cover level over what one insurer might provide. For example for very large extended families and an expected high funeral cost, often with the added expense of flying in family members from other parts of NZ or overseas at short notice. Also, sometimes there is some extra debt that would be good to clear at the same time, say the small balance of a mortgage.

As the funeral insurance claim is paid out as a cash benefit the money can be used for any of these reasons.

Some companies have a maximum funeral insurance cover of $15000 so if you want more you would take a second policy. But as one policy for $25000 is normally cheaper than one for $15000 and another for $10000 it might be best to consolidate in to one that allows $25000 rather than just getting a second policy for $10000. But if you are cancelling an old policy to do this you must realise the new policy will have the stand-down period again for the entire cover amount. Also, any new cover has the entire premium calculated on your current (older) age.

So, while it is possible to have more than one funeral cover NZ it is worth discussing with a funeral insurance expert why you need this as they can guide you on the best way to achieve what you need without problems.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance Helpline

NZ Funeral Insurance plans do differ from insurer to insurer although there is a very common theme that all adhere to

Posted on 17 December, 2017 at 19:25 Comments comments (0)

Standard funeral insurance covers in New Zealand are all guaranteed acceptance so have no medical criteria to meet. Generally they all have the same 2 year stand-down period for death by natural causes. Most also have fixed premiums that do not increase as you age.

There is a variation in what eligibility ages apply to each insurer with some requiring a minimum age of 50 while there are exceptions such a age 30 entry point. Different levels of sum insureds are possible between insurers.

For an extensive summary of the top funeral insurance plans please complete our online enquiry form and we will be pleased to provide this with no obligation together with premium quotations.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance Helpline

Can I make the premium payments for the funeral insurance on behalf of my parents?

Posted on 17 December, 2017 at 19:25 Comments comments (0)

Yes, no problem. Any person can make the premium payments and in fact we have a lot of family members who help their parents in this way. It is just set up at the time you apply for the insurance. Sometimes the person making the payments is also l the nominated beneficiary of the funeral insurance cover and this is perfectly acceptable also.

Both the payment method and the beneficiary can be altered at any time in the future.

The parent still must be the life insured (person to be insured) and sign the funeral cover plan application in this instance as they must sign off the declaration. But family members can. of course, assist as required.

Paul Woollame, Funeral Insurane Helpline

Who gets paid the funeral insurance money when I pass away?

Posted on 17 December, 2017 at 19:20 Comments comments (0)

At the time you apply for your funeral insurance you will nominate who is to be paid when the time comes. This person will typically be your spouse, close family member or trusted friend. They will be the ones who are paid the sum insured so make sure they know about the insurance and have a copy on file.

You can also alter the beneficiary at any time in the future if your circumstances alter.

While it is nothing to do with the insurance we do find that at the same time as arranging the cover our clients tend to take the opportunity to discuss with the beneficiary what they would like to happen in terms of their own funeral arrangements. This does sound like a good sensible one-off discussion to have so that you know your intentions will be adhered to.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance Helpline  

Why are funeral insurance policies guaranteed acceptance with no health questions asked?

Posted on 17 December, 2017 at 19:20 Comments comments (0)

Yes, most funeral cover plans are guaranteed acceptance with no regard for past or current health at the time of application. The reason for this is that they also have a two year stand-down period for claims for death from natural causes. So, for the insurers it is not so important about the current health.

All the main funeral insurers have the same stand down period. It is simply to ensure that someone who is very unwell and has a potentially short life expectancy cannot just insure and have a claim paid within a short time. If you do pass away from natural causes within the first 2 years there is a 100% refund of premiums already paid. So, you are in no worse a position financially.

The two year stand down period is something to be aware of however if you are in generally good health at the time of a funeral insurance application then for most the stand down period will not be an issue. Even if you become unwell shortly after a policy is taken out there is still a very strong chance you will be alive after 2 years given the advances of modern medicine.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance Helpline

Do funeral insurance premiums get paid indefinitely until the time you pass away or do some have an age where cover continues but for free?

Posted on 17 December, 2017 at 19:15 Comments comments (0)

There are many funeral insurance providers out there and the majority of them do have their premiums continue until claim time. So, if you live a great long life the total premiums paid can add up. Pinnacle Life, however, are one of the few exceptions as they have a policy benefit where you only pay until age 85 and then cover continues for free after that. AA have the same but at age 90.

This benefit is one of the best going around with funeral insurance. This ensures that you do not pay way more than the sum insured if you end up living to your late 80s or 90s. So, it is an ideal option for everyone but especially any one who is already in the 70s as they will have a very definite period of time to make payments which gives some peace of mind about the maximum cost you could ever incur (ie even if you live to 86 and beyond).

Ask us for quotes, we will be sure to include Pinnacle Life as one of the options for you. Compare them against any other insurers you have be considering.

Paul Woollame, Funeral Insurance Helpline

Can you buy funeral plans that have an age cut off point for premiums so you do not have to pay after a certain age but maintain cover till needed?

Posted on 17 December, 2017 at 19:15 Comments comments (0)

Yes, for many people it is important to know that you would not have to continue paying premiums well in to your 80's or 90's at the time it is probably most unaffordable (but realistically at the very time it is most needed). When you complete our on-line enquiry form we will advise which insurers have an age cut off point.

One insurer who we often find is a very strong option has premiums that cease at age 85 and has cover free thereafter. This is available for anyone who purchases cover before they turn 76. On enquiry we will advise more details of this insurer and comment about other options also.

An insurer that does not have this cut off point becomes very unfavourable if you have a very long life as premiums will continue right through to claim time. Where possible an insurer that ceases premiums at age 85 (or similar) will be very much in your best interests and will also keep long term costs down.

Paul Woollams, Funeral Insurance Helpline