Updated 03.07.2021

Funeral Cover in South Africa

No one wants to leave this world with their surviving family in debt because of the costly funeral service. The best thing you can do is to rest in peace knowing a funeral cover will handle all the expenses associated with your death.

Funerals in South Africa cost between R10 000 to R70 000, depending on the kind of burial service preferred. This amount is no joke and can become an issue that creates unnecessary debts for those who will be left behind.

What is a Funeral Cover?

Funeral cover is a type of insurance that pays beneficiaries upon your death. The payment received can be used to cover funeral costs and other arrangements to achieve a proper burial ceremony.

More than just a financial investment, a funeral cover provides emotional security to your family. As a final act of love, your family will most likely spend money to give you a decent funeral. A funeral cover will take their worries away from money, allowing the bereaved to grieve the loss of a loved one. Funeral cover can help them recover expenses and have better closure knowing they’ll be bidding you goodbye through a proper ceremony.

Investing in a funeral cover can give you peace of mind knowing that your family won’t be forced into debt just to give you proper service.

How Does Funeral Cover Work in South Africa?

A funeral cover policy works like other forms of insurance wherein you pay a monthly premium so that beneficiaries will receive a payout when you pass away.

The monthly payment is paid toward the funeral plan. Upon death, your family will receive a specified amount as stated in the funeral cover. This will help your family cope with the expenses associated with the funeral service and leave them with money to recover from the loss.

Usually, the coverage is for immediate family members including your partner and your children. However, there is an option to choose who to cover under the policy. Some policies even allow you to extend the coverage beyond immediate family members.

Applying for Funeral Cover

It’s fast and simple to apply for a funeral cover. Banks often provide an online application for customer convenience.

You must be between 18 to 64 years of age to qualify for a funeral cover. All dependants must also be South African citizens with proof of identification.

Some banks may require that you open an account with them if you don’t have an existing one. But some will approve your application so long as you have a valid South African bank account.

Funeral Cover for Parents

Aside from your partner and children, you’ll most likely want to take care of your parents and in-laws too in case something happens to you.

Banks in SA provide funeral coverage to parents, as well as to extended family members like aunts, uncles, nephews, cousins, grandparents, and in-laws. What encompasses a family may have varying interpretations, which is why financial institutions just give clients the freedom of choosing who to include as beneficiaries.

Increments on the monthly premium will vary per provider, although most increases aren’t that big and they count per head more than the prescribed number of beneficiaries.

Funeral Cover for Individuals Over 80

It’s hard to find a funeral cover for individuals over 80 years of age. Insurance providers consider older individuals as higher risk clients since they’re most likely to make a claim, given that the chances of perishing increases proportional to age.

Some banks like Sanlam, though, still accept coverage for individuals over 80. However, expect to pay higher premiums for this.

Funeral Cover With No Waiting Period

Most funeral covers in South Africa have an effective waiting period after you register. The waiting period is the time needed for a policy to mature before it pays out beneficiaries in the event of accidental death.

The waiting period for cases of natural death ranges from 6 to 12 months. In case you pass away within the waiting period, your beneficiaries may not be paid out even if you used to regularly pay the monthly premiums.

In case of death due to a pre-existing condition, the waiting period is usually about 24 months. This means that if you’re diagnosed with a pre-existing chronic medical condition upon application for the funeral cover, beneficiaries won’t receive anything if you happen to pass away within the next 2 years after registration.

Some funeral cover providers like Capitec and Assupol do not have waiting periods on their policies. Old Mutual and Sanlam also don’t require any medical examination when applying for their funeral policies. Other policy providers offer an optional benefit that removes the waiting period in exchange for a higher monthly premium.

Best Funeral Cover Insurance Policies in South Africa

Here’s a list of financial institutions that offer funeral cover in SA:

FNB Funeral Cover

FNB Funeral Cover offers flexible funeral plans for individuals, couples, and large families. Their basic package covers both holder and spouse, while their Family Bundle can include up to 5 children, aside from the couple.

Benefits and coverage

  • Coverage for up to 21 individuals between ages 18 to 64.
  • Get covered up to R100 000 for either the basic or the Family Bundle package. The Family Bundle has discounted rates and features an R10 000 free coverage for up to 5 children.
  • Lifelong coverage so long as the monthly premium is paid.
  • Claims can be received within 24 hours after submitting all the documents.
  • Earn back up to 15% of the monthly premium in eBucks.

Premium rates

For as low as R49 per month, you can get covered by as much as R20 000. The minimum monthly premium for Family Bundle is at R89 per month.

Contact info

To apply, you can fill up the online contact form, email them at fnblife@fnb.co.za, or call them at 087 736 7772.

Capitec Funeral Cover

The Capitec Funeral Cover can be personalized to fit your budget and needs so that you only pay the premium that’s within your financial capability. Capitec promotes having 50% less premium for the same coverage that other providers offer.

To apply for a Capitec Funeral Cover, you can download the Capitec mobile app or visit any branch for a face-to-face transaction.

Benefits and coverage

  • Get up to R100 000 coverage.
  • You can add up to 21 dependants and pay for only one plan.
  • No automatic premium increases. You’ll be notified at least 30 days before premium changes are applied.
  • Benefits can be claimed within 24 hours after all required documents are submitted.
  • Waiting period waiver, double accident death benefit, voluntary policy pause, burial repatriation, and death premium waiver are some of the advantages you can get from Capitec Funeral Cover.

Premium rates

Rates start at R51 to get coverage of R20 000.

Contact info

Capitec can be contacted through the chat widget available on their website. You can also drop your queries on an online contact form or call them at 0860 10 20 43.

Assupol Funeral Cover

Assupol offers the Assupol instant Funeral™ Plan which you can apply for online and the Excellence Family Funeral Plan which requires a face-to-face discussion. The latter is more expensive because it has more benefits, has a bigger payout, and has wider coverage.

Aside from the standard benefits, you can include add-ons like a memorial benefit, accidental death benefit, cashback benefit, family income benefit, or retrenchment benefit.

Benefits and coverage

  • TheAssupol instantFuneral™ Plan can provide coverage of at least R5 000 up to R30 000, depending on your needs and budget.
  • The Excellence Family Funeral Plan can cover up to R75 000 of funeral expenses.
  • The coverage starts on the following month after application.
  • Unlike other funeral covers, you will begin paying premiums the next month after registration.
  • Valid and registered claims can be paid within 24 hours.

Premium rates

You can get covered by paying a monthly premium of at least R40.

Contact info

You can get in touch with Assupol representatives online or by calling them at 0860 103 091. You can also schedule a face-to-face discussion for a more personal approach.

Sanlam Funeral Cover

Choose from five Sanlam Funeral Cover packages, each with varying advantages, inclusions, and add-ons. The basic policy is the Online package which pays out immediate family members when you die. You can apply for any Sanlam funeral cover online.

Traditional, Priority, Tribute, and Prestige funeral cover policies provide burial repatriation benefits, unemployment and pregnancy premium holidays, and premium and coverage upgrades. Memorial, grocery, double accident, and cashback benefits can also be given to these advanced packages.

Benefits and coverage

  • Get up to R40 000 Sanlam funeral cover that can be paid within 48 hours.
  • There’s a 12-month waiting period before the coverage can be claimed.
  • No blood tests or medical exams to get covered.
  • Various Sanlam Funeral Cover packages to fit your budget.
  • Lifelong coverage with age-banded premium rates.

Premium rates

The affordable premium for as low as R25 per month.

Contact info

You can send a message online or call them on 0860 726 526.

Old Mutual Funeral Cover

Old Mutual Funeral Cover offers a flexible plan that can be tailored to your budget and needs. From single parents with a few dependants to an extended family with a large coverage needed, Old Mutual Funeral Cover has the right plan for you.

There are two funeral policies to choose from: EASIPLUS Funeral Plan which can be bought online and the Funeral Plan Range which requires an adviser for purchase.

Benefits and coverage

  • Old Mutual Funeral Cover can provide up to R70 000 coverage.
  • The payout can be given within 48 hours after submitting the required documents.
  • You can miss paying up to 6 premiums if you’re having trouble with your finances.
  • No need for medical requirements upon application.
  • You, your family, parents, grandparents, and extended family members up to 84 years old can be applied under the Old Mutual Funeral Cover plans.

Premium rates

You can get coverage for as low as R22 per month.

Contact info

You can buy plans online, through an adviser, or by contacting Old Mutual at 0860 50 60 70.

Nedbank Funeral Cover

Nedbank funeral cover provides a flexible plan that can financially assist your family in case of unforeseen scenarios. Premiums can be paid in cash on designated Nedbank kiosks found in selected retail stores nationwide.

Benefits and coverage

  • You can get as much as R75 000 funeral cover for you or your partner. The Immediate Family package has limited coverage of R40 000.
  • Nedbank funeral cover allows up to 29 family members and relatives to be included in the insurance for just a little more premium than the standard plan.
  • Paying premiums by debit order will get you immediately covered for accidental deaths. Cash payments are even better since you’ll be covered the moment you hand in your first premium payment.
  • You and immediate family members will be covered for natural causes of death 6 months after getting insured.
  • You don’t have to worry about the policy lapsing if you’re unable to pay the full monthly premium due to financial difficulties. However, partial premium payment will also reduce the insurance amount of your Nedbank funeral cover.

Premium rates

Fixed payments of at least R32,50 per month for an R10 000 cover. For an R20 000 cover, you need to pay at least R50,00 premium per month.

Contact info

You can contact Nedbank through the Nedbank Contact Centre on 0860 333 111.

Clientele Funeral Cover

Clientele offers two funeral cover plans that provide a range of benefits that helps cover the associated costs that come with a funeral.

Funeral Dignity Plan – From R190 per month

  • Over R110,000 family cover from less than R2 per person per day.
  • Cover up to 13 people on 1 plan.
  • Pays out within just 24 hours.
  • R200 airtime when you claim.
  • Includes a grocery and unveiling benefit.
  • Enhanced Benefits: We will put you in touch with a 24-hour helpline. Professionals will assist you with various aspects of funeral arrangements, like grief counselling, repatriation of the body and discounted rates with various funeral suppliers.

Ultimate Dignity Plan – From R205 per month

  • NEW BENEFIT: As the main member, if you start your policy before age 50, you have the option to receive 50% of your premiums back in cash at age 65. The remaining 50% of premiums will be paid back to your beneficiaries upon death.
  • Up to R100,000 individual cover.
  • Up to R500,000 family cover.
  • 3 Children covered at no additional cost.
  • Pays within 24 hours.
  • R200 airtime when you claim.
  • Includes grocery, unveiling and transport benefits.
  • Cover up to 13 people on 1 plan.
  • 24 Hour funeral helpline.

Premium rates

Rates range from R190 to R205 depending on the plan you choose.

Contact info

To apply for Clientele Funeral Cover, you can buy online at Clientele Funeral Cover or request a call back for a quote.  Alternatively, you can contact their call center on 011 320 3000.

Final Thoughts

The cost of funeral services in SA can be expensive, especially for low and average-income earners. What you can do to ease the burden on your family when you pass away is to support them with a funeral cover. The last thing you want is to leave them with debts because they can’t afford to give you a proper burial service.

When choosing a policy provider, look for one that removes the limitations raised by waiting periods and medical examinations in granting the payout to beneficiaries. These banks may require a higher monthly premium, but it can be worth it when you consider the financial support funeral covers can give to your loved ones.