Your phone vibrates in your pocket. As you open the SMS, you’re greeted with surprising news: “You’ve won £100 000 in the UK lottery, please call John Smith to claim your prize.” Seems legit, right? With the rise of the digital era, scam artists now prey on hundreds of unsuspecting victims without leaving the house. So, what about the next time you receive an email, phone call or SMS from an insurer offering you funeral cover? We’ve outlined a few guidelines, to ensure you don’t get caught out. Yes, a funeral can cost tens of thousands. But knowing the difference between a genuine and fake funeral policy could save you a great deal of time and money.
Pete’s Funeral Plans
If the name of the alleged service provider doesn’t sit well with you, it’s probably a scam. The same goes with cold calling and bulk messages. An authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP) will never ask for your banking details before you’ve agreed on a funeral plan. If they’re in a hurry to know who you bank with, do not proceed.
Read the Fine Print
You can now apply for funeral cover at certain ATMs, or by sending an SMS and having a sales agent call you back. That’s great, if you’re concerned about time. However, you should always read the fine print before committing to a policy. Become familiar with the claim process, waiting periods, clauses and benefits. Take the time to find the right funeral plan for you. This will help you identify the legit insurers from the opportunists.
Understanding the Law
Only a company licensed by the Financial Services Board (FSB) can sell you a funeral policy. By law, these policies must be underwritten by a registered long-term insurance company. If you have any doubts, you can always call the FSB and check if the insurer is registered.
You should receive a certificate when your new funeral policy is issued, outlining the terms and breakdown of costs. The summary will also highlight your monthly premium and amount of cover. Once you receive this documentation, you have a 30-day period to change your mind. If you don’t get a certificate and you’re having trouble contacting the insurer, speak to your bank immediately about cancelling the debit order.
How Low Can You Go
What may seem like a good deal, could be a scam. If the service provider offers you cover for up to R100 000 and you’re only paying R50 a month, there’s something wrong. You should shop around for the right deal, but remember that a super low premium doesn’t mean you’re getting the best funeral plan for you and your family.