By Jackson Okoth
Many people are surprised by the costs and expenses they incur when a loved one dies. Of course, these costs arrive at an already difficult time, often well before life insurance claims can be made or an estate can be settled.
Matters are made even worse for those without any form of funeral cover or regular income.
It is against this background that a decision by the late veteran politician Martin Shikuku to set aside four bulls to be slaughtered at his funeral as well as digging his own grave can be understood.
Funeral costs in Kenya run from about Sh25,000 to millions of shillings depending on one’s status in society, whether a loved one has chosen to be buried or cremated, what kind of service the family would like (venue hire, celebrant, refreshments, flowers, catering), and any other expenses related to the person’s death such as outstanding medical expenses.
All these expenses add up and can place an enormous financial strain on family members and friends left behind. “While the topic of death remains a taboo among many communities, research shows that Kenyans are still willing to save for certainties such as funerals. The only issue has been how to package a product that would still make sense to the mass market,” said Chris Nyokangi, Old Mutual Kenya’s Commercial Director. Not everyone has money stashed somewhere which is available at short notice to cover funeral expenses.
Funeral insurance cover is an excellent way to prepare for the costs associated with a funeral and protects one’s family’s savings for the future. “We settle all claims within 48 hours to allow a client or any of the dependants under this last expense cover to have a decent send off without resorting to stressful fund raising efforts,” said Sheila Gichuhi, Head of Health, APA Insurance Limited.
APA offers both corporate and individual funeral covers, offering a lump sum benefit of between Sh25,000 and Sh100,000. “We make lump sum payments when a claim is received and then leave how this cash is to be used to the next of kin or family of the deceased,” said Gichuhi.
Last expense cover
For as little as between Sh800 and Sh3,000, a client at UAP insurance is able to get a lump sum of between 25,000 and 500,000. “We are working on a plan to settle claims through mobile phone cash transfers in addition to the electronic funds transfer and cheque system that is currently in use,” said an officer at UAP Insurance.
Funeral covers pay for funeral expenses when one passes away; offering the peace of mind of knowing your family is supported in the event of your death. The list of insurance companies offering last expense cover for individuals and or corporates include UAP, Old Mutual, Pan Africa Insurance, Jubilee, CFC Life and APA.
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