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Duties of the principal funeral policy member

12 July 2022
4 minute read
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If you are the principal member on your funeral policy, make sure you know your responsibilities. Get these right and your family members will be covered and have valid claims paid quickly.

1. Adding and removing additional members

Principal members, or main members, are responsible for adding and removing additional members such as spouses, children, parents and grandparents, to the policy. If you marry, have children or divorce, review your policy to ensure your closest family are all listed.

Top tip: Children over the age of 21, or over the age of 25 if they are full-time students, don’t qualify for cover on a parents’ funeral policy and will need to take out their own policy.

2. Ensuring the sum assured is appropriate

The sum assured will be used to pay for a respectable funeral for the deceased. It is important to check the sums assured for yourself and the additional members to ensure they are sufficient to cover the costs of a funeral.

3. Appointing a beneficiary

When a principal member passes, the claim is paid to a nominated beneficiary, which the principal member must name on the policy. Remember to update this if there are any changes!

4. Keeping contact details up to date

1Life Insurance needs to be able to contact both the principal member and beneficiary, so it is vital that principal members keep these contact details up to date.

5. Paying premiums

The principal member is responsible for ensuring premiums are paid – whether they or another person is paying them. Always check your premiums are up to date and contact us if you have any difficulty paying them.

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6. Understanding benefits and knowing which members qualify for benefits

1Life funeral cover policies have a range of benefits, including a repatriation service for all members, a memorial headstone benefit for members over the age of 14, and a grocery benefit on the passing of the main member. Principal members should familiarise themselves with the benefits their policies offer and tell their beneficiary and other members so they know what they are covered for.

7. Making sure members know when and how to claim

1Life funeral policies pay claims for additional members to the principal member. Principal members need to submit claims for members who pass so valid claims can be paid and the policy updated. If the principal member passes, the valid claim for their death will be paid to the nominated beneficiary. Principal members should tell the beneficiary that they have nominated them as a beneficiary, as well as share information on the policy including where the policy is kept and how to claim so they are prepared when the time comes.

8. Ensuring all members are SA citizens and live in the country

1Life funeral policies offer cover to South African citizens who reside in the country. Cover may be suspended if a member is out of the country for more than 60 consecutive days. If you, or another member listed on your policy, is going to be out of the country for longer than this, you must contact 1Life to let us know so we can make any necessary changes.

9. Talking with additional members about the continuation option

The continuation option is a fantastic benefit for 1Life funeral policy members. On the death of the principal member, a spouse or other adult member if there is no spouse, can take over the policy and effectively become the new principal member. This means the members don’t have to take out a new policy. Principal members should chat with their spouse or an adult member to inform them of this benefit so they can use it. Importantly, there is also a premium waiver, which means premiums won’t need to be paid for a specified time after the death of the principal member, although all benefits are available. The premium waiver period is for two years.

10. Understanding the waiting periods and exclusions

1Life funeral policies have a six-month waiting period for claims where death is due to natural causes and there is a one-year exclusion for claims where death is due to suicide. Principal members need to know these waiting periods and exclusions and be aware of when they apply.

Update your policy

Need to check your policy, or make a change such as updating or nominating a beneficiary or changing your bank details? You can do it quickly, safely and in your own time! Log in to the policyholder servicing portal using your ID number and make the changes to keep your policy updated! You can also contact us on WhatsApp, speak to your financial adviser for assistance, or contact one of our 1Life consultants.

Final thoughts

Funeral policies are designed to cover the costs of a respectable funeral for you and your family members. The principal member can ensure this happens by knowing and keeping their responsibilities, making sure the policy is up to date, members are added on to policies and beneficiary details up to date. When the time comes to claim, up-to-date policies can help get valid claims paid quickly, often within 24 hours!

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