An easy guide to funeral cover exclusions

4 December 2023
4 minute read
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Funeral cover helps you and your family give your loved ones a respectable funeral without any financial stress. As long as the claim is paid in good time! Although there are some stories of claims not being paid or being paid late, it’s good to know that well over 90% of claims are paid, often within 24 hours of receiving all required documentation.

There are, however, exclusions on funeral policies. An exclusion is when a particular event or cause of death is excluded, and the insurer does not pay the claim. Claim for an excluded event, or cause of death, and the claim will be declined.

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Find out what exclusions apply to your policy

Your insurer is required to list any funeral cover exclusions on your policy document. Exclusions are usually noted in a policy schedule and/or policy book and should be easy to find, understand and read. You can check your policy documents or ask your insurer or financial adviser if there are any exclusions that apply to you.

Two different funeral cover exclusions

There are two different types of exclusions: specific and general. Specific exclusions only apply to your policy. General exclusions apply to all policies, and you can find them in the funeral cover terms and conditions sections of your policy document, or on your insurer’s website.

Specific funeral cover exclusions

Specific exclusions on long-term insurance policies, such as life cover and funeral cover, are usually health or occupation or hazardous pursuit related. For example, if a life assured spends their weekends sky diving, an insurer may exclude any causes of death relating to sky diving. Or, if a life assured has had stage 3 lung cancer, an insurer may exclude lung cancer as a cause of death.

Specific exclusions, including funeral cover medical exclusions, are rare on funeral cover policies because neither your health nor your occupation are underwritten! This means that you don’t have to share your medical history or any medical conditions with your insurer. In turn, your insurer cannot exclude claims as a result of any medical condition or decline claims unless another exclusion or waiting period applies.

General funeral cover exclusions

The terms of exclusions may differ slightly for different insurers, but in general there are two that are universally applied:

Illegal behaviour or activities

If death is caused while a member is doing anything illegal, such as committing a crime, a claim may be declined. Illegal behaviour will include, but is not limited to:

Criminal activities such as burglary and committing murder: It is very important to note that this exclusion will apply to the perpetrator of the crime, not the victim!

Illegal activities such as driving when your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit, under the influence of drugs, or exceeding the speed limit. Apart from these being dangerous activities for you and anyone near you, they are illegal, and insurers can decline claims if a death occurs while a member is driving under the influence of alcohol.

Negligent or reckless activities

These are when you do something so obviously risky that an insurer can decline a claim.

Some examples include:

  • Ignoring medical advice
  • Not following safety protocols
  • Putting yourself in danger
  • Participating in a riot or act of war

You should check these with your insurer to make sure you understand what they would term a negligent or reckless act.

Waiting periods – exclusions that apply for a limited time

Most funeral cover policies exclude claims due to self-harm, or death due to suicide, for a time period from when the policy is taken out. For example, claims where death is due to suicide may be declined if they occur within the first 12 months of the policy. Another common waiting period is death due to natural causes, where claims for death as a result of a natural cause, such as a heart attack, are subject to a waiting period such as 6 months, and 6 paid premiums.

Funeral cover terms and conditions

Exclusions are not the only reason claims may be declined. The most common reasons claims are declined is because there is misrepresentation, for example you lie about your age or the relationship of a member to the main member. You should always check with your insurer who they provide cover for as additional members and ensure the members on your policy meet these defined relationships, and that there is an insurable interest.You will find this information in the funeral policy terms and conditions, or in your policy book. or in your policy book.

Confused about funeral cover exclusions? Give one of our skilled consultants a call on 0860 10 53 40 and we’ll answer any questions you might have! Our products are all easy to understand and easy to buy! You can get your funeral cover online in minutes with savings of 40% on your premiums!

Keep it legal, keep it honest

The easiest way to make sure your funeral claims are paid quickly is to make sure you have met all the terms and conditions, and don’t claim for an excluded event. If you have any questions about exclusions on your policy, you should contact your insurer who can assist. And remember, take care of yourself and avoid doing anything illegal! It could be bad news for you, your loved ones and your funeral policy claim!

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