Funeral insurance cover proving popular in Samoa

If Apia Insurance Company’s (AIC) experience with their funeral cover can tell us anything, it is that family discussions around death and preparing for funerals could be becoming more common.

Since launching their funeral cover insurance in October last year, where plans could insure someone up to $10,000 in the event of their death, AIC has seen hundreds of people registering for policies, and three people have already made claims.

In those toughest days immediately following the death of a loved one, AIC’s Project Manager, Rosemary Tone, said has seen AIC deliver on their promise to pay insurance within 48 hours of the claim.

All the claims were made in the fourth month of the policy being held, which shows customers understand they can’t make claims in the first three months. Just two families have come to AIC within that three month period to cancel policies of loved ones who had passed away, and had 80 per cent of their payments refunded.

“The families have been really good, we’ve had really positive comments from families about how this has been a huge relief for them, especially in the time of need for them, that they don’t feel the financial burden they would have if they didn’t have this product,” she said.

The only information AIC need to process a funeral claim is a death certificate, and identification of the policy beneficiary. That makes the processes easy for claimants, Ms. Tone said.

On Facebook last week, the Fitisemanu family reviewed AIC, thanking them for their professionalism.

“Death is such a tender time and they assisted in every step of the way,” said Ritch Fitisemanu, whose father Papali’itele Alema Fitisemanu passed away.

“They were fast, efficient and arranged for a pick up on monies to help with my father’s services. We couldn’t have asked for more.”

Seeing families come to AIC together to make plans and prepare for funerals has been a positive effect of this funeral insurance product. Ms Tone said policy owners rarely come in alone to register, but rather as entire families eager to learn about it.

“A lot of times at our office, if we see a family coming through we know it’s for funeral insurance. Quite a few people are coming in as a car load.

“That’s a discussion we’re wanting, ultimately that was our aim – to make this a family discussion, something they are deciding on together.”

AIC has not looked at whether the insurance payout is able to cover entire funeral costs, or how the funds are spent yet. But Ms Tone said it is clear from their feedback the payment is a help.

“It’s a big contribution to have that on hand very early on rather than looking for loans or other means of starting that process of doing the funeral,” she said.

“We haven’t had any comments that it’s not enough or anything, everyone has just been thankful to have a substantial contribution to the day.”


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