Insurance funeral cover popular in Savai'i
The Apia Insurance Company is serious about their commitment to include everyone in Samoa under their funeral cover service.
As part of their commitment, they have reached out to the public through a roadshow around Savai'i, to make sure everyone in Samoa understands what their new service is about.
The service was launched in October last year in partnership with the Pacific Inclusion Programmes,, which is a division of the United Nations that carries out financial inclusion programmes around the region.
Rosemary Tone, the Marketing Manager for Apia Insurance Company, said the funeral cover has been well received by the people.
“Since our launch, there has been a lot of positive response from the communities especially a lot of people calling from Savai'i wanting to know information about what we offer and how they can apply,” she told Samoa Observer.
“The aim is to try and bring people who are not in the formal financial sector into the formal financial sector.
“People who may not have bank accounts, who may not be working, farmers; they are all included in this product. So it’s a product that is inclusive and we also don’t have a age limit. We’ve really thought about ways so we can get as many people as possible.
“We also took into account how Samoans care and love their elders so this is something that is in line with our culture and heart of giving.
“The main purpose of this product is to lessen the burden that our families have to carry as we understand that funerals in Samoa are very costly. It is our aim that we don’t reach out to loans and debts when we have funerals. This is a way we assist you to plan ahead. We know no one wants to plan funerals and it’s something we don’t talk about. But a little planning ahead can save us so much time and so much money.”
Ms Tone said bringing their services to Savai'i was something they’ve been wanting to do for so long.
“This is an opportunity to give back to the people of Samoa including people residing in Savai'i. So this has been in plan for such a long time and we are happy that it we were able to bring our services here and reach out to the people of Savai'i.
“We’ve used the whole week here in Savai'i. We want to make sure that this product is reaching out to everyone including people in the rural communities in Savai'i.”
More than 700 people have signed up for the service before the team headed to Savai'i last week and six families had already benefited from the funeral cover.
“The numbers are still growing,” said Ms Tone.
“We’ve had some good numbers in Savai'i as well. We have a lot of interests and the growth has been fantastic.
“We are happy to bring our service out here to make people aware of our service and also bringing registrations forms for them so they don’t have to come all the day to Apia to sign up for this.
“We try our best to be inclusive as possible.”
However, like anything in life, there are challenges along the way.
Ms Tone said the main challenge for the funeral cover is “accessibility”.
“We try our best to make sure that this is as accessible as possible. That’s why we had to make sure that our product is brought out to the people of Savaii as a lot of people calling in were from Savaii. “One challenge for us is changing the mindset of our people.
“You know we are not always open to talk about funerals and plan ahead. But we know it affects us all, emotionally and financially. Planning for a funeral is possible and that it is always good to be prepared.
“Taking responsibility and caring for your loved ones is all part of our product and we want our people to understand that it is okay to think ahead and plan the final days of our loved ones.”
Tauasa Pasefika Save’u, from Manase, praised the product saying it can help children and families in a lot of ways.
“This is the first time I’ve heard of this kind of service,” he told Samoa Observer.
“So in my opinion this programme is very crucial. It makes the burden lighter and can help with the costs of funerals.”
Fouvale Moafanua Omeri, from Faletagaloa, thanked the Insurance Company for the great initiative.
“I heard about these workshops on the radio,” she said.
“I am here today to take responsibility and signing up for this programme so that when the time comes, my children will not have much to worry about.
“This is something that is never discussed with our children. We never really sit down with them and tell them that we want to save up for our funerals.
“But this is a great way in my opinion, to save up now so that when the time comes, we don’t need to worry about expenses.”