Couples in long-term committed relationships often find themselves having to support their spouses financially when one of their in-laws who doesn’t have adequate funeral insurance passes away.
Lee Bromfield, CEO of FNB Life, says “Even if you have funeral cover for your own parents, you may find yourself in a financial predicament if one of your uninsured in-laws passes away as your spouse may rely on you for emotional and financial support.”
For consumers who are currently bearing the brunt of tough economic conditions, this can be a huge set back given that burial expenses will be paid out of pocket.
“When you are in a long-term relationship some financial responsibilities often have to be shared. As a result, taking out funeral cover for both in-laws should become a priority for couples,” adds Bromfield.
He says many couples find themselves in financial difficulties even post the funeral due to additional costs such as a tombstone unveiling, which are absorbed from the family’s budget and savings.
This is often followed by funeral expenses for extended family members who rely on one of the spouses for financial support.
“Some couples in this situation often have to approach loan sharks, take out personal loans and exhaust credit cards, which has a negative impact on their finances in the long term,” says Bromfield.
He advises couples to take time planning and assessing both their financial responsibilities to avoid paying for costly unforeseen events such as the passing away of a relative.
Bromfield emphasises the importance of couples deciding together who should cover their parents and extended family as well as the amount of cover necessary to afford them a dignified send-off.
“A common mistake that spouses make when insuring in-laws and extended family is taking out multiple policies. It is more cost effective to combine policies than taking out cover with different insurers,” he adds.
Couples shouldn’t wait until their parents reach retirement age to take out funeral cover as premiums will be more expensive. Moreover, there is often a waiting period for new policies that has to be factored in.
“Don’t let poor planning come between you and your partner’s financial wellbeing,” says Bromfield.
FNB Life offers funeral cover policies up to R100 000 and up to 21 family members on a single plan.