Top up on airtime and funeral cover

TOP UP: Discovery Life and Vodacom launch a prepaid funeral plan. Pic. Thembinkosi Dwayisa. 10/06/04. © Sowetan.
TOP UP: Discovery Life and Vodacom launch a prepaid funeral plan. Pic. Thembinkosi Dwayisa. 10/06/04. © Sowetan.

Thomas McLachlan

Thomas McLachlan

Discovery Life, together with Vodacom, launched a funeral plan today that allows low-income earners to take out a funeral policy in the same way as buying pre-paid airtime on a cellphone.

"The Discovery Prepaid Funeral Plan is as simple as topping up your prepaid cellphone time, and can be purchased from any of the usual outlets for only R40 a month," said Herschel Mayers, chief executive of Discovery Life.

Customers need to buy a Discovery Prepaid Funeral Plan starter pack from one of 4000 spaza shops and retailers around the country and then purchase a recharge voucher each month.

Mayers said that these vouchers could be sold by any vendor that sold airtime.

The plan covers the principal member for R10000 upon death, R7500 for the spouse and each child would be covered for R 2500.

If a customer misses a payment, they would not be covered for that month, Mayers said.

He said customers would be able to go without paying for a maximum of six months before their account would be cancelled and they would have to purchase a new starter pack.

Mayers said that there had generally been "poor banking penetration" in the low-income market, despite research indicating that there was sufficient income to afford products such as a funeral plan.

He said the funeral plan was well below the industry average of about R120 a month, with some reaching as high as R300 a month for cover.

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