A funeral policy for a beloved person will help when the inevitable happens

Thobeka Dhlomo

Thobeka Dhlomo

There are few better experiences than learning life's lessons from senior citizens - whether from a loved one or someone you meet.

The unfortunate reality is, no matter how hard one might try to escape the pain of the death of a loved one, death is inevitable.

One can never really be fully prepared for a loved one's death, but when it comes to a beloved elder person, it does not hurt to have a plan of action.

One of the largest funeral directing companies in southern Africa, Doves group, offers various affordable funeral service packages that cater for all funeral needs.

The seniors' package, the All Nations Funeral Policy, covers principal members and spouses younger than 65 as well as extended family members younger than 85.

Though substitution or addition of beneficiaries is not permitted, premiums are offered from a minimum of R55 a month. Premiums are payable on a monthly basis before the seventh of each month.

The policy covers up to 12 people, including four extended family members. After a three- month waiting period, the bereaved are entitled to a complete funeral or, alternatively, money to cover the expenses of a funeral.

HTG Life, a wholly owned subsidiary of Doves, underwrites group schemes to provide cover for members of clubs, burial societies, church groups and employees of companies.

Through its close association with Doves, the company is able to provide members with comprehensive and seamless services from an insurance and funeral services perspective.

Doves also helps to get death certificates from the Department of Home Affairs, place death notices in the local press and collect the deceased from home or hospital. All services and products are subject to the terms of the package chosen.

The company has strategically located branches nationally that enable it to arrange a funeral even if a member or beneficiary passes away in another area.

According to Doves director of communications, Jacqui Zwambila, their mission is to deliver funerals as a celebration of life.

"The company subscribes to the highest ethical standards, respecting the dignity of a funeral and being sensitive to our customers' cultural, ethnic and religious needs," says Zwambila.

Doves also offers the Saffas Burial Society, which has a maximum cover of R4000 for people older than 65 with a waiting period of nine months.

There is an upfront single premium with a minimum of R2000 and a maximum of R10000. The waiting period is six months.

In the event of a death before six months, the premiums paid to date will be refunded, less the policy administration fees.

Doves also offers a funeral plan for the 65 to 75 age group. This cover is R5000 or R10000.

The company is running a promotion until December called Senior's Benefit Certificate where Doves will contribute R2000 towards the costs of a funeral.

This promotion excludes all external costs for services or products either requested by the next of kin or demanded by regulatory requirements.

This certificate, which can only be redeemed at a Doves funeral parlour in South Africa, will entitle senior citizens and their spouse or life partner to R2000 on funeral or cremation costs exceeding R7000. The certificate cannot be redeemed for cash.

Doves accepts all valid funeral policies, including policies from Avbob, Metropolitan, Old Mutual, Momentum, Liberty, Sanlam and African Life.

So while we can never really imagine the death of a loved one, peace of mind will go a long way in the event of sudden death.