*The table below has been updated to correct an error.
In South Africa, average funeral costs start at R40,000 – and could go all the way up to five times that figure. The funeral insurance industry is booming and valued at a little over R10 billion. Even young people, most of whom don't know what a unit trust is, tend to buy funeral insurance.
So Capitec's announcement last week that it will start to offer funeral cover as its first insurance product is no great surprise.
Capitec's premium is one of the lowest in the market. It also boasts of paying out claims in less than four hours, while the standard time in the market is within 24 hours.
As far as additional benefits are concerned, Clientele offers claimants R200 airtime, tombstone-unveiling, and grocery benefits. Assupol also offers groceries in addition to electricity, transport and airtime — but at an additional premium.
Capitec says it will transport the corpse of the insured person within Southern African Development Community countries to the funeral home of choice that is the closest to their place of burial in SA. Unlike the other insurers, the bank offers a benefit of not having a waiting period for either switching insurers, or in the event of an accidental death.
UPDATE: after publication of this article, Assupol said that although its promotional material claims payouts within 24 hours, most of its claims are in fact paid within three hours. It also said that it allows for the waiving of the six-month waiting period if a client provides a schedule and cancellation letter showing they’ve already went through the process with a different insurer.