Metropolitan Funeral Cover: Essential Guide to Safeguarding Your Loved Ones

Metropolitan is a recognised insurance provider in South Africa that offers funeral cover to consumers seeking to ensure that funeral costs are taken care of in the event of a family member’s death. They provide a plan that is designed to be flexible and affordable, giving policyholders the option to cover up to 20 family members. This cover aims to alleviate the financial burden that comes with funeral expenses, providing a dignified send-off for loved ones.

The company has structured its funeral cover to be fully customizable, catering to the different needs and budgets of its clientele. Policyholders have the choice of various benefits that can be included in their cover, such as payment protection and value protection, making the cover adaptable to individual requirements.

Metropolitan also streamlines the claims process by offering a paperless claims system for some of their plans, which improves claim turnaround times. Financial advisers are available to guide policyholders through the necessary procedures, ensuring that claims are settled swiftly and efficiently, often within 24 hours for the majority of funeral cover claims.

Understanding Funeral Cover

Funeral cover is an insurance policy designed specifically to provide a financial payout to cover funeral expenses upon the insured’s death. This ensures that the bereaved are not burdened with the costs associated with a funeral during a period of grief.

What Is Funeral Cover?

Funeral cover, often referred to as a funeral plan, is a form of insurance where one pays monthly premiums to ensure that, upon their death, a set amount of money is available to cover funeral costs. Unlike other types of insurance, funeral cover is tailored to cover expenses such as the coffin, service, transportation, and other direct costs related to the funeral service. Funeral policies may extend to cover immediate family members, and sometimes, even parents and extended family can be included. Cover levels can vary, with some policies providing sums from as low as R5,000 to as high as R100,000, allowing policyholders to choose a plan that suits their budget and needs. It is critical for individuals to understand the terms and conditions, as different cover amounts can lead to variations in the policy rules.

Difference Between Funeral Cover and Life Insurance

While both funeral cover and life insurance are financial safety nets for when someone passes away, they serve different purposes.

  • Funeral Cover provides a quick payout specifically for funeral-related costs. It is designed to ensure that the financial aspects of a funeral do not add to the family’s stress during a time of mourning. Its exclusive focus is to cover immediate funeral expenses.

  • Life Insurance, on the other hand, is a broader form of cover that typically provides beneficiaries with a lump sum upon the policyholder’s death. This lump sum can be used for any purpose, such as paying off debt, covering living expenses, or acting as a financial legacy for the policyholder’s heirs.

Table 1: Comparing Funeral Cover and Life Insurance

FeatureFuneral CoverLife Insurance
PurposeCovers funeral expenses specificallyProvides a lump sum for any purpose
Payout TimingImmediate, to cater for urgent funeral costsCan take longer, not specifically for funeral costs
Policy RulesMay come without the need for health checks, depending on the cover amountOften requires health assessments or medical tests

Understanding the differences between these types of insurance is essential for making an informed decision that aligns with one’s financial planning goals.

Metropolitan Funeral Plan Options

Metropolitan offers a range of funeral plans designed to provide financial assistance and comfort during difficult times. The plans are structured to accommodate different needs and budgets, ensuring a dignified send-off for loved ones.

Overview of Metropolitan Funeral Plans

Metropolitan Funeral Plans are designed to cover individuals, immediate family members, and extended family under a single policy. These plans aim to deliver a quick payout to alleviate the financial burden associated with funerals.

Cover Amounts and Premiums

  • Cover amounts: The funeral cover options range from R5 000 up to R100 000, allowing policyholders to select the cover that best suits their specific requirements.
  • Premiums: Premiums are affordable, with plans starting from as little as R40 a month.
Cover OptionMinimum Premium

*Premiums for the maximum cover are subject to policyholder’s choice and specifics of the plan.

Benefits Included in the Plans

Cashback Benefit: Some plans may include a cashback benefit as an incentive for maintaining the policy over a certain period.

Value Protection Benefit: Specific plans are designed to protect the policy’s value, ensuring that inflation does not erode the benefits over time.

Other benefits may include:

  • A lump-sum Memorial Benefit that pays up to R20,000, which can be used for expenses such as a tombstone or memorial service.
  • The option to skip up to 6 premiums during tough financial times without losing cover.
  • The Monthly Essentials benefit, which provides a monthly sum of up to R3,000 for 6 to 12 months to assist the surviving family with living expenses.

The Metropolitan Funeral Plans are comprehensive, customizable and aim to ease the financial stress accompanying the loss of a loved one.

Extending Funeral Cover

Metropolitan’s funeral cover is designed for flexibility, catering to individual needs with the option to include an extensive network of family members. The cover permits policyholders to protect their loved ones financially in the event of death, ensuring that the necessitous processes are handled with minimal burden.

Adding Family Members

Metropolitan allows policyholders to extend coverage to up to 20 family members on a single plan. This includes not only immediate family, like one’s partner and children, but also parents, parents-in-law, and even extended family. Importantly, once family members are added, the cover afforded to them – up to R70,000 for parents and R100,000 for immediate family – ensures a sufficient safety net.

  • Immediate family members: Partner and children
  • Parents: Coverage up to R70,000
  • Parents-in-law and extended family: Can also be included

Children’s coverage is generally valid until they reach a certain age – typically until they are less than 21 years old, or up to 25 years old if they are full-time students. However, covering family members over the age of 65 might involve different terms, which would be specified within the policy details.

Optional Add-On Benefits

Aside from the core benefits, policyholders may select from a range of optional add-on benefits to further tailor their funeral cover. Metropolitan distinguishes itself by offering added layers of protection and support services, in line with the policyholder’s preferences and financial capabilities.

  • Catering for services: Assistance with funeral arrangements
  • Transportation: Provision for moving the deceased
  • Additional payouts: Lump-sum cash benefit upon death of a covered member

These additional benefits are structured to provide comprehensive support during difficult times, with each selected option incurring a separate premium. It empowers individuals to shape their policies to their unique familial circumstances and offers reassurance that there will be no unforeseen financial strain.

Claims and Payouts

When a policyholder or beneficiary files a claim with Metropolitan Funeral Cover, they can expect a swift and efficient claims process, with valid claims paid out within a short timeframe.

The Claims Process

To initiate a claim, beneficiaries or the policyholder must submit the necessary claim documents to Metropolitan. This can be done conveniently via WhatsApp or online, supporting an expedited review. Upon the receipt of all required documents and successful verification, Metropolitan commits to processing valid claims with due diligence.

Payout Options and Benefits

Metropolitan offers flexible payout options to cater to the specific needs of the beneficiaries. A standout feature is the 48 hour quick cash payout for valid claims submitted through WhatsApp, which aims to provide beneficiaries with access to funds within 4 hours, enabling them to address immediate funeral expenses. The benefits include:

  • Cover for up to R100,000 for the policyholder and immediate family.
  • Up to R70,000 coverage for parents and extended family members.
  • Immediate payout upon approval of a claim, reducing the financial burden on the family.

Additional Features and Benefits

Metropolitan Funeral Cover offers a range of specific features and benefits designed to provide comprehensive support during difficult times. These help ensure that policyholders and their families receive tailored assistance beyond the basic funeral cover.

Inkomo Benefit

The Inkomo Benefit is an exceptional feature that offers added support to the policyholder’s family. This benefit acknowledges that in certain cultures, the gifting of livestock is a traditional way to honour the deceased. Metropolitan’s Inkomo Benefit mirrors this tradition through a monetary equivalent, ensuring respect for cultural practices.

Payouts for Accidental Death

Metropolitan Funeral Cover includes an Accidental Death Benefit. In the unfortunate event of accidental death, the cover provides a guaranteed payout, which is usually higher than the standard death benefit. This ensures that the immediate family and life partners are provided for and that there’s additional financial support for the unexpected costs that often arise in such circumstances.

Shopping and Tombstone Benefits

Shopping and Tombstone Benefits assist families in managing expenses related to funeral arrangements.

  • Shopping Benefit: Policyholders receive a cash lump sum designed to help cover the cost of groceries and other essentials for the funeral service.

  • Tombstone Benefit: This is a separate payout that can be used to purchase a tombstone, honouring the memory of a loved one with a lasting monument.

Through these benefits, Metropolitan addresses essential aspects of the post-funeral process, aiding in the remembrance and closure for families.

Financial Considerations

In selecting a Metropolitan funeral cover, individuals need to consider the costs associated with their chosen plan and the benefits offered, such as the cashback feature. It is essential to assess both the policy costs and the potential financial benefits that might mitigate these expenses.

Managing Policy Costs

One must thoroughly review the costs of the funeral plan premiums, which are the regular payments required to keep the policy active. Monthly payments ensure the continuity of the cover, which can extend to one’s entire family, from their life partner to children, and including parents and extended family members. With Metropolitan, policyholders have flexible payment options to align with their budgetary constraints. The plan coverage may range, with the potential to choose a cover from R5,000 to R100,000, to address specific financial needs. This flexibility allows policyholders to tailor their expenses to the level of cover they deem appropriate.

Understanding the Cashback Benefit

The cashback benefit is a distinctive feature of some funeral policies, providing an added financial incentive. With this benefit, a policyholder receives a specified cash amount back if no claims are made within a defined period. For instance, Metropolitan’s plan outlines a scenario wherein if policymakers do not file a claim, a lump sum may be paid out to them directly as part of the cashback benefit. It is a beneficial feature that rewards policyholders for keeping their policy in place over time. Not all policies may offer this benefit, so understanding the terms and conditions attached to the cashback aspect is crucial in fully appreciating the long-term value a funeral cover plan can provide.

Policy Details and Legislation

Metropolitan Life’s funeral cover is an insurance product designed to alleviate the financial burden during the loss of a loved one. It complies with relevant legislation, ensuring policyholders understand their eligibility and rights.

Policy Holder Eligibility

To be eligible for the funeral insurance from Metropolitan, the product stipulates the following:

  • Main Policyholder: The individual purchasing the plan must be of legal age to enter into a contract.
  • Family Coverage: The main policyholder can extend coverage to include their life partner, children, parents, and extended family members for a maximum of 20 individuals per policy.

Cover options range from R5,000 to R100,000, providing flexibility to suit various needs.

Legislative Compliance

Metropolitan Life ensures that its funeral insurance products adhere strictly to the following:

  • Insurance Legislation: Compliance with national regulations governing insurance providers and products.
  • Consumer Rights: Protection of policyholders’ rights through transparent disclosure of plan terms.
  • Claim Process: Establishment of a clear, regulated process for filing claims and receiving cover benefits.

The company provides documentation that outlines these compliance measures and obligations, assuring policyholders are well-informed.

Handling Difficult Times

In the face of loss, Metropolitan Funeral Cover offers crucial support and services designed to aid individuals and families during their time of need. They provide peace of mind by ensuring that the practicalities surrounding bereavement and funeral arrangements are taken care of with sensitivity and respect.

Support During Bereavement

Metropolitan recognises the emotional toll that the passing of a loved one can bring. They offer support services to ensure families have the necessary assistance during these tough times. From offering grief counselling to handling the complexities of repatriation, if needed, their support extends to help families navigate through their bereavement with as much ease as possible. This network of support aims to provide comfort and peace of mind when it’s most required.

Services for a Dignified Funeral

With Metropolitan, families have access to various services to ensure a dignified send-off for their loved ones. The company offers a range of funeral plans that cater for different needs and budget levels. A typical plan may include:

  • Funeral Coverage: For immediate and extended family members, with options to cover up to 20 individuals.
  • Catering for Specific Needs: Choice of cover ranging from R5,000 up to R100,000.
  • Tailored Benefits: Inclusive of funeral and memorial benefits, helping families to honour the memory of their loved ones appropriately.

Metropolitan’s commitment is to alleviate the financial and logistical pressures associated with planning a funeral, thereby allowing families to focus on honouring their loved one’s life without the added stress of managing practicalities during such a difficult time.

After the Policy

When a policyholder has fulfilled their obligations, Metropolitan Funeral Cover provides concrete advantages that ensure financial peace of mind after significant life events such as retirement or death.

Paid-Up Policy Benefits

Upon reaching a predefined milestone in their policy, typically correlated with age or payment duration, policyholders may receive paid-up policy benefits. This pivotal feature means that the individual will no longer need to pay premiums, yet the cover remains active. The benefits often include:

  • Survival Benefits: Should the policyholder survive past a certain period, they may be entitled to a lump-sum payout.
  • Death Benefits: In the event of the policyholder’s death, the policy ensures a dignified funeral by providing a specified amount to cover expenses.

Continuity After Retirement

Retirement marks a crucial transition that often leads to a fixed income. Metropolitan Funeral Cover recognises this and offers:

  • Continuation of Coverage: Retirement does not terminate funeral cover; the policyholder and their family remain protected.
  • Adapted Premiums: The structure of payments may adapt to complement the retiree’s financial situation, ensuring that funeral cover is maintainable even with a potential decrease in regular income.

Enrolment and Client Services

Metropolitan Funeral Cover offers a streamlined enrollment process with no medicals required, ensuring prompt client service while safeguarding clients’ privacy.

Subscription and Payment Methods

Clients can subscribe to Metropolitan Funeral Cover without the need for medical examinations, making the process swift and inclusive. Payment methods are versatile, catering to a range of preferences and financial situations. Subscribers may select from a variety of payment options, including:

  • Direct debit orders: For automated monthly payments from a bank account.
  • Payroll deductions: Convenient for employed individuals who prefer direct deductions from their salary.
  • Cash payments: Applicable at authorised collection points for those who might not have bank accounts.

All payment methods adhere to strict confidentiality protocols, ensuring that subscriber details remain private.

Client Service and Privacy

Metropolitan places a significant emphasis on client service. Should clients require assistance or encounter issues with their funeral cover policy, dedicated support teams are readily available through multiple channels including phone, email, and in-person consultations. These services extend to handling claims, policy adjustments, and providing general information about clients’ cover.

In terms of privacy, Metropolitan commits to the protection of personal and sensitive data. Rigorous privacy policies are in place to secure client information against unauthorised access or disclosure, in line with prevailing regulations and industry best practices. Clients can rest assured their confidentiality is a top priority, reinforcing the trust placed in Metropolitan Funeral Cover.

Additional Cover Options

Metropolitan Funeral Cover offers an array of additional cover options designed to provide comprehensive protection for policyholders. These options address specific needs, such as disability coverage and benefits that stand on their own.

Cover for Disability

Metropolitan recognises the financial strain that a disability can have on an individual and their loved ones. To mitigate this, they offer a disability cover as an added option. This ensures that in the event of a disability, the policyholder is entitled to monetary support, helping to alleviate the burden during difficult times.

Stand-Alone Benefits

In addition to integrated benefits within a funeral cover policy, Metropolitan provides stand-alone benefits. These stand-alone benefits operate independently from the main policy and can be tailored to suit the specific needs and budgets of the policyholders. They include, but are not limited to, payment protection benefits, ensuring that should the policyholder face financial constraints, their policy remains active.

Making the Most of Metropolitan Services

When choosing Metropolitan for funeral cover, policy owners benefit from a variety of services designed to make planning easier. From selecting a financial adviser to managing their policy online, these tools ensure individuals can make informed decisions and handle their planning efficiently.

Choosing the Right Financial Adviser

Selecting a financial adviser is critical to understanding the specific benefits and stipulations of funeral cover policies. A qualified adviser can guide policy owners through the intricacies of available options, helping them tailor coverage that aligns with their financial capabilities and needs. It is important to ensure that the financial advice is of high quality and matches the life circumstances of the policy owner.

Utilising Metropolitan Click for Easy Management

Metropolitan Click is an online platform that enables policy owners to manage their funeral covers effortlessly. For those seeking convenience with affordability, policies are available starting from just R40 p/m, making it accessible to a wide range of budgets. Metropolitan Click ensures policy owners have control over their plans throughout the life of the policy, providing transparent, easy-to-navigate management tools.

  • Account management: Policyholders can view policy details, make payments, and track the status of their cover.
  • Plan adjustments: Changes to cover can be made online, including adding or removing beneficiaries.

By leveraging these services, policy owners can ensure they’re fully utilising the offerings of Metropolitan, maintaining clarity and control over their funeral cover arrangements.

Terms and Exclusions

When considering Metropolitan Funeral Cover, it’s essential to understand the specific waiting periods and policy exclusions that affect coverage.

Understanding the Waiting Period

Metropolitan imposes a waiting period that policyholders must observe before the cover becomes fully effective. This is typically a 3-month duration from the start of the policy. During this time, premiums must be paid consistently and on time for the cover to be valid. Furthermore, it is noted that for certain levels of cover, such as the R50,000 cover, this waiting period may not apply, promising acceptance guaranteed without the typical initial delay.

Policy Exclusions

Certain exclusions are a standard part of Metropolitan Funeral Cover, as with most insurance policies. A policyholder may not receive benefits under conditions outlined by these exclusions. Some key exclusions include:

  • Immediate Family and Extended Family: While a policy can cover a broad range of family members, exclusions may apply for circumstances around their inclusion.
  • Maximum Cover: Depending on the plan selected, there can be a maximum limit to the cover provided, for example, up to R30,000.
  • Complex Exclusions: Policies may have specific exclusions for various scenarios; these are complex and require direct contact with Metropolitan to fully comprehend.

Addressing Concerns and Complaints

Metropolitan is committed to streamlined client service, addressing complaints efficiently and leveraging a paperless claims process to aid in client satisfaction. Handling concerns with clarity and precision forms a critical aspect of their customer care.

Complaint Resolution

When clients raise issues or complaints, Metropolitan prioritises the swift resolution of such matters. They encourage clients to formally submit their grievances, which are then processed by a dedicated team. For cancellation requests, for example, a client service representative guides the customer through the necessary steps, including the provision of requisite documents like a certified ID copy, to ensure compliance with policy terms and avoid misunderstandings.

Paperless Claims Process: Metropolitan has invested in a paperless system aimed at speeding up claims and simplifying submissions. Clients can now submit claims electronically, mitigating the need for physical paperwork and reducing the time it takes to process a claim.

Client Feedback

Metropolitan recognises the importance of client feedback in refining their services. They actively collect feedback through various channels and incorporate suggestions into their service modifications.

  • Positive Feedback: Celebrated and used as a benchmark for continued excellence in service.
  • Constructive Criticism: Addressed with immediate action plans for improvement, underscoring the company’s commitment to constant enhancement of the client’s experience.

Through these methods, Metropolitan continues to adapt and enhance its services, ensuring they remain aligned with client needs and expectations.

Special Circumstances Coverage

Metropolitan Funeral Cover acknowledges the unpredictable nature of life events, offering comprehensive solutions in moments of unexpected necessity, such as during a pandemic or due to unforeseen events.

Cover During a Pandemic

During a global health crisis, such as a pandemic, Metropolitan Funeral Cover is designed to adapt to extraordinary circumstances. The policy guarantees coverage not only for the policyholder but may extend, in accordance with the terms of the policy, to include additional family members who might be affected. Proper handling and respectful care of mortal remains are prioritised, complying with governmental health regulations.

  • Pandemic specifications:
    • Compliance with health guidelines
    • Adaptability to changing regulations
    • Ensuring dignified management of the deceased

Coverage for Unforeseen Events

Metropolitan understands that unforeseen events may result in additional stress during already challenging times. Their funeral cover extends to cater to such circumstances, including accidental death cover, ensuring that expenses do not become a burden to the bereaved.

  • Coverage features:
    • Prompt payment: Quick financial support to alleviate immediate costs
    • Accidental death cover: A safeguard that grants peace of mind, knowing unexpected events are covered

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