At a time of loss, no one wants to concern themselves with details. Yet, often, making a few simple phone calls can make this period a lot easier.
Following the death of a loved one, many people neglect to consider the built-in support and relief provided by many financial products. And in a difficult time, these can ease some of the burden.
Here is a checklist of five things to consider when a loved one passes away:
- Medical aid
For many people, their medical aid is their single biggest monthly debit order after their home loan payment. Some medical aids may have a built-in premium waiver in case of the death of the main member – in other words, you may have a grace period in which you can change the main member and not have to pay the premium.However, it is also possible to take out special medical premium waiver cover. Sometimes this is a standalone product, and sometimes it is built into gap cover. In the case of the death of the member, these usually cover medical aid premiums for three to six months and can be incredibly helpful to ease some financial stress.
- Life cover
Many life insurance policies have an ‘immediate expenses’ benefit. This means that as soon as the insurer receives a death certificate, they will pay out an amount while processing the full claim.This may also be in the form of funeral cover. Life insurers should therefore be notified as soon as possible.
- Credit cards
Most credit cards carry automatic debt protection. This means that the outstanding balance on the card at date of death will be waived.This is a good reason to alert the bank as soon as possible of a death, as well as to protect against the threat of identity fraud.
- Short-term insurance
Many car and household insurance policies include a premium waiver in the case of death. This can mean that insurance will stay in place with no need to pay the premiums for as much as six months.When there is a surviving partner, it is of course important to transfer everything into their name, but don’t neglect to take advantage of the premium waiver on offer.
- Group cover
Many employers will include insurance cover as a benefit for their staff. If they do, this will almost always include a death benefit, and potentially funeral cover as well.
It is therefore important to contact their employer to check if there are any benefits that the family may be entitled to, as well as to make arrangements regarding any pension benefits that may be in place. If their medical aid was part of their employment benefit, it is also important to find out how long coverage will last for their dependents.
To learn more about the benefits that different financial products offer at the time of death, speak to a professional.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.