By Farai Francis Zhara
IN Zimbabwe, getting claims settled by funeral policy insurers now seems to be very challenging. Many think insurers give flimsy excuses, but in most cases, the blame lies with policyholders.
We have covered many factors leading to claim rejection before, but here are a few more things to do to ensure that you will not be on the wrong side when you claim your funeral policy
Deal with registered companies
Do not put your hard-earned money into unregistered insurers. You may find their doors closed and lose out. If you are not sure, you need to check with the Insurance and Pensions Commission.
They will give you a list of registered and deregistered firms so that you will be guarded accordingly. Unregistered companies are more likely to reject claims than registered ones since the latter have a reputation to safeguard.
Fill the proposal form yourself
Filling the funeral proposal form may seem time consuming and burdensome, but do not let the insurance agent fill it in for you. Do it yourself to avoid wrong information being entered. Agents fill forms fast to meet sales targets, they are only worried about closing a sale.
Provide correct spelling of names
Ideally, you must fill in the proposal form using your dependants’ national identity or birth certificates so as to extract correct information.
If you realise that you supplied wrong information, you can consult your insurer and make amendments in time. But it is very difficult and in most cases impossible to make amendments when claiming.
Be honest and disclose all material facts when completing your proposal form or claim form. Misrepresentations could result in claim rejection and may lead to legal action against you for insurance fraud.
Common reasons claims are rejected includes non or partial disclosures and wrong disclosures of material facts such as age, nature of occupation, hazardous hobbies and pre-existing medical conditions.
Therefore you must avoid this at all costs.
Update nominee information as soon as possible
Nominee is the person who will receive benefits in case you die. When you are single, you may nominate your parents, but once you get married, update the nominee instantly if you want to name your spouse or children. The same applies in case of divorce. You must change as soon as you finalise your divorce papers.
Generally, nominated beneficiaries should be those who directly depend on you or those you think will be responsible for your dependants.
Cover all your dependants
Make sure your policy has covered all your dependants. If you left others, visit your insurer and add them in time. Some people have a tendency of waiting until one becomes very sick and that is when they realise that they had not included them.
Insurers normally do not want bed-ridden dependants. Remember, these will have to go under waiting period, which is usually longer than that of your immediate family members.
Get the confirmation of amendment from insurer
This can be a change of a nominee, date of birth for beneficiary, correct spelling of names and others. A lot of times, I have seen people coming to claim for a beneficiary whom the proposer thought was covered, only to be told that deceased was not on cover because the insurer did not get the correspondence from proposer requiring this change.
Inform others about your funeral policy
Let your family members and work colleagues know that you have a funeral policy. A lot of times, I have seen people claiming cash in lieu of services after having struggled to give a decent burial to the deceased without knowing they had a funeral policy.