What to Expect from the Funeral Cover Claims Process

What should you expect when claiming for the unexpected? Having funeral cover in place is there to give you peace of mind that you will not be burdened financially in the event that a loved one passes away. This peace of mind can be enhanced by knowing what to expect from the claims process and by taking out funeral cover with a registered funeral service provider to ease the process even further, says Mosaic Funeral Group.


We all want to know that in the event of our passing, our family will not be burdened so we take out funeral cover to alleviate that burden. What some people don’t realize is that after we are gone, the recipients of this cover, aka our loved ones, will have to navigate the claims process. “Although it is a straight forward process, when a person is grieving everything can feel overwhelming and that is why it is important to understand the process and convey this information to the beneficiaries of your cover,” says Ramon Collins, spokesperson for Mosaic Funeral Group. “Additionally, having the cover with a registered funeral provider who can handle everything on the family’s behalf makes everything that much easier.”


Collins explains that there is a step by step process to be followed as well as some documents that need to be filled in or procured from the Department of Home Affairs.


What documents will you need?

There are several documents that need to be submitted to your policy provider before your claim can be submitted for approval and paid out. Most providers will accept certified copies instead of original versions.


These include:

  • The completed policy claim form
  • The death certificate
  • The DHA1663 document (Notice of Death – previously referred to as the BI1663)
  • Certain insurance companies and banks will also require the DHA14 form or BI14 (Burial Order). This document is issued by the Department of Home Affairs regardless of whether a burial or cremation is going to take place.
  • Certified copies of the deceased’s ID
  • Certified copies of the beneficiary’s ID
  • Confirmation of the beneficiary’s banking details in the form of a bank statement or confirmation letter from the bank


“Once all of these documents are submitted to the insurance provider, the validity of the claim will then be verified. For instance, payments on premiums are checked, and the insurer ensures that the claim has been made according to the waiting periods specified by the policy,” Collins explains. “Once this has been done, the claim can be processed and paid out to the family or beneficiary of the deceased. This process should take between 48 and 72 hours depending on whether all the required documents are received and whether they are correct.”


Collins cautions though that sometimes there are challenges in obtaining all the necessary documents timeously. This could be due to timing such as weekends or public holidays, or system downtimes. Any of these factors can also delay the receiving of the Notice of Death which is needed to do the death registration at Home Affairs – this is something that a funeral service provider, such as Mosaic, can procure on the family’s behalf.


Policy holders also need to be aware that in event of an unnatural death such as death as a result of a car accident or crime, some insurance providers will also require a police report that confirms the circumstances in which the death occurred. “Policy holders must read their funeral cover schedule very carefully to be aware of what circumstances certain insurance providers exclude. They can list acts of terrorism, violence and criminal activities as exclusions to the policy and would then not pay out if the death occurred under these circumstances,” says Collins.


Death Registration & How it Works

All of the official documents required above are supplied once the death registration has been done at the Department of Home Affairs. When a person passes away from natural causes, the presiding doctor in the hospital or a GP will complete the Notice of Death (DHA1663 document). This original version of this document is supplied to the registered undertaker that the family has chosen for the memorial or funeral service. In the event of an unnatural death, for example a car accident, this document is supplied by a pathologist following a post-mortem examination.


Following this, Collins explains, there are two options for registering the death at the Department of Home Affairs. “The family can sign a proxy for the funeral home to go Home Affairs on their behalf because as registered funeral service providers we have Home Affairs designation numbers. The second option is for the informant (family member informing Home Affairs of the death) to accompany us to Home Affairs where we are, of course, with them every step of the way.”


“When we go to Home Affairs on behalf of the family we have to take the original IDs of the deceased and the informant who gave us proxy rights with us and complete the Death Registration. We are then issued two documents by Home Affairs; the original Death Certificate and the original Burial Order. We then arrange for certified copies of everything to be made which is one more thing that you do not need to worry about.”


This highlights the benefit of having your funeral policy with a funeral service provider as procuring these documents and the required steps in the claims process will be handled for you. In this case everything is done in house and you deal only with the funeral provider. You will not need to deal with any third parties regarding the funeral cover claim or the service.


“When a funeral cover policy is taken out with a registered funeral service provider, we handle the death registration and submitting of all the documents for the claim approval and then pay the claim out directly to the family. This means that the family can focus on what is really important during this difficult time instead of running around for paperwork,” Collins elaborates.


To enquire about our claims process or to take out a funeral policy with us, click here