FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

Here we answer all your Metropolitan policy and services related questions.

Funeral Cover FAQ

What is a funeral benefit?

We all want to show love and respect when a loved one passes away by being able to afford to pay for a dignified funeral. This may cost you some money, so it is important to plan for a funeral.

The Funeral benefit on your policy pays out money on approval of a claim and can be used to pay for expenses associated with a funeral when an insured life passes away.

Why is it important to plan for a funeral?

When you pass away you want your funeral to be how you would like it. Planning for it in advance can help your family through a difficult time. Without a funeral plan your loved ones would have to make difficult decisions when time is short and emotions are high. Your funeral may not be something you normally like to think about but if your wishes are unknown there could be disagreements and overspending by family members making tough choices during a difficult time. Work with your financial adviser to plan for your or your loved ones funeral event. Work out the potential costs related to the funeral ceremony and the events before and after it. By doing so, you are making sure that your family will be prepared for such an event.

Who can be covered on a Metropolitan funeral plan?

Metropolitan is making a dignified funeral accessible to your whole family in one plan. The plan can cover:

  • your immediate family
  • your parents
  • your extended family

You may cover up to a maximum of 20 lives including yourself as the plan owner.

Who are the important people to consider when planning for a funeral life event?

There are people who play an important part in your funeral plan should you pass away:
The one you trust to arrange your funeral.

  • When you pass away, someone needs to make sure that your funeral is what you would have wanted it to be. You can choose the person whom you want to arrange your funeral. This person is the one you trust who will work with Metropolitan to arrange your funeral. This person may, for example, be your spouse, a relative or a friend. We will always follow the instructions of the one you trust over those we get from anyone else.

The person(s) who may get the remaining money when you pass away.

  • Your beneficiaries get any money that is left over after all the funeral costs have been paid. You should choose the person to whom we pay out any remaining money. This person is your beneficiary. You can have more than one beneficiary. We only pay out any remaining money after all the funeral costs have been paid.

The person who will take over your plan when you pass away.

  • If you pass away, this plan can still continue if there are other insured lives covered on this plan. You can choose a person to take over your Metropolitan Funeral Plan. This person will become the new plan owner. This must be done within one calendar month from the date that the claim was made.

The person who takes over the plan has to be:

  • an adult (older than 18 years), and
  • a person who could be an insured life on this plan.

What is inflation?

Inflation is the rising cost of goods and services over time. An example of how the cost of goods and services increase over time can be explained by looking at the cost of something like bread and how it changes over time.  See the example below:

What is the Value Protection Benefit?

The Value Protection benefit  (also sometimes referred to as the Automatic Inflation Management benefit) automatically increases your premium and cover once every year on your plan anniversary. Your first plan anniversary date is 12 months from the beginning of the month in which you paid your first premium. The cover levels of all your benefits will automatically increase.

This will help to protect your insurance cover against future increases in the cost of a funeral (inflation).

What is a waiting period?

Sometimes waiting periods apply when a person takes out insurance.  A waiting period is a period of time in which an insured life is not insured for some or all events. Waiting periods apply to each insured life. The waiting period starts from the first day of the month in which Metropolitan receive your first premium.  Waiting periods differ and it is therefore important to understand the length of the waiting period that applies to your insurance.

Why is waiting periods necessary?

The reason for having waiting periods is that they make premiums more affordable for you. Waiting periods discourage people with life-threatening illnesses from signing up for life insurance and claiming benefits immediately. As a result of waiting periods, medical examinations are not necessary and premiums are more affordable for everyone.

Am I insured for anything during the waiting period?

When taking out a Funeral Plan with Metropolitan, the insured lives are insured for accidental death during the waiting period. Insured lives are not insured for death due to natural causes during the waiting period.

When do waiting periods apply?

Waiting periods can apply when you:

  • First start your plan.
  • Change your cover levels.
  • Add a person to your plan.
  • Add a new optional benefit to your plan.

If you make changes to your plan, a new waiting period may apply. The new waiting period will apply to the change only. The waiting period will apply from the first day of the month in which we received your increased premium. For example, if you increase your cover level, a new waiting period will apply to the increase in your cover level only.

What are exclusions?

Exclusions refer to situations when Metropolitan will not pay any benefits. Situations that result in exclusions include:

Suicide and self-inflicted injury

  • No benefit is paid if death is as a result of suicide within the first two years of the plan start date or adding an insured life or a Payment Protection benefit on death of the plan owner. Every time cover is increased there is a two year exclusion period for suicide for the increased portion of the cover. If there is a suicide within the new two year exclusion period, Metropolitan will pay a benefit equal to the previous cover level.
  • No benefit is paid if an insured life becomes disabled as a result of self-inflicted injury (for example, if the insured life shoots himself and is disabled as a result) within the first two years of adding an insured life or a Payment Protection benefit on disability of the plan owner.
  • Every time cover is increased, there is a two year exclusion period for disability as a result of self-inflicted injury for the increased portion of the cover. If there is a disability within the exclusion period, Metropolitan will pay a benefit equal to your previous cover level.

If any of the following contributed to an insured life dying in an accident, no benefit will be paid:

  • drinking too much alcohol (any amount above the legal limit to drive a motor car is too much alcohol);
  • having taken drugs;
  • consumption of harmful substances;
  • taking any medicine that was not prescribed by a doctor who is currently registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa; or
  • taking more than the prescribed dosage of medicine.

If an insured life dies in an accident as a result of the insured life breaking the law, no benefit will be paid.

Providing incorrect information

  • The information contained in your application forms the basis of this plan. You must make sure that there is full and accurate disclosure of information concerning all insured lives that is relevant to Metropolitan’s assessment of the risks and premiums in respect of the application. Withholding or misrepresenting information that is material to Metropolitan’s decision on whether to offer benefit(s) to you or on what terms these benefits are offered to you, constitutes non-disclosure. Assistance by a financial adviser or another person in completing documentation does not change your duty to disclose the required information. If the non-disclosure was deliberate it will result in all premiums paid to Metropolitan being forfeited with no claim being paid. Metropolitan will follow guidelines to ensure consistent and fair treatment of non-disclosure at claims stage. If you gave any information that is not correct, you should correct it immediately.

Committing fraud

  • If you commit fraud or try to commit fraud, we will not pay your claim and we will not refund your premiums.

The insured life passes away in another country

  • If any insured life has been outside South Africa’s borders for more than 12 consecutive months immediately prior to their death, the cover under this plan ends. Metropolitan will not pay any benefits for this insured life.

Residence in South Africa

  • Each insured life must live in South Africa. Metropolitan may require proof of residence.

When does my Metropolitan Funeral Plan end?

Your plan ends when:

  • you tell us to cancel your plan;
  • you pass away and:
    • you do not have the Payment Protection benefit on death, or
    • no one insured on the plan wants to continue with it;
  • all the insured lives have passed away;
  • your plan lapses.

When your plan ends, all cover on this plan also comes to an end.

10 Steps to help you achieve success with your Funeral plan

  1. Draw up a proper financial plan
    Get the help of a financial adviser to draw up your financial plan.  Your financial plan should include a plan for moving forward on your financial journey as well as drawing up a Will to ensure there is a plan for when you are no longer there.  When you have a plan, it is important to stick to it. If you do this, you will have a better chance of reaching your life goal.Review your plan with your financial adviser at least once a year to make sure that it still meets your changing needs.
  2. Find solutions to meet your life goals
    You decide what you need and what you can afford. Your adviser will explain the options available to you and you will agree on the detail of your plan with your financial adviser. Your user guide and contract explains the general information about your plan. Your plan summary explains the specific choices you made. Together, they make up your agreement with Metropolitan. Read them and make sure you understand them.
  3. Choose your beneficiaries
    Beneficiaries are those people who get the remaining money when you pass away. It is important that we always have their correct details. Let us know if any of them or their contact details change so that you can be sure they get what you want them to. Tell the person you trust to arrange your funeral who these people are.
  4. Protect your plan
    You can protect your plan against unforeseen events as follows:
    • Add the Payment Protection benefits so that no further premiums will be payable if you pass away, become disabled, or when you retire.
    • Add the Value Protection benefit to keep up with the rising cost of living (inflation).
  5. Ensure you give us the correct information
    Make sure that the information you give us is correct, such as contact details, identity numbers or dates of birth and beneficiary details. If we do not have the correct information, we cannot:
    • Communicate with you.
    • Pay out your benefits quickly.
    • Send you important documents.
  6. Make sure your plan details are correct
    You must make sure that the benefits you choose and the information on your plan summary match your life goal. Let us know if any of it changes. Keep your user guide and contract and your plan summary safe. Tell someone you trust where to find them.
  7. Make regular monthly payments
    Commit to making regular monthly payments to keep your cover and your financial plan on track. This way, you have a better chance of reaching your life goal.
  8. In financial difficulty, call us!
    Speak to your financial adviser or contact us if you experience financial difficulty. We can help when you have no choice but to:
    • Reduce your monthly payments.
    • Reduce cover.
    • Remove a benefit.
  9. Review your plan
    Contact us when changes in your life happen to make sure that your plan stays up-to-date. You can change your plan by either increasing or decreasing your cover levels or by adding or removing remaining benefits or other family members to your plan.
  10. When the unexpected happens
    We know how difficult it can be when losing a loved one.  We want to help make the process as simple as possible by paying out your benefit as soon as possible.  Your funeral plan benefits pay out when you, or someone else on your plan, passes away.

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