How to manage a funeral insurance policy

With funerals in New Zealand costing an average of $10,000¹, not having a way to pay for yours could leave a lot to chance. Funeral insurance is specifically designed to help reduce the financial burden at an already difficult time. 

How funeral insurance works 

When you pass away, your family will receive a lump-sum payout they can use to cover any immediate expenses, such as a funeral service or outstanding bills.

The good news is that if you’re a New Zealand resident aged 18 to 79, you’re guaranteed acceptance from many providers. Generally, you won’t need to have any medical screening and you won’t have to fill out any complicated paperwork or even get a blood test to apply. You can also apply for funeral insurance for your parents but they’ll need to agree to the policy and meet the eligibility criteria.

Setting your cover 

You can choose your level of cover from $3,000 up to $30,000 (subject to provider), and your family will receive this as a lump sum payout.2 How much funeral insurance cover you choose will depend on your personal style and needs.

Updating your cover 

It’s important to review your cover every year to make sure it’s still providing the level of protection you need. A change of circumstances could mean you need more or less cover, such as your savings going up or down, taking on or reducing debt, investments maturing or changing, and approaching retirement. 

Once you’ve checked that your funeral cover is still right for your current circumstances, you can forget about it for another year and get on with life! Remember that if you change your cover, your premiums will also change.  

Choosing your beneficiaries

Depending on the insurer and product you choose, you can nominate up to five beneficiaries to split the money between. If you don’t choose anyone to receive your benefit, it will go to your estate or another eligible person in accordance with New Zealand legislation.

Ways to pay 

Funeral insurance works like other insurance policies, where you pay a regular premium based on factors such as your age and the benefit amount. You can pay fortnightly or monthly by direct debit from your bank, credit union or building society, or with Visa or Mastercard. 

Managing your funeral insurance checklist 

Here’s a quick recap of the important things to check off your list:

  1. Make a funeral plan and get accurate estimates of all expected costs.
  2. Make sure your funeral cover is enough for your wishes and any outstanding debts. 
  3. Choose how and when you pay, to suit your budget.
  4. Review your cover every year and ensure your details are up to date.
  5. Keep your funeral insurance documentation with your will and make sure a family member or trusted friend knows where it is.

Considering funeral insurance? Seniors Funeral Insurance can help protect your family from your funeral costs. Find out more by requesting a quick quote.


  1. Funerals – Consumer
  2. Cover for Accidental Death and Accidental Serious Injury only in the first 12 months.