How funeral insurance works

Funeral insurance is a financial helping hand you can provide for your family. When you pass away, your family will receive a lump sum benefit payout they can use to cover any immediate expenses, such as a funeral service or outstanding debts. 

Funeral insurance works much the same way as other insurance policies – where you pay a fortnightly or monthly premium based on factors such as your age, smoker status and the level of cover you choose. It can help you ensure your final expenses are covered without any inconvenience to those most important to you.

Every day in New Zealand about 80 funerals and memorial services are held on marae and in churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, funeral home chapels, community halls and suburban gardens.¹

What it covers 

A funeral insurance policy can help your family honour you with a service and celebration of life that suits your style. A funeral in New Zealand costs on average $8,000–$10,000², which can be a stressful bump in the financial road for loved ones during an already tough time.

By choosing a benefit amount that suits your needs, you and your family can take comfort in knowing they can pay for any immediate expenses that may occur when the time comes.

A funeral insurance policy will usually provide an immediate cash payout when a claim is made, which can be used to cover:

  • your funeral service
  • bills or expenses you leave behind
  • immediate mortgage or loan repayments
  • whatever your family needs at the time. 

What to consider when getting funeral insurance 

Planning how your funeral is paid for is just as important as planning and saving for other events in your life. Consider the style of funeral you want – can your loved ones afford this? This is where funeral insurance can help cover the costs and other related expenses. Learn more about who should consider funeral insurance.

Who pays for your funeral?

In most instances, your next of kin (spouse, child, parent, legal partner or sibling) is responsible for arranging and paying for your funeral. You or your family members can take out funeral insurance cover which means there’s one less thing to worry about when the time comes for your family to pay the funeral costs. 

When taking out funeral insurance, consider the following when choosing your cover: 

  • funeral service expenses (e.g. burial, cremation, death certificates, flowers, clergy fees etc.) 
  • your savings 
  • other insurances you may have
  • government funeral grants available to you 
  • personal bills or loans you may leave behind. 

The most money one can receive with a government funeral grant is $2,058 depending on the money or assets the person who died had³, but when weighed up against the average cost of a New Zealand funeral, it falls short. 

A funeral in New Zealand costs on average $8,000–$10,000.²

Funeral expenses to consider 

  • funeral director
  • burial fees or cremation costs
  • flowers 
  • catering 
  • death certificate 
  • celebrant 
  • newspaper notice
  • casket

Depending on your personal style and your family’s needs, funeral expenses can vary. 

Considering funeral insurance?

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Everything you need to know about funeral insurance

Will I pay more in premiums than my family receives?

Unlike some providers, New Zealand Seniors ensures you never pay more in premiums than the total funeral insurance benefit paid to your family.

So when the time comes, your family will receive your covered amount or all of the premiums you’ve paid in for your cover – whichever is greater*.

Or once you turn 85, you can choose to cancel your cover to receive an Early Cash Back payment of your chosen benefit amount.

* If you change your cover your premiums will be affected. 

If your policy is cancelled prior to age 85, no benefit amount is payable. There is no refund of premiums after the cooling off period. If you choose the Early Cash Back option, you will no longer be eligible to claim and you may receive less than the total premiums you’ve paid into your policy to date.

How can New Zealand Seniors help?

Seniors Funeral Insurance pays a lump sum to your family (up to $30,000) upon your death for them to spend as they require.

Benefits of Seniors Funeral Insurance

Choose cover that suits you from $3,000 up to $30,000.⁴

Get back 10% of premiums you’ve paid in the first 12 months of your Policy.

Guaranteed cover for New Zealand Residents aged 18–75.

No medical exams or blood test required.

Triple your benefit amount if your death is the result of an accident (up to $90,000).

Claims usually paid within 1 business day.⁵

30 day money back guarantee.

Premiums reduce by 5% every five years you hold your policy.

See more benefits

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Everything you need to know about funeral insurance

  1. Death and dying – TeAra.govt.nz
  2. Funerals & registration of death – Citizens Advice Bureau NZ
  3. Funeral Grant – Ministry of Social Development 
  4. Cover for Accidental Death only in the first 12 months.
  5. From the time completed documentation is received.

How can we help?

To find out more about New Zealand Seniors,
speak to one of our friendly insurance specialists now