Samoa’s Apia Insurance Company (AIC) and Apia Finance Company are launching a funeral insurance solution, in cooperation with the New Zealand government and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP) of the UN Development Program.
The funeral insurance scheme is open to Samoan citizens over the age of 18, and they will nominate two people to claim the benefit after their death.
Three funeral cover policy options are available, worth $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000, and the price of premiums increases with age, but existing policyholders will not pay increased premiums as they get older, the Samoan Observer reported.
Policyholders have a three-month waiting period before they are eligible for the full funeral cover, but the period is waived in case of a fatal accident. Pre-existing conditions, with the exception of a terminal illness, do not disqualify anyone from coverage, the report said, and the only kind of death not eligible for coverage is suicide.
The scheme was developed through focus groups and consultations with the government and villages conducted by AIC and PFIP. They found that the cost of funerals is quite high, and a death in the family often means the surviving members are sunk into debt.
“Funerals are that one thing we have no control over, but we can be proactive about the costs involved,” AIC chief executive Lutuiloa Vaiula Sailaoa Solomona said.
“By preparing for your own funeral, or that of your parents or grandparents, you can ease the toll the funeral expenses inevitably take and put your attention towards the work of grieving.”