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12 Sep 2017

The costs of arranging a funeral following the death of a friend or family member are twofold: financial cost and emotional cost. Funerals often have hidden expenses, and the thought of leaving your family caught out in what’s already a time of heartache, can be too much to bear.

Whilst Work and Income can offer some support up to $1971 and ACC offers a funeral grant of up to $5,880, this often doesn’t scratch the surface when you take into account the cost of flowers, headstones, coffins, celebrants, death notices, and all the other things that come along with organising a funeral. More and more kiwis are looking to funeral insurance to reduce the financial strain on families in the event of their death, with many policies offering affordable premiums that promise to pay out within 48 hours of making a claim.

Funeral cover is just one way you can make things easier for friends and family when it comes to arranging the funeral of a loved one. Funeral cover helps you to make sure things are looked after until the legal requirements on your estate are completed, making those immediate bills for your family just that little bit easier to pay, without having the stress and strain of formal - and often uncomfortable - conversations about money so soon after an emotional loss.

Once you’ve got your funeral cover sorted it’s time to think about who would be a good person to receive your funeral cover benefit upon your death.

What is a nominated beneficiary?

A Nominated Beneficiary is the name of the person you would like to receive your funeral cover benefit, which will be paid upon your death. You can choose more than one person to be your beneficiary, perhaps you’d like to nominate all your children rather than just the one. That way the amount will be evenly distributed amongst them so they can share the load during what can be a very trying time.

Your Nominated Beneficiary should be added to your Cigna Funeral Cover Policy to ensure they are the ones receiving the funds. Otherwise, the sum will be paid out to the Policy Owner, and if that’s you then Cigna requires additional steps for a claimant to go through, causing delays in processing and delivering the payment.

It’s important to note that if your Nominated Beneficiary is deceased at the time Cigna pays the claim on your funeral cover, you would need to follow the same additional steps as above. So remember to keep in touch and keep your records up to date with relevant names and contact details.

It’s important to nominate a beneficiary on your Cigna Funeral Cover to avoid circumstances like this, which can be quite worrying for some, particularly if they’ve just lost someone close to them. Even if your Cigna Funeral Cover is a jointly owned policy it’s still important to consider nominating a beneficiary.

How to nominate a beneficiary for your Cigna Funeral Cover?

It’s easiest to nominate your beneficiary when you first sign up for Cigna Funeral Cover, that way you don’t have to worry about there being any complications when your policy is paid out. You can nominate a beneficiary by filling out this Nominated Beneficiary form and returning it to us via post.

If you already have existing funeral cover insurance you can contact our customer service team on 0800 270 714, and they can either complete this for you over the phone or send you a Nominated Beneficiary Form to complete in your own time. Whatever is easier for you.

What happens if you don’t nominate a beneficiary?

The benefit will be paid to a second owner of the policy if it is jointly owned. However, if you nominate a beneficiary, that overrides the benefit being paid to another policy owner.

How do I put in a claim for funeral cover?

If you are a Nominated Beneficiary and need to claim then you need to contact Cigna for a claim form, as soon as possible.

You will also need to include supporting documents with your claim form. Generally this is going to be:

  • a death certificate

  • the policy document

  • proof of any nominated beneficiary’s identity

Once you return all this information to Cigna we will assess your claim and keep you updated on its progress.

Claiming on funeral cover if you’re not the Nominated Beneficiary (and there is no Will)

If there is no other owner on the policy the claims forms sent will need to include a Settlement Agreement Form. This is a form for all interested parties to complete.

The claim cannot be assessed and paid until all the required paperwork is completed.

How do I know who to nominate as my beneficiary?

First things first they must be aged 16 or over as at the date of nomination and you need to make sure you’ve checked with your nominated person(s) before adding them to your policy. You probably want to have a conversation with them about any special funeral arrangements you have in mind to make sure you’re on the same page.

A Nominated Beneficiary should be someone you trust to carry out your wishes, and who you know will do their best to arrange a funeral that best celebrates your life in the way you’d like people to. Nominating the right beneficiary can help ensure the prompt arrangement of your funeral and associated duties with minimal family friction or distress.

Most people think to nominate a family member, often a partner or child, but if neither of those are available to you or just don’t seem like the right option, then you may want to ask a trusted friend. And remember, you can revoke or change your Nominated Beneficiary at any time, so long as you complete a new Nominated Beneficiary form. So if your circumstances change, or those of your Nominated Beneficiary, then it’s no problem to change the Nominated Beneficiary on your policy.

Want to know more about funeral cover?

Cigna are available from 8.00am – 6.00pm Monday – Friday to talk to you about funeral cover and the claims process. Our call centre staff can provide useful advice to handling a funeral policy and guidance around what conversations you should be having with family and friends upon taking out your policy.