Many funeral parlours are distributors of funeral insurance. There have been some bad cases of unregistered parlours selling insurance where there was no underwriter and/or poor services. Check that both the parlour and the insurer are registered. Any policy you take out, even if it offers services from a particular parlour, should also offer a cash benefit. BrightRock has partnered with selected funeral parlours and is underwriting insurance for them on a group basis. Schalk Malan, a director of BrightRock, says insurance sold through parlours is often perceived as being more expensive, but the benefits parlours offer may be very valuable for some people. Many funeral parlours collect and transport bodies from remote areas at all hours and offer counselling and administrative support to bereaved families. Felix Kagura, head of life assurance at Standard Bank, says though parlours can manage their costs well, an insurer with a big book can also reduce costs.

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