Funeral insurance is usually purchased directly from an insurer. It involves small regular contributions for a specified cash payment on death. A few things to know about funeral insurance:
- Like most forms of insurance, the money paid over the years cannot be refunded if you decide to cancel the insurance.
- Age and health restrictions may apply when taking out the policy.
- The premiums can increase over the years to keep up with inflation or other factors.
Funeral insurance is regulated under the Commonwealth Life Insurance Act 1995. Contact the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) infoline on 1300 300 630 for further advice about funeral insurance.
A funeral bond allows you to set aside your own money for a funeral. The money is held as a bond and paid when the funeral is required. It cannot be withdrawn early.
A funeral bond can be in your own name, in joint names (with the benefit paid in full upon the death of the first joint owner) or can be assigned to a funeral director. Certain funeral bonds are exempt from the assets test.
Contact Centrelink on 13 23 00 or go to website for details.
You can repay for a grave plot, a wall niche or a place in a memorial garden. This is typically purchased directly from a cemetery or crematorium.
Some funeral directors limit pre-paid schemes to items of the funeral they have control over such as personal services and the coffin. This might not include the burial or cremation. Make sure you understand your rights and obligations and what the cost covers before you buy a pre-paid funeral arrangement.
If you have any concerns about the conditions of the arrangement, seek independent legal or financial advice.
Pre-paid funerals and pre-purchased cemetery plots are exempt from the assets test for Centrelink payments. Contact Centrelink on 13 23 00 for more details.
Membership benefit schemes
A number of organisations offer a payment upon the death of a member to help with funeral costs.