Funeral Cover with No Waiting Period in South Africa

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Losing a loved one is never easy, and the last thing you want to worry about during this difficult time is how you’ll pay for the funeral. Luckily, there is a tool that can provide financial assistance to cover the costs associated with a funeral – funeral insurance cover.

Although many insurers enforce a waiting period on their policies, this can be stressful to individuals needing the cover immediately. So in this blog, we’ll discuss the policies available that do not require a waiting period, who is eligible to apply, and how to choose the right policy for your needs.

What is The Waiting Period for Funeral Cover

While waiting periods can be frustrating, they are a common feature of funeral cover policies in South Africa. A waiting period is a predetermined period that an insurer includes in the policy contract. If the policyholder dies before the end of the waiting period, the funeral cover will not pay out to the beneficiaries.

Insurance companies include waiting periods to prevent individuals from taking out a significant funeral cover policy when they know they will pass away soon and do not need to pay many premiums. Different insurers have different waiting periods to claim funeral cover funds, and sometimes these periods also vary depending on the manner of death (suicide, accident, natural death, etc.). The average waiting period for funeral cover is 6 to 12 months.

Funeral Cover Options With No Waiting Period

Fortunately, some insurers do offer funeral cover with no waiting periods! These are some of the most well-known funeral insurance policies with no waiting period:

  1. Instant Life Funeral Cover: Instant Life offers no waiting period for death due to accidental or natural causes and critical illnesses. You can get covered for up to R50,000 if you’re between 20 and 65. Instant Life includes many add-ons, such as annual benefits and work disability.
  2. 1Life Pure Life Cover: 1Life offers no waiting periods for accidental death and a 6 months waiting period for natural death. You can get R50,000 cover per person for yourself and up to 13 family members. This insurer also includes grocery and headstone benefits.
  3. Old Mutual Funeral Plan: Old Mutual has various funeral plans available, ranging from R70,000 to R100,000 of cover for yourself and your family members included in the plan. Old Mutual offers no waiting period for accidental deaths, 6 months for natural deaths and 2 years for death due to suicide.

While these policies provide immediate coverage, it’s crucial to remember that they may also include other restrictions or exclusions. Before choosing, it is essential to read the policy documents and terms and conditions carefully.

Who Can Apply for Funeral Cover With No Waiting Period

Many people in South Africa may prefer a funeral cover policy with no waiting period. The eligibility criteria, however, may change based on the insurance company and the policy. Here are some general guidelines for anyone interested in applying for immediate funeral coverage:

  • Age: Most insurers have a cut-off age that will provide you with funeral cover with no waiting period. This is usually 65, although some have a maximum age of 70 or 75.
  • Health: Typically, individuals with a pre-existing medical condition would not be offered a funeral cover without a waiting period. This would be seen as a risk for the insurer.

It’s crucial to thoroughly research each policy’s eligibility requirements and be open and honest about any pre-existing medical conditions. Although insurance with no waiting period might provide quick financial support and peace of mind, picking a policy that fits your needs and budget is essential.

How to Choose The Right Funeral Plan With No Waiting Period

When choosing a funeral plan that has no waiting period, there are a few things you need to consider. The level of cover needs to be compared to the funds that would be needed for your funeral. Compare the premiums to cover plans with a waiting period, and if you notice a significant discrepancy, consider whether you can afford to pay these premiums.

Consider the added benefits that the policy might offer, such as a payout for airtime for your family or some money for groceries. Scrutinise the policy’s exclusions and ensure you understand what actions could cause the claim to be refused.

Lastly, research the reputation of the insurer. Ask your friends and family and look on the internet for some reviews of other clients.

Alternatives To Funeral Cover Policies With No Waiting Period

Funeral insurance policies with no waiting period may be able to provide instant financial support and peace of mind, but they may not be the ideal choice for everyone. There are other options to consider that offer monetary support at a tough time.

One choice is to open a savings account just for funeral costs. You can accumulate money to pay for a funeral by consistently depositing into this account. Getting a personal loan or credit card to pay for funeral costs is an additional choice. However, it’s crucial to consider the costs and interest rates related to these alternatives.

Burial societies are community-based organisations that offer funeral benefits to their members. These organisations often require recurring donations from their members and could provide funeral benefits like cash aid or funeral services.

Many funeral homes also provide pre-paid funeral alternatives or payment plans. While there may be a waiting period associated with these choices, they can offer a more manageable and budget-friendly approach to paying funeral expenses.


Funeral cover options with no waiting period may offer immediate financial support. However, it’s important to consider criteria such as your age, health and financial circumstances. Sometimes taking a funeral cover with a waiting period is more affordable.

There are alternatives, such as joining a burial society, opening a savings account or getting a personal loan to cover funeral costs. Regardless of your choice, it’s important to make revisions for your funeral and not leave the financial burden on your family’s shoulders.

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