The Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) has appealed to Kenyans to take up funeral insurance covers to save themselves from financial burden when they lose a loved one.
“With premiums as low as Ksh 100 per month, this is a solution that will go a long way in ensuring families are not left worse-off financially after losing a loved one”, says AKI Executive Director Tom Gichuhi.
Presently, only 3% of Kenyans have taken out funeral covers according to research conducted by research firm Ipsos Synovate, commissioned by AKI.
The survey conducted amongst 10 focus groups in Nairobi, Kisii, Kisumu, Nyeri and Bungoma Counties, indicated that the cost of funerals is on the increase. Respondents felt that funerals were becoming commercialized.
The Ipsos Synovate research showed that funeral expenses cost families and friends between Ksh 50,000 to Ksh 300,000. In contrast, communities that bury their dead within 24 hours, are estimated to spend about Ksh 10,000. In cases where the deceased was hospitalised for a period, the funeral expenses averaged Ksh 400,000 to Ksh 2.5 million setting back families financially.
The study showed that contributions from family and friends as well as from welfare associations are the main ways of funding funeral expenses. Other ways involve borrowing from banks, Saccos, shylocks or other financiers.
The survey also pointed out the fact that the main challenge facing the uptake of funeral insurance is our culture which frowns at any talk about death or funerals.
“Culture is a good thing. However, we live in different times and the reality is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to fundraise for funerals. Through the campaign we are carrying out on funeral insurance, we aim to start conversations about how we can ease the burdens to families when it comes to funeral,” says Gichuhi.
One can take funeral insurance to cover members of their immediate family that is, spouse, children and even parents. The cover can also be purchased by a group such as a chama, employees, church, Sacco or any other groups.