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    Saturday, 2 December 2017

    Why everyone needs funeral assurance


    Why everyone needs funeral assurance
    A long time ago, one just needed an organised son in law to ensure one got a decent burial after all it was considered both an honour and a duty for one to bury their in-laws or members of the wife s family. Given the economic hardships everyone is going through one needs to rethink that old arrangement since even the mkwasha, mkhwenyana is also reeling under economic burdens. Funeral assurance like any other type of insurance is to safeguard ones position against loss. The difference being that assurance relates to an event that will surely happen as opposed to insurance which relates to an even that may or may not happen. As Benjamin Franklin famously said ''Nothing is certain, except for death and taxes''
    One therefore needs to prepare for that dreaded but certain day when one departs from this earth and crosses that biblical ''river Jordan'' to meet your creator or ancestors depending on your religious persuasion. In as much as you will not witness it, the ones surviving need the comfort of knowing that your demise will not lead to the depletion of their financial resources. In the African custom a befitting send-off is wished by many. Often people talk of a resounding send-off. Turn your send off from nhamo to a funeral. Burial societies did well in the colonial era as some form of funeral assurance. I reminisce those burial society gatherings in council beer halls every Sunday afternoon. Some were so organised that they had uniforms and would hold end of year parties with their surplus contributions. The hyperinflation era however seems to have wiped these off the map and burial societies where they still exist are found in the rural areas offering much needed 'insurance' to villagers. Gone are the days when one would witness women going from door to door asking for cups of mealie meal contributions. No wonder the sadza would be a mixture of varied mealie meal from roller meal, straight run and super refined.
    Funeral assurance thus give peace of mind to both the policy holders and the surviving family and friends. For some reason most deaths happen mid-month and mid-week when everyone is broke and just waiting for the next salary. Insurance being a collective pool of funds ensures that all are able to contribute to the death costs as opposed to burdening a few individuals due to your lack of foresight. In as much as mourners still accept contributions, due to hard cash shortages not much will be collected. Given the recent cases of pilferage of these contributions, mourners are now reluctant to contribute cash, as prominent persons including fading musicians of yesteryear have allegedly run away with funeral contributions.
    To avoid all that funeral headaches one can choose a funeral policy that suits ones pocket form the 9 registered funeral assurance players in Zimbabwe. A list of them is available from the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC).Packages include coffins/caskets, body removal, body washing, groceries, transport for both the deceased and mourners among others. Do not be a basket case whereby we have to wait for the rich uncle to arrive all the way from the city to buy the coffin and feed the mourners. If he fails to pitch up it becomes a real 'nhamo'or 'emfeni'.Surely we can spare breaking down the wardrobe or the door just to make a makeshift coffin and selling of livestock to meet funeral expenses. If you are living overseas or ''over rivers'' please take an appropriate funeral policy or  come back ''uchiri kudziya''or 'usaphila' because some bodies have spent weeks if not months waiting to be repatriated whilst relatives and friends run around trying to raise funds. Who do you expect to pay for the costs of your funeral? Carry your cross, do not let your lack of planning be an emergency on another person's part. Adapt or die.
    The author Francis Ruwona is a qualified Accountant and he writes here in his personal capacity.For feedback email: francisruwona@gmail.com
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