We are all aware that our domestic workers play an important part in our lives. They care for our homes, our families and often take on the enormous responsibility of protecting and looking after our children.
Sadly our domestic worker, a passionate woman who played an integral part in my childhood, passed away recently. We suddenly found ourselves faced with the grim realization that neither her family nor ourselves had taken out a life or funeral policy for her, in the event of an untimely death. As a result, we were suddenly faced with a heap of expenses, especially those that go come with organising a funeral. We found ourselves asking why we hadn’t planned for just incase? And what policies are in fact available for domestic workers?
I realized this was definitely a topic worth investigating, so I decided to setup a few meetings with banks, financial institutions and a few ‘telesales’ insurance companies.
These are the banks I spoke to:
– Old Mutual, African Bank, ABSA, Nedbank, Standard Bank, Sanlam and Capitec.
Please note that many of the banks whom did not offer such policies, were interested in investigating their own ‘Domestic Worker’ packages. Many of them currently offer either investment, funeral and/or life cover policies, however, only a few of them offered products specific for domestic workers.
Here are some of the packages I came across:
- Old Mutual offer ‘The Domestic Workers Plan’ package
- Nedbank offer the ‘Dreammaker’ investment package, which is specifically designed for lower-income employees who are able to make 60 monthly contributions of anything from R100 per month
- Sanlam wh offer 3 options of the ‘Sanlam icover Funeral Plan Starter Pack’
- ABS who offer a ‘Home Employees Provident Fund’
- FNB – Provide an in-house Financial Advisor
The funeral policies offered by the above mentioned banks, ranged between R9,95 and R200 per month, and guarantee to pay out a lump sum amount ranging between R5000 and R20 000. This money is paid in a lump sum to the nominated beneficiary, to be used at their discretion. Funerals often account for one of the larger expenses resulting after a death, and is one of the bigger expenses required upfront. It is important to also take into account the future lives of the family members left behind, especially if there are children, siblings or parents who were dependent on your domestic workers’ salary. In this case, life cover (with the inclusion of income protection and disability cover) is essential.
This is the information I gathered from the financial institutions:
- Discovery – offer standard life cover, with an option for an employer to take out life cover on behalf of the employee
- Liberty – offer a product called Liber8 Smart which is designed for employers to provide an investment plan for their employees, within a simple and cost-effective retirement fund solution that also includes life and disability cover
- Brightrock – offer affordable life cover policies designed around an individual’s current circumstances and can be tailored to suit their personal financial needs
The telesales companies I interviewed also offer investment, life and funeral cover policies, while a few of them piggy back off banks or other insurance companies for services not covered under their umbrella.
Should you wish to investigate the funeral cover option only, I recommend sticking with a well-recognized organisation. For life or investment policies, you should discuss your options with a financial advisor, who will investigate a wide-range of products and gain a deeper insight into your domestic workers’ specific needs. They will also ensure you receive accurate and non-biased advice and provide you with comprehensive information on all the financial products available.
Always be cautious about taking out a policy over-the-phone, as the information used can be generic and not tailored to your specific needs. Which means that in many cases when it comes to paying out claims, there is a chance they can be rejected due to incorrect information that was given over-the-phone or the possibility of a situation where certain policy terms have been overlooked. There are some legitimate companies, so stick the ones you know will still be around for years to come.
As there are thousands of insurance companies in South Africa, please feel free to investigate further options. My research was based primarily on finding out whether specific policies for domestic workers exist, and secondly, to get an idea of what insurance products are offered via over-the-phone financial insurance companies, large banks and financial institutions.
Please remember the information gathered above is based on the facts I received from representatives at each of the individual organisations. Always ensure you ask a legal representative or qualified Financial Advisor to look over the terms and conditions of your policies before signing up.
Should you know of any other companies geared towards caring for domestic workers or offering needs-based policies, we would love to hear from you!