British Friendly has signed up to the Protection Distributors Group’s funeral payment pledge and paid its first claim under the benefit.
Earlier this year, British Friendly enhanced its discretionary mutual benefits programme with the addition of its new bereavement benefit.
The benefit provides a lump sum to members who suffer the loss of their spouse, partner or child and is provided to all new and existing insured members at no extra cost.
The amount payable will be a lump sum equal to thirteen times the member’s weekly income protection benefit with a minimum payment of £1,000.
On the day bereavement benefit launched, British Friendly received an enquiry from an adviser whose client’s wife had died the previous week following a long battle with cancer.
The enquiry was regarding whether he could claim for taking time off work to cope with his bereavement which we were happy to agree.
However, although the event occurred just before launch, British Friendly agreed that in the circumstances the bereavement benefit should be paid as well.
The Protection Distributors Group has been campaigning for insurers to do more to help bereaved families who may have to wait for claims to be paid due to probate delays.
As a minimum, the group asked for insurers to ensure families can pay funeral costs by committing to the pledge; proactively offering families at claim stage to pay the funeral director where no other arrangements have been made, up to £5,000.
The group has been encouraging insurers to look beyond this minimum request and go further to help families as unfortunately not enough policyholders arrange trusts and/or wills to help their beneficiaries at time of claim and British Friendly’s benefit meets the criteria.
AIG and LV also signed up to the pledge earlier this year.
Emma Thomson, chairman of the Protection Distributors Group, said: “We are very pleased British Friendly has become the latest insurer to sign up to our pledge.
“It is fantastic news for claimants, avoiding the worry some may face of how to pay for a funeral. We look forward to this being launched very soon”.
Iain Clark, chief executive of British Friendly, said: “As a mutual company, meeting our customer’s needs is essential to everything we do at British Friendly.
“Our bereavement benefit has been very well received by advisers and we are pleased it also meets the criteria for the PDG campaign.”