By Dianah Katusiime
‘Kolelela Akalambo Ko’ is a famous Luganda phrase that translates to ‘work for your corpse’. The phrase was coined from the notion of shame during death. While the word ‘kalambo’, which translates to ‘corpse’ will always be grim, and the topic of death is forever a horror, it is certainly a conversation that needs to be had.
Death shouldn’t necessarily always be an ugly scenario of weeping for the death of a loved one. Yes, it is grief, and should be punctuated by the acts of weeping, clouds of fear and the generally ghastly nature of both the sentimental and responsibility implications of the death. But it shouldn’t be a strain on the family. The death of a loved one shouldn’t surmount to a robbery of the family coffers.
While it is indeed, true, that societal condolences help in the send-off. It is always not a guarantee that the condolences collected will facilitate what many regard as a decent send off. For many families in Uganda, unfortunately, the death of a loved one becomes a major strain on the finances. Savings are lost. Assets are sold.
To enable the sendoff of individuals from families seemingly didn’t plan for the proverbial final moments; their hour(s) of demise. The phrase ‘Kolelela Akalambo Ko) is a societal call for individuals to plan and save so that when they rest, the peace follows them to the grave. Peace, as a wish, and shouldn’t stay in the numerous ‘RIPs’ that litter their social media timeliness when death is announced.
The goal thus is to ensure that if you are resting, it is in glory. That a loved-one’s sendoff is a celebration of life, as opposed to double edged grief. How to achieve that is what this article is about.
Get a group family protection plan.
The grim reaper is famed for being swift and sneaky. You never see it coming. One day you are seated at your favorite café, sharing a finely brewed latte and laughing about childhood memories with your cousin and the next they are gone. In thin air. Dead and gone. Y
ou can’t do anything about the time, but you can plan and stay ahead of the curve. Your best bet is certainly the Group Family Protection Plan. It is an insurance policy that guarantees a lump sum cash payment after death to use as the family pleases, or better yet to be allocated for the payment of funeral services, catering, and whatever form of entertainment you may deem necessary for the day.
It helps relieve your loved ones from the stress of worrying about how to collect money, pool money, or worse still, pull money out of existing ventures.
It ensures the funeral planning or the aftermath is a stress-free process that doesn’t break the family’s back, or the consequent strain in relationships that is born of a lack of money in such moments.
It, even more pertinently, ensures family savings, property is protected while steering clear of huge debts, consequently relieving many a loved from making difficult decisions during a stressful time of personal loss and grief.
How does it work?
First, you have got to choose the right insurance partner. You ought to choose an Insurance Company with a reputation and traceable record of success, resilience, and over-arching insurance solutions like UAP Old Mutual. UAP is a subsidiary of Old Mutual Limited, based in South Africa, which has been in operation for over 176 years and is in 33 countries.
After choosing the right insurance firm, you can enroll for the policy by filling out a proposal form and presenting the necessary documentation and details as prescribed.
From there, you can start the premium payment, which is a one off every year. In case there is no death for that year, a renewal is due the next year, until the year of death.
The policy doesn’t require any medical tests and therefore doesn’t exclude death born of HIV/AIDS, Terrorism acts, Riots, Strike and Civil commotion. It has different categories, and therefore different levels of premiums for each category. For example, the money a company pays for its employees can differ from one level of employment to another.
And in the same vein, a spouse, children (the cover accommodates 4), parents (i.e.. Father and mother of the spouses) and parents in law (maximum 2) all pay different sums.
To claim, one will need a Death Hospital Certificate (form 40), LC 1 Letter, Identification (National ID), Police report/postmortem report in case of accidental death.
The benefits of taking up a Group Family Protection Plan are immense. If the policy holder has lost a loved one who has been listed as a beneficiary on Group Last expense cover, this kind of life insurance for a family member will ease the financial constraints that are born during their send off in addition to allowing the family grief without worrying about where the money will come from.
There is cash payment upon immediate loss of loved one, and it pays out within 48 working hours. This is where we see the policy holder decide to hire a funeral service provider who will offer a service within the amounts insured with UAP Old Mutual.
There is a very wide age-range (Maximum Age 18 -75 at entry to 85 Years) for beneficiaries and a 24Hour worldwide cover. In whichever capacity, (Associations, employers, Village Savings and Loan Associations,) an entity can choose to enroll their members and workers for purposes of social protection. In a typical African setting, once an employee or close workmate passes onto another life, the community is always expectant on what the employer planned for at such a time.
Whilst the business must keep in operation with working capital intact, the employer who signed up his or her members for such insurance packages may not have to dig deep into his working capital at such a time but claim the benefits of the workers to meet the burial expense.
Social protection unlike in developed European countries is offered to one as an individual by their respective governments and not a group. Social protection systems help individuals and families, especially the poor and vulnerable, cope with crises and shocks, invest in the health and education of their children, and protect the aging population.
The trauma of losing a loved one in the recent pandemic has given the world a wake-up call-in relation to planning for such unforeseen occurrences partly caused by pandemics which are covered under the Group Family Protection cover. Therefore, such insurance plans come in handy because of the affordability and relevance element.
The Finscope 2018 highlights that much as the uptake of insurance in Uganda is still less than 1%, Ugandan adults protect themselves through informal means such as membership of community health schemes, burial societies and community-based savings groups that offer financial assistance to members in times of need.
So, within such groups, we are positioning the Group Family Protection cover to suit all the needs of the members especially when a loved one is lost, and insurance has been put in place to cater for the whole process to guarantee a descent send off and cater for the post burial expenses after the loss of the principal member or loved one.
Dianah Katusiime is the Business Development Manager for UAP old Mutual Life Assurance.