Royal London’s Funeral Payment Helping Hand
Thu Apr 5 2018
Leading protection specialist Royal London recently launched a funeral expenses advance payment called Funeral Payment Helping Hand. The introduction of the feature comes after Royal London’s lobbying of the Irish Government to overhaul the country’s current probate system. At present, as you know, if a death claim in Ireland is delayed due to probate, the deceased’s family are likely to face a lengthy wait until their loved one’s estate is settled and its proceeds distributed.
In Ireland, the average wait for a grant of probate is 489 days; or 16 months*. When compared to the UK, a jurisdiction with a very similar legal system, the average delay is just 3 to 4 weeks. During the course of its lobbying, Royal London found that only 1 in 5 people believe probate in Ireland will take longer than 12 months.**
That’s why Royal London has launched Funeral Payment Helping Hand. The feature is designed to help alleviate some of the financial burden which can arise when seeking a grant of probate in Ireland. For claims which are accepted, but delayed due to probate, Royal London will now provide an advance payment of up to €10,000 to cover funeral costs of the deceased.
Barry McCutcheon, Proposition Lead at Royal London explained, “Every interaction with brokers and their clients is important to us, but the claims stage is the key moment of truth. Brokers will be very aware of the frustration that probate delays can cause clients and this is also a frustration to us, especially when you consider that once probate has been granted Royal London can, on average, pay the full claim within 5 days. Our introduction of Funeral Payment Helping Hand will hopefully bridge this gap.”
How does it work?
When Royal London is made aware of a claim which is subject to probate, they will explain to the Executors that Funeral Payment Helping Hand is available and how it works. Royal London will then pay up to €10,000 to cover funeral costs such as the coffin, burial plot and death notices. The payment can be made to the Funeral Director directly or to the Executors of the estate upon producing a Funeral Director invoice or receipt. Brokers and Executors acting on behalf of the family will be notified once the payment has been made.
Once probate has been granted, Royal London will pay the Executors the deceased’s sum assured minus the amount advanced to pay for the cost of the funeral.
Barry noted, “Funeral costs can place a significant financial burden on those left behind. In many cases this is an eventuality which hasn’t been budgeted for, yet unfortunately must be paid well before probate has been settled. Royal London normally waives probate on lower sum assured cases, but we’ve found that approximately 20% of death claims are delayed due to probate. This means that a significant portion of families can avail of Funeral Payment Helping Hand.”
Royal London has made significant strides in their goal of excellence in customer experience over the last few years, as evidenced by their first place finish in the Service Excellence category of the 2017 Brokers Ireland Excellence Awards. Through the launch of Funeral Payment Helping Hand, and other initiatives, Royal London aim to continue to provide positive outcomes for brokers, their clients and their clients’ families.
Barry concluded, “We continue to lobby at the highest level for reform of the probate system in Ireland. In the meantime, for families who are faced with probate delays, we hope that the provision of Funeral Payment Helping Hand can help to alleviate some of the financial burden which they may face.”
For more information on Funeral Payment Helping Hand email email@example.com or call (01) 429 3386.
* Royal London Ireland – Probate Position Paper 2017
** Royal London Press Release – “Survey reveals 1/5 of people believe probate in Ireland takes longer than 12 months.” (August 2017)