Funeral Cover FAQ's

Do I need funeral insurance?

Like all insurance policies, the Funeral Plan is designed to give you peace of mind - so you can relax knowing that your family can give you the send off you want, without having to worry about how they are going to pay for it.

Even if you have substantial assets, have set money aside in your will or have life insurance, it can take months to settle an estate. But the funeral home will want to be paid within a few weeks. And if you end up in long term care, you may find the rest home wants some form of proof that funeral expenses can be taken care of.

A Funeral Plan policy means funds are available as early as possible to meet final expenses – providing an ideal funding solution to one of life's certainties.

What about a pre-paid funeral instead?

You could consider purchasing a pre-paid funeral plan from a funeral director or setting up a funeral trust. But the money can be difficult to access if you change your mind.

Some plans require you to pay up front, locking your money away. Others allow you to pay by installment but you only get back what you've paid in (plus interest and minus fees) which, depending on how long you contribute, may not be enough.

And unlike the insurance industry, which is regulated and monitored by the Reserve Bank, there are no specific regulations governing pre-paid funerals. So you would really do need to do your homework to check that funds will be secure, what fees can be charged and how the money can be accessed.

Why is cover limited in the first two years?

The two year 'accident only' period means cover can be provided to everyone without having to ask a lot of medical questions or charge extra for any pre-existing conditions. So if you die from an illness or disease in the first two years the payout is limited to a refund of all premiums you have paid.

What isn't covered?

The only events not covered are death by illness or disease during the first two years and suicide or attempted suicide in the first two years. In both cases however the policy will still pay out the full refund of premiums paid. After two years you are covered for death by any cause, no exceptions.

Why do I have to be a NZ citizen, a resident or have a work permit?

Insurance regulations mean we can only insure people who live in New Zealand. If you purchase the Funeral Plan and then intend to be outside of New Zealand for more than 6 months you will need to let us know.

What if I want more cover later on?

You can increase your cover amount up the $20,000 limit. But the two year 'accident only' period will be applied separately to any additional cover you purchase.

Why would Greenwich not be able to pay my beneficiary?

There are some instances where we might not be able to pay the money to your nominated beneficiary – for example if they have predeceased you or if we are unable to locate them. If this happens, the payment would be made to your estate.

Can I cancel the policy if I change my mind?

If you decide the cover isn't exactly what you want, you can cancel your policy within the first 30 days and any premiums paid will be refunded in full. After the 30 days you can still cancel the policy whenever you wish but only unused annual premium will be refunded. The policy isn't a savings or investment plan so has no cash or residual value.

How does my family make a claim?

Your nominated beneficiary or the representatives of your estate can make a claim by calling us on 0800 99 66 99, emailing or writing to Greenwich Life Insurance, PO Box 1232, Auckland City 1140.

We will let you know at that time what documentation is required. Usually this would include the death certificate and coroner's report (if one has been issued), along with proof of age (birth certificate or drivers license), if this isn't given on the death certificate. Proof will also be required of your nominated beneficiary's identity if they are making the claim, or a grant of administration (probate or letters of administration) if the claim is being made by your estate. Additional documents may be required in some circumstances.

How do I make a complaint?

We’ll always do our best to get things right and provide you with great service. However, if things do go wrong, here’s what to do:

Contact us on 0800 666 004 and we will try to sort out the problem with you. If our customer services team is unable to help, ask to talk with the Team Leader. At this stage it’s best to put your complaint in writing. The Team Leader will acknowledge your complaint, investigate the matter and inform you of any outcome.

If you’re not happy with this outcome, write to:

The Manager
Greenwich Life Insurance
a business division of DPL Insurance Ltd
PO Box 1232
Auckland City 1140

We’ll acknowledge your complaint within three working days and make sure it’s fully investigated. You’ll receive written advice of the outcome within 10 working days – or, if no decision has been made, we’ll give you an update on the progress of your case.

Finally, if we are unable to resolve your complaint within two months we’ll let you know. We’ll also tell you of your rights under the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme, which considers complaints relating to insurance claims. This is an independent scheme that’s free of charge to you. Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme has the authority to make decisions binding upon insurance companies for certain claims up to the value of $200,000 (excluding GST).

Should you wish to have your complaint considered by the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman you have to complete the steps above first. You must contact the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman office no later than two months after we informed you that deadlock has been reached with your claim.

You can contact the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme by phoning 0800 888 202 or (04) 499 7612, by fax at (04) 499 7614 or by writing to PO Box 10-845, Wellington 6143. You’ll find additional information and contact details at or email