As the coronavirus scare looms, having already claimed it’s first victim, funeral companies might very soon be busy. We have seen this in China and Italy where mortuaries are overrun and struggling as the dead continue to pile up. Perhaps in anticipation of this, or maybe as a reaction to the deteriorating economy, Nyaradzo, one of Zimbabwe’s popular funeral service provider, has announced a premium hike.

People who have a policy with them have announced receiving an SMS message confirming this. One person received the following message:

Dear [Censored Name]. In order to preserve the value of your funeral policy benefits, with effect from 1 May 2020, (April 2020 deduction), your monthly premium will increase to ZWL $224.00 For any adjustments kindly visit your nearest Nyaradzo Life Assurance Company Office.

The recipient has a personal cover policy. Those who have the popular six-pack plan, for example, can expect to be paying much much more than this.

Blame the economy and coronavirus

While deaths would normally mean a boom in business for funeral homes it’s not something desirable when the people dying are policyholders. Too many deaths will lead to a strain on the affected company’s resources and the pooled money from premiums might not be enough to cover the cost of funerals following a pandemic induced spike in deaths.

A hike in premiums might be Nyaradzo’s way of doing this but it’s important to remember than before this past weekend our biggest concern was the continuously depreciating Zimbabwean dollar which has no doubt also decimated the real value of premiums that Nyaradzo was charging.