PHOTO: Luluiloa Vaiula Sialaoa Solomona – CEO AIC, Moana Laumanuvae – Assistant Resident Representative Operations & Finance – UNDP, Tuia’opo Andrew Ah Liki – Chairman of the AIC Board, Jennifer Fruean – President Chamber of commerce, New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa Nick Harley and his wife Patricia, and PFIP’s Samoa-Based Financial Inclusion Coordinator, Iris Kissiti.
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 11 OCTOBER 2018: Samoan funerals are well known lavish affairs that have often times placed the living under economic duress. For most Samoans, funeral payments are one of the big expenses in life creating severe financial stress trying to meet traditional obligations that can cost families up to WST$50,000. Cultural traditions regarding obligations and hospitality arrangements at funerals often mean bereaved families obtain expensive loans at short notice.
To this end, Apia Insurance Company Limited in partnership with the United Nation’s Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) have launched a solution that can help ease some of the financial burden felt by grieving families.
Launched at the Chamber of Commerce meeting, a new General Insurance product called Funeral Cover Insurance Policy is now available at affordable rates for all Samoans, including low-income households. The product does not have any age limitations and can be purchased by Samoans living abroad for their family members.
Labelled as being the first of its kind in Samoa, Funeral Cover insurance allows Samoans to pursue and secure financial assistance to cover expenses related to funerals. Instead of leaving Samoans in debt, this new insurance allows customers to secure coverage for those expenses at affordable premiums and is renewable annually. Upon death of the insured, the claimant/beneficiary will receive a payout that will help with the cost of the loved one’s funeral.
A statement from the company said, Apia Insurance Company Limited with its sister company Apia Finance Corporation values the need for financial services to be made available to every Samoan.
“Our people matter, not just one individual but all. Our services need to extend to everyone because they matter,” said the CEO of Apia Insurance Company Limited, Lutuiloa Vaiula Sialaoa Solomona.
This coincides with one of PFIP’s aim for the project, “to promote innovations in the financial services market and particularly, encourage the introduction of products and services that are needed, but are currently not available.”
PFIP’s Samoa-based Financial Inclusion Coordinator, Iris Kissiti said that the product is the result of a focus group research from last year, exploring the market for new insurance products in Samoa. The research found that there was a clear desire for an insurance product that could help reduce the financial burden of funerals.
She added that PFIP was proud to partner with AIC to develop new financial service products that Samoans need and want.
Founded in 2006, Apia Insurance Company Ltd has served Samoa by providing fire and general insurance products for homes, businesses, vehicle, travel and property for over 2,000 customers. A private and locally owned and managed company, Apia Insurance Company Ltd also operates another branch in American Samoa and has a sister company Apia Finance offering small loans to customers and bridging finances to small businesses.