In an industry where extra benefits usually mean higher premiums, Metropolitan Life Botswana is bucking the trend with the launch of its Mmelegi funeral plan.
“We have added a number of new benefits, and have dropped our premiums quite substantially,” says Oupa Mothibatsela, managing director of Metropolitan Life, Botswana.
“It is an unusual step, especially in this economic climate, but the decision came out of our commitment to the financial security of our customers,” he says.
“At Metropolitan, our position as industry leaders is a reflection of our mandate to provide market-relevant financial services and products,” says Mothibatsela. “Mmelegi, which replaces the Phitlho Funeral Plan, contains a number of new benefits, specifically tailored to the Botswana market”.
One of the most significant new benefits, and one that sets Mmelegi apart from its competitors, is the paid up option. If the main member passes away, the policy becomes fully paid up. That means that there are no further monthly payments for those left behind, and they remain fully covered for the rest of their lives.
It is a significant benefit on a plan which can include the main member’s extended family to the level of parents in law, cousins and nieces and nephews.
Mmelegi is also unusual in that its cover does not stop when the main member retires.
“The word Mmelegi means ‘the one who carries you through hard times’, and we are determined to live up to that promise by providing meaningful benefits to our customers,” announced Tebogo Toteng, the retail marketing executive at Metropolitan.
“We listened to what our customers were asking for and have added a tombstone benefit to the policy. It is important that the family should have peace of mind, knowing that they can mark the grave of their loved one in an appropriate way,” Toteng says.
“Another unique benefit is that we have no minimum premium: if a single person takes out cover, he will pay only the cost of his cover. And the plan provides the flexibility to reduce or increase premiums, depending on the members’ ability to pay. The only condition is the six month waiting period for new members before the benefits are payable”.
Mmelegi Funeral Plan was launched to the Botswana market on 13 August 2009.