Until early 2017, Centrepay paid the premiums of many of our members directly to us, ensuring that they had peace of mind and the reassurance of knowing that when they passed, their loved ones would not have the soaring costs of funerals added to their grief. Their rationale in making these payments was to assist customers in managing their expenses, consistent with the purpose of their welfare payments. Unfortunately, Centrelink made the decision not to pay these premiums directly to us, leaving thousands of our customers suddenly faced with no longer having the security, which they thought they safely had.
There was some criticism of our business following the Full Court’s decision to support Centrelink’s change of policy, and whilst we were naturally disappointed, we felt that were able to counter all of their comments. Our service provides peace of mind to our customers, leaving them happy that their passing will not add to the financial burden of their surviving relatives, leaving them facing the high price of an unexpected funeral.
Our funeral insurance products reduce financial risk by providing certainty of cover and a payout from the first payment; whereas other products, such as pre-paid funeral funds, require years of savings, which may prove ultimately futile, in the event a customer passes away before saving enough for a funeral. We have always maintained that the Court did not fully understand the purpose of our services, which were designed ultimately to provide reassurance, peace of mind and reduce financial worries.