As South Africa continues to grapple with a second wave of COVID-19 infections, funeral service and funeral insurance provider AVBOB has extended its supply of free personal protective equipment (PPE)* used by their undertakers and frontline staff conducting funerals up until 31 March 2021.
This pandemic continues to make inroads into the lives and livelihoods of all South Africans, which is why AVBOB has taken a proactive approach in alleviating some of the financial burden on individuals who need to lay their loved ones to rest. Towards this end, AVBOB saved its policyholders and private clients a combined R5,7 million from July to the end of November 2020 through the initial provision of free PPE* for its staff conducting funerals.
AVBOB scales branch infrastructure
The rapid increase in new COVID-19 infections and mortality during this second wave has placed immense pressure on South Africa’s funeral industry. However, since the pandemic arose in 2020, AVBOB has implemented numerous measures to accommodate these challenges to ensure that their private clients and policyholders can still be assured a dignified farewell.
AVBOB’s frontline workers are under immense pressure to attend to the funeral needs of families who have lost loved ones. This has resulted in certain AVBOB branches taking the initiative to extend their business hours to 22h00 and erect tents outside selected branches to further facilitate servicing clients more efficiently, since limited numbers of clients can be allowed inside the branches due to COVID-19 restrictions. Every possible measure is taken to alleviate the challenges that may already seem insurmountable to those grieving.
This increased pressure has also resulted in an increased demand for coffins. According to AVBOB’s General Manager for Corporate Affairs, Adriaan Bester, AVBOB has made the necessary preparations nationally to meet the greater demand since they manufacture their own coffins, caskets and funeralware at AVBOB Industries in Bloemfontein.
AVBOB has also recognised the importance of applying innovative and cost-effective strategies that directly benefit their policyholders and private clients. “We have increased our container mortuaries to 22 units, which have been distributed around the country, and are in the process of equipping additional units to further increase this capacity,” highlights Bester. “These container mortuaries enable us to deploy additional functionality to facilities under pressure from the growing demands of COVID-19.” AVBOB will continue to implement viable solutions that benefit their policyholders and private clients as everyone faces the impacts of this pandemic together.
This has been further demonstrated through the uninterrupted provision of FREE member funeral benefits** by AVBOB Funeral Service, that saved its policyholders an additional R160 million from the beginning of July to the end of November 2020. Qualifying policyholders and members of the society will continue to reap these FREE funeral benefits** – a FREE funeral valued at R12 000, a R2 500 immediate cash payment for initial expenses, and FREE transport of the deceased within the borders of South Africa – in the coming year.
AVBOB will continue to innovate to ensure that they meet their brand promise of “We’re here for you®” for their clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. For more information on AVBOB’s response to COVID-19, click here.
*All PPE used by the family during viewings or at the gravesite will be for the customer’s account.
** Terms and conditions apply. Free funeral benefits only apply if AVBOB Funeral Service conducts the funeral. AVBOB is an authorised financial services provider. AVBOB is a level 2 B-BBEE contributor. FSP 20656. www.AVBOB.co.za