AIG Life has become the first insurer to meet the Protection Distributors Group’s (PDG) funeral payment pledge since the call for action was made in September.

The group, which consists of ten leading intermediary firms in the UK protection market, called for insurers to do more to help bereaved families earlier this year. AIG has confirmed it has agreed to sign up to the pledge and will announce the details officially early next year.

As a minimum, the PDG asked for insurers to ensure:

  • families can pay funeral costs by committing to the pledge


  • proactively offering families at claim stage to pay the funeral director where no other arrangements have been made, up to £5,000


The group has been encouraging insurers to look beyond this minimum request and go further to help families as unfortunately not enough policyholders arrange trusts and/or wills to help their beneficiaries at the time of claim.

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John Downes, head of claims and underwriting at AIG Life, commented: “AIG Life is very happy to support this initiative. The last thing we would want to see is people getting into debt to pay for a funeral when we’ve agreed in principle to pay a life insurance claim and are simply waiting to complete paperwork before we pay. It’s the right thing to do by our customers and their families.”

Emma Thomson of LifeSearch, who chairs the PDG, said: “We are delighted that AIG has chosen to sign up to the pledge; their team is very keen to improve the overall claims experience and they’ll be offering even more to families than the minimum we asked for which is fantastic news for consumers.”

Thomson added that two other insurers have indicated they will also sign up to the pledge soon, which PDG hopes will encourage other firms to follow suit.