In a press release that we received last week from Insurance News Net we learned that Transamerica Insurance has partnered with Everest Funeral Package, LLC to provide “a new funeral concierge benefit at no direct cost for qualifying life insurance policyholders.” The press release goes on to say that this “Concierge Planning Rider” will provide grieving beneficiaries valuable resources to help plan the funeral of the insured person.
The release continues in saying that the agreement with the third party service provider, Everest Funeral Package, will provide “24/7 access to an expert consultant who assists with planning the funeral and negotiating funeral expenses”. You can see the press release here.
Here is what Blake Bostwick, CEO of the Individual Solutions division at Transamerica said, “Transamerica is providing this service to help families through one of their most difficult times. This new benefit lifts some of the burden from grieving families. Expert help is available 24/7 to help plan the funeral and save money on funeral costs . . . . End of life discussions are difficult, and this new rider can help facilitate those conversations and provide real and much-needed peace of mind to our customers and their families.”
Mark Duffey, President and CEO of Everest Funeral Package, LLC, had this to say about the agreement, “Everest exists to advocate for families, be their champion, and offer support during one of life’s most challenging times”.
Transamerica policyholders with qualifying life insurance plans will receive information on how they can opt-in for the rider at no additional cost.
Funeral Director Daily take: When looking at the Everest Funeral Package website we notice that this is not the first insurance company that Everest must have agreements with. Their website lists impressive insurance companies like Mutual of Omaha, Aetna, and The Hartford as also being partners.
It is our opinion that all kinds of companies are looking for ways to get more market share in their respective industries and life insurance is no exception. Evidently, by offering this type of service, the life insurance companies believe that their brand may have an added amenity which may increase sales for them over competitors.
The idea of the life insurer, or their third party partner, Everest Funeral Package, making funeral home decisions on the part of insured is dis-concerting to us. If that is the case, while it may save money for the consumer, you need look no further than the health insurance market and how health insurers have “pushed down” clinical revenues by driving policy holders to medical providers only if they are “In network” and have pricing agreements with that provider.
In the long run life insurance companies may be able to capture “In network” death care providers. That type of arrangement may provide larger numbers to captive funeral homes, but it will also come with the price tag of lower revenues per service.
Some funeral homes may be willing to have that arrangement which will have the long range effect of potentially controlling consumer costs, but narrowing funeral home margins.
News from the world of Death Care:
- Invocare share price wobbly following half-year results. Motley Fool Australia
- Beverly Ridge Funeral Home continues family tradition. The Beverly Review (IL)
- Lookin’ around Litch: City Cemetery evokes sense of pride. Litchfield Independent Review (MN)
- Funeral home moves forward with Thomaston crematory, seeks voter approval for land lease. Penobscot Bay Pilot (ME)