Preneed

Cremation Preneed

An interesting look at disposition intentions

Every once in a while I will come across a survey on some aspect of the death care world that doesn’t quite jive with what I’ve been led to believe.  Normally when that happens I’ll find out the survey was constructed and completed by some one from outside the traditional death care world. When that happens I always find it interesting to look at who commissioned the survey and who took the survey.  That happened the other day when I […]

Preneed

Assurant closes sale of Global Preneed unit to CUNA Mutual Group

In a follow-up to what Funeral Director Daily reported in March, this press release will inform you that Madison, Wisconsin, based CUNA Mutual Group has closed on its acquisition of Assurant Global Preneed.  The press release states that the purchase price was approximately $1.35 billion. Assurant CEO Alan Colberg said this in the release, “This sale marks an important milestone in the transformation of Assurant, sharpening our focus on our market-leading lifestyle and housing businesses, and better positioning our company […]

Finance Preneed

SCI sees 2Q 2021 Revenue per Service jump over $600 per case

Earlier this week the largest funeral home and cemetery operator in North America, Service Corporation International (SCI), revealed their results for the 2nd Quarter of 2021.  It was a much anticipated report as it would mark a comparison with the 2nd Quarter of 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic was flourishing and funeral homes and cemeteries were operating in a much more difficult and different world. As you might expect SCI’s “comparable funeral services performed” dropped 6.0% to 84,449 cases as […]

Preneed

South African preneed market exploding

I can remember back to a time when I thought sending out direct mailing pieces for preneed funeral planning was too forward and bordered on being in bad taste.  At that time we were always worried about offending someone who had an illness in the family or who recently had a death in the family.  Our perception was that the family receiving the mailer would think we were insensitive to them. Well, we’ve came a long way since that time. […]

Cremation Preneed Regulations

Death care receives criticism on three continents

I’ve operated and managed a thriving funeral home.  If you’ve been there and done it. . . you know it is 24/7/365. . . .not many days go by when you don’t worry about something.  And, I’ve dealt with grieving family members, regulators, and the consumer movement too.  When you operate a community funeral home, there is a lot to do. . . . . and a lot of people who will tell you how to do it better — […]

Preneed

Is now the best time ever to build market share thru Preneed?

Our funeral home will celebrate 150 years of service in 2022.  However, we have really only helped families pre-arrange and pre-finance funerals since about 1964 — about 60 years.  And, in those early years, it really wasn’t about pre-planning and pre-financing consumer funerals, but about setting up payment options or trusts for those helped through government programs. In Minnesota, by law, we weren’t even allowed to offer insurance plans to consumers to specifically cover funeral costs until the 1980’s.  My […]

Business Preneed

College research shows distinction between preneed and at need funeral purchases

An article entitled “Relational Spending in Funerals:  Caring for others loved and lost” appeared in the March edition of the Journal of Consumer Psychology.  The research for the article was done by assistant marketing Professor Sarah Whitley of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. In this article about the study you can read where Professor Whitley finds a deep contrast in funeral decisions for those who are preplanning a funeral in the future and those who are making […]

Finance Preneed

Is SCI’s value in their “float”?

I’m a fan of Warren Buffett and his company, Berkshire Hathaway.  Matter of fact, I enjoy reading his annual shareholder letter because it just doesn’t tell how his businesses are doing, it explains to the reader why he is in those businesses and how he makes money for his shareholders. Back in 1936 a gentleman by the name of Leo Goodwin from Washington, D.C., became convinced that auto insurance could be standardized and sold without agents to the general public.  […]

Preneed

Policygenius says “Life insurance prices continue to be stable”

Life insurance rates, at least for the time being, are holding stable regardless of the excess deaths due to Covid-19 in 2020.  A recent press release from Policygenius, that you can access here, says that “The May index shows life insurance pricing stability, despite an increase in the U.S. death rate evident in data recently released by the Center for Disease Control”. Policygenius, in their release state that “the U.S. death rate increased by nearly 16% from 2019 to 2020 […]

Preneed

Will preneed methods change?

As many times happens with me, I learn something from a  news item or items and then try to convert that knowledge to the funeral industry and try to figure out if or how what I’ve learned will translate to our profession. So was the case this week when I saw some public relations for a company called Lantern, whose website you can see here, that has a slogan saying, “End of Life Planning”.  I also saw an advertisement for […]