Finance Preneed

A.M. Best Upgrades Great Western Insurance Credit Rating

A press release from BusinessWire has indicated that the Great Western Insurance Company (GWIC) of Ogden, Utah, has had  A.M. Best upgrade their Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “bbb+” from “bbb”.  The outlook of the Long-Term ICR has been revised to stable from positive while the outlook of the Financial Strength Rating is stable. The release continues with “GWIC is a prominent insurer in the pre-need space through it extensive funeral home distribution network targeting the growing senior population.  GWIC […]

Finance Preneed

Get to know Assurant

As you are probably aware of we at Funeral Director Daily have built up our own index of public stocks which reflect six companies with, at least a part of their business entity in the Death Care profession.  Our hope is that by watching this index, and how the companies operate, we can learn something of value to bring to each of us in the industry. Yesterday I noticed an interesting item about Assurant, one of those six stocks, mentioned […]

Cemetery Preneed

Here We Go Again

As we move up on Memorial Day next Monday and want to honor those who have went before us, it seems that there is always something in our industry that casts a pall over the business of funeral directors and cemeterians.  I discovered a recent article in the Record-Courier of Ravenna, Kent and Portage Counties of Ohio where a cemetery owner was recently accused of being dishonest with pre-arrangements. According to the article, Ted and Arminda Martin were the owners […]

Business Finance Preneed

Shaffer to Lead Homesteaders Beginning in 2018

A recent press release by Homesteaders Life Company, a funeral industry pre-arrangement company,  announced that a succession plan for the leadership of the company was recently passed at their May 2017 meeting.  Using forward thinking the board accepted CEO Stephen Lang’s pending retirement in March 2018 and approved the plan to have COO Stephen Shaffer succeed him at that time. Beginning immediately Shaffer will have an increasing assumption of day-to-day activities at Homesteaders, which is based in West Des Moines, […]


Kentucky Funeral Home Investigated for Fraud

A Benton, Kentucky funeral home has had his funeral home searched as allegations of fraud have been leveled against him.  According to the West Kentucky article, the Kentucky Department of Insurance is investigating complaints from customers who allegedly paid Filbeck-Cann & King Funeral Home owner Tim King to buy insurance policies that he never actually purchased. According to the article a search warrant was served last Monday at the funeral in relation to the possible fraud investigation. King’s attorney […]

Cemetery Preneed Regulations

VA Cemeteries to Give Pre-Need Eligibility Verification

According to a recent article by Veteran’s advocate Gary Alexander in the Gainsville (TX) Daily Register honorably discharged veterans can now apply for burial in national cemeteries pre-need.  Until recently, veterans, and their families, had to wait until need (at the time of a death) to apply for burial. The Veteran’s Administration press release states, ” Interested individuals may submit VA Form 40-10007, Application for Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility for Burial in VA National Cemetery”.  The VA will review eligibility […]

Business Cemetery Finance Preneed

The Latest News from StoneMor Partners

StoneMor Partners, the Philadelphia based funeral home and cemetery  limited partnership that is publicly traded, issued some interesting news this week.  First of all, CEO Larry Miller, one of the firm’s founders has announced his resignation effective on August 31, 2017, or when a replacement is named.  Secondly, according to an article in, the company has entered into a partnership with the Donohue Funeral Homes which serve the Philadelphia area. According to Bill Johnson, StoneMor’s national vice president of […]


Funeral Arrangements Among Common Causes of Family Arguments

For those of you who have actually sat in the arrangement conference room the above headline probably is no surprise.  A press release from Response Source, who is advocating on the part of Pure Cremation, is an interesting read on how arguments over funeral arrangements can happen. According to the release one of the top web-sites in the world, , has listed funeral arrangements as a potential situation for family breakdowns  – even ahead of custody situations and family […]


Pre-Arrangements and Wills

Author Andrew Zashin comments in the  Cleveland Jewish News that when meeting with an attorney to consider drafting a will one should also talk about a “Preneed Funeral Contract”.  He states that  the consumer can meet with a reputable funeral director to do virtually everything he wants to do – from selecting the services to selecting the casket and burial vault. Zashin correctly assumes that without a preneed contract, in many instances the wishes of the deceased don’t get followed. […]

Business Preneed

Canadian Pricing Investigated

A recent investigation by the Toronto Star and CBC was published in the Hamilton Spectator and pointed out consumer issues with pricing in Canadian funeral homes. Reporters focused in on funeral homes owned by Toronto based Arbor Memorial and the United State’s death care giant, Service Corporation International (SCI).  In a contrast to what we hear very often in the lower 48, reporters generally experienced lower markups and less aggressive sales practices at the establishments owned by SCI than they […]