Preneed

Business Preneed Products

Digital life and legacy services company has raised $7.5 million to date

What happens to our online accounts, photos, documents and more when we die? According to this press release, “Our digital lives – and deaths – are increasingly complex.  Recent surveys show that some 65% of U.S. adults do not remember their passwords and another shows that 95% have no idea what happens to their digital stuff when they die.” The press release goes on to say, “GoodTrust offers a comprehensive suite of estate-planning tools including the ability to create a free […]

Preneed

U.S. Life Insurers pay out record $90.43 billion in 2020

This article that appeared in Newser indicates that American life insurance companies paid out death benefits totaling about $90.43 billion dollars in 2020 – the first year of America’s battle with Covid-19.  It also indicates that was a 15.4% increase over death benefits paid out in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic situation. The article also tells us that the 15.4% increase is the largest one-year increase since the (Spanish) influenza epidemic of 1918.  In 1918 American death benefit payouts […]

Business Preneed

Minefields up ahead??

Just yesterday Funeral Director Daily brought you an article that showed, through the reports of public companies, that consumer based funeral homes and cemeteries seem to be doing really well financially over the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.  For the most part, and their are exceptions, the 12-15% increase in American deaths has seemed to trickle down to better bottom lines of funeral homes and cemeteries. I also want to point out that has not been done without […]

Cemetery Preneed

Reflections on “Our” world

Writing on “Death Care” gives me very wide latitude.  There’s a lot to it — and it’s not only about funerals and cremations, funeral homes and crematories, cemeteries and burials, but there is the finances of the industry, the manufacturing of the industry, the mortuary training of the profession, and all of the interesting people involved in the profession. “Our” world is also about history, society, movements within the industry like the increase of cremation that has went on for […]

Business Preneed

Acquisition vs. Retention. . . .where to concentrate?

It’s an age old debate that is carried on even in MBA classes at major colleges.  . . . . .Where are your advertising dollars spent best — on Customer Acquisition or on Customer Retention?  A local issue in a concern outside of the death care industry had my friends and I debating it over coffee this weekend. You hear a lot in the public markets about companies adding customers.  However, very seldom do we hear about “Net New Customers”.  […]

Preneed Regulations

This is the week

This is the week that Congress should act on the Biden Administration’s key piece of legislation, the $3.5 trillion “Human Infrastructure” bill.  Regardless of what happens or how you feel about that bill, I thought it would be interesting to look back on how death care has fared from the other two large social bills passed in American history — the New Deal and the Great Society. The New Deal was passed by Congress under the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidency […]

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. […]