By: C. Suzanne Eades, CPC, Senior Vice President
Area Sales Director and SFLIC Sales & Products Training
Selected Funeral and Life Insurance Company
Do funeral homes need an effective insurance program? Do you want to build your funeral home’s market share and make sure the families you serve have funds to cover funeral costs? Is it really that important? Yes!
An active insurance program reaches out to the community and helps them prepare for the inevitable with the means they have today. Your insurance program can increase at-need calls, protect and expand your trade territory, solve account receivable issues, and provide commission income to the funeral home. SFLIC statistics show that approximately 94% of people who purchased insurance through your funeral home will return to your establishment for their services.
A well-rounded insurance program will include both pre-need and final expense insurance. Trust funded pre-need generates little growth and often comes with exorbitant maintenance fees. Insurance funded pre-need can alleviate these fees and offer higher growth helping to cover the cost of inflation for the prices locked in today, and, most often, insurance companies funding prepaid funeral contracts are diligent in providing information to the funeral home required for annual reporting, simplifying that process for your staff.
Let’s not forget about final expense. Too often families are in a funeral home after suffering a sudden loss planning ways to memorialize their loved one with little or no means to do so. A previously offered and purchased affordable final expense policy can bridge this gap. According to Census ACS 1 published by the Department of Numbers, the median household income for Arkansas in 2017 was $45,869. The median family income was $57,421 and the median per capita income was $25,316. Also, the U. S. Census Bureau predicts the percentage of Arkansas’ population over the age of 60 in 2020 will be only 24%. In my opinion, these combined statistics leave a huge market for final expense life insurance.
If you google funeral insurance, you find page after page attempting to guide the reader to their company’s funeral insurance or how to prepay a funeral. Most disturbing to me are those sites that claim to ease the burden of the funeral experience without actually being tied to any funeral establishment. You might ask - what’s the difference in the online process and you? Simply, it’s NOT you!
You are the professional, educated in the unique service of how to guide families through the process of memorializing a loved one. In addition, you or your authorized representatives are the link between the unprepared person and the gently-guided, prepared individuals - those who have alleviated some of the stress and financial burden of a funeral for loved ones by both selecting and prepaying for services and merchandise in advance, or by providing funds through a final expense policy. No website can substitute the peace of mind associated with this service by the funeral professional.
Insurance companies dedicated to the funeral profession closely affiliate with funeral establishments. We provide products, training, and, sometimes, marketing advice, as well as other services linked to the funeral profession. Some of us have worked in funeral homes in different capacities; some of us are licensed funeral directors, but almost all of us have experienced the loss of a loved one. Consequently, the spirit of the funeral profession resonates with us. We have chosen this particular profession not only for the success we enjoy, but also for the sense of purpose we feel in our vocation.
Realizing that an effective insurance program could be vital to the success of any funeral home, what goals can the funeral home set? Insurance and preneed sold should equal or exceed the average gross sales of the funeral services you provide per year. An ideal program goal should be to have insurance and preneed contracts in force equal to five times your average annual funeral sales. An insurance company dedicated to your profession can help you achieve these goals. Selected Funeral & Life Insurance Company (SFLIC) is such a company.
SFLIC was founded by funeral directors who recognized the need to provide their communities with the means to memorialize their loved ones with dignity no matter the income level. Still largely owned by those founders’ families, SFLIC is a premier provider of insurance with a long history and a deep sense of purpose in serving the funeral profession. Through our experience, we found no one product fits every family’s needs. SFLIC has developed a series of products that can serve every member of most households.
In addition to our products, SFLIC also provides funeral home staff sales and product training, and marketing assistance. We host continuing education seminars, and periodically host the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) certification programs, including the Certified Preplanning Consultant Program, at our home office in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We also help sponsor and support each Funeral Directors Association in the four-state region where we conduct business. In other words, we are committed to your success.
For more information on how we can help you and your funeral home, please contact us at 501-624-2172 or toll free 800-272-2087 between the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Central Time. And, guess what! You will be pleasantly surprised that a real person will answer your call. We at SFLIC strive for a positive experience from the very beginning of your contact. We are here to serve YOU.