2018 is almost halfway over. If you’re like us, you’re wondering where the time went. To get you caught up on the biggest trends in the funeral profession, we’ve compiled a rundown of the biggest headlines so far this year.
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NFDA Launches Remembering a Life
Early in the year, the NFDA launched their Remembering a Life campaign with the goal of highlighting the power of storytelling and memorialization. The campaign features a worldwide film contest, with the top three entries debuting at the NFDA International Convention & Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In addition to the film contest, the NFDA launched RemembringALife.com. The website is a resource guide for how families can plan meaningful tributes for their loved ones.
“Remembering a Life focuses on educating and empowering consumers to make informed decisions about funerals and memorialization. However, no one knows how to better help families than an NFDA-member funeral director, so the initiative will also educate the public about the important role of the funeral director and establish NFDA-member funeral homes as the local experts,” the organization said in a press release.
Tribute Insurance Assignments Launched
The Frazer Consultants team also has been busy. In February, we launched the much-anticipated Tribute Insurance Assignments program.
We put together a team of insurance specialists with a combined 63+ years of experience working with life insurance policies. The result is that Tribute Insurance Assignments offers the fastest approval process in insurance claim processing. Funeral homes get claims verified within 24-48 hours, and they can expect to get funded up front in as little as 24 hours.
Watch as our Tribute Insurance Assignments operations manager, Audrey Cassidy, shares all the positive results funeral homes have seen using the program so far.
FTC Releases Results of Undercover Investigation
The Federal Trade Commission released the results of their 2017 Funeral Rule compliance investigation. Investigators looked at 134 funeral homes in 11 different states. Their goal was to see if the funeral homes were disclosing proper pricing information, as required by the FTC’s Funeral Rule.
29 funeral homes did not meet the requirements set by the FTC. But all 29 did choose to enter the NFDA’s Funeral Rule Offender’s Program, a program designed to increase compliance with the Funeral Rule. You can view the full results of the investigation here.
CANA Releases 2018 Statistics
The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) released the results of their annual statistics report. Not surprisingly, cremation is still climbing, reaching as high as 70% in some states.
Here are some key stats to know:
- The cremation rate in the U.S. hit 51.6%. In the next four years, CANA predicts the rate will hit close to 60%.
- Cremation rates are highest in states out west, with Washington (77.3%), Nevada (76.9%), and Oregon (75.8%) having the three highest cremation rates.
- Only three states (Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky) have rates lower than 30%.
All of which, CANA says, confirms cremation as the new tradition. Read the full report here.
Selected Independent Announces New Officers
Selected Independent Funeral Homes — the world’s oldest association of independently-owned funeral homes — announced the new officers to serve the coming year.
Joe Jackson Jr., a third-generation funeral professional, was elected to serve as Secretary-Treasurer. Kimberly Farris-Luke was elected to serve as the board’s first ever female president. Check out an in-depth interview we had with Kimberly Farris-Luke here.
Frazer Consultants Launches eCheck Feature for Clients
Another new feature we launched this year was Tribute Pay’s eCheck payment service. The service offers a convenient way for families to pay your funeral home by check, directly online. It’s not only convenient for families, but it’s better for funeral homes because processing fees for eCheck payments are less than other online payment methods, meaning your funeral home saves money when families choose to pay by electronic check. Learn more here!
2018 has been busy, but it’s not over yet. We’re excited to see what the rest of the year brings. Stay tuned to see our next big funeral innovation when we roll out responsive obituaries!