Ideally, a funeral service — and the cost that comes along with it — can be planned for.
But as a funeral director, you know that death can never truly be planned. For many, it comes unexpectedly. And in an unpredictable world, families need options.
While some families are able to pay for funerals with life insurance policies or family estates, others aren’t so fortunate. In the face of an unexpected death, some might be forced to go with the least expensive route, like a direct cremation. Others might turn to crowdfunding.
But could a funeral financing program also be an option to consider? No funeral director wants to turn away grieving families. By increasing the number of payment options you offer, you can help families facing different situations.
Can You Really Expect the Unexpected?
Accidents, homicide, and suicide are all impossible to plan for, but they happen rather frequently. In America, accidental deaths alone are the fourth-leading cause of death. In major cities, homicide rates are on the rise.
When an unplanned death does occur, the families are left with an unimaginable void. The last thing that should be on their mind is how to pay for a service to remember a loved one.
The Economy Isn’t Helping
It’s well-known that the cost of a traditional funeral has risen. Pair that with shrinking savings and a growing lack of life insurance policies, and it makes it difficult for families to get the traditional service they might want.
A Bankrate survey found that in 2016, 63% of Americans had no savings for an unexpected expense of up to $1,000. As a MarketWatch article put it, most Americans “remain just one paycheck away from ending up on the street.” The article also said that “57% said they’d used up some or all of their savings in the Great Recession and its aftermath.”
As for life insurance, the numbers don’t bode well either. Life insurance is at a 50-year low, and 70 million Americans are without adequate coverage to meet their expenses through life insurance. Why? A LIMRA report found it’s mainly because families are facing other financial priorities.
How do families plan to meet an unexpected expense, then? The same Bankrate survey found that 23% of families will reduce spending elsewhere, and 15% will borrow from family or friends or use credit to help make the payments easier.
In the face of unexpected deaths, some families would be willing to use financing to pay for parts of a funeral.
How Would Funeral Financing Help You and Your Families?
- Giving the family time to sell any assets and reorganize their budget, all while ensuring they get the funeral they want.
- Providing families with time to ask other family members or crowdfund for financial assistance if needed.
- Keeping interest rates low and payments easier by allowing multiple guarantors on the loan.
- Keeping bills on a simple payment system integrated right on your site. Statements would be easily printed and sent to families.
- Quicker loan approval. Some financing programs take up to five days, and that’s time better spent planning the funerals. A truly smart financing program would get the money into the hands of the funeral director within 24 hours of applying. And by sending it straight to the funeral home, families don’t have to worry about payment and can focus on what matters.
Financing a funeral shouldn’t be the first option a family reaches for, but having this option might make all the difference. For a family facing the unexpected, this could be the answer they need.