Funeral Services Industry Leader Creates Needs Analysis Program for Financial Services Professionals

Houston, TX - March 26, 2009

The Dignity Memorial® provider network, North America’s largest network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers, announces its new program for financial service professionals.  Dignity Planning™ is the first needs analysis and suitability program designed for financial service providers outside of the funeral industry.  The tool is free and educates consumers on the importance of planning ahead and documenting their wishes for their end-of-life arrangements. Dignity Planning is not a prearranged funeral agreement. Rather, it allows consumers to view a complete and personalized combination of products and services that can be paired with a policy to make a comprehensive plan for the customer’s end-of-life arrangements.  Currently, Dignity Planning is utilized through partnerships with insurance carriers and distributors of financial services and products.

“Through years of working as an insurance and brokerage professional, I realized that the insurance industry was missing out on the opportunity to provide clients with a complete financial plan,” says David Frank, one of the architects of Dignity Planning. “Working with the Dignity Memorial network, Dignity Planning was developed to build a bridge between the insurance and funeral service industries by creating a tool that pairs a policy to the client’s specific end-of-life wishes.”

The network of Dignity Memorial providers serves approximately 300,000 families a year. Year after year, thousands of these families come in to a funeral home at the time of their loved one’s death, not knowing what was wanted for that person’s end-of-life arrangements and/or not having adequate funds to pay for those arrangements.  Dignity Planning not only offers a way for clients to plan, but also assists agents in determining how much coverage they need, based on real-time pricing, inflation and age-based life expectancy.

Dignity Planning provides added service for clients making end-of-life arrangements, but the agents who utilize the tool find added benefits as well.  By using the real-time pricing, built-in inflation and age-based life expectancy tables on Dignity Planning, agents can present a more accurate estimation of current and future needs, educating the client to make a better decision on their policy.  With Dignity Planning as a companion, agents also convert their policy and premium relationships into plans, which increase persistency and referrals.

In addition, the program allows for lead generation because clients notify their friends and family that they have taken the important step to create a plan and then encourage these friends and family to create their own plans.  When the friend or family member creates their own plan, these leads come back with the need already in place.  Dignity Planning provides opportunities for cross-selling, too.  Agents communicate with their existing blocks of business and offer them Dignity Planning as a free gift that everyone should have as part of their complete financial plan.  Once the client creates a plan, the agent will know how much coverage they need for the plan and whether or not the policy is currently underfunded.  All of these factors lead to more profitability for the agent.  

Dignity Planning is a value-added tool that differentiates financial service businesses from their competitors.  The increased persistency, lead generation, higher face amounts, and cross-selling and up-selling opportunities that Dignity Planning offers also make it a great program for keeping and recruiting agents.  

When agents make Dignity Planning available to their clients as a free gift, they are providing a best-in-class solution for creating, storing and communicating end-of-life arrangements. Clients can create a plan with Dignity Planning in three different ways—online, by phone or by mail. To find out how your organization can take advantage of Dignity Planning, please contact Aaron Hevle at 713-525-3037.

The Dignity Memorial network of more than 1,600 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers is North America’s most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence.

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