Much to the surprise of industry leaders, NPS has suggested it will do what’s in the best interests of the consumers. Could this mean a refund to everyone?
April Fools Day!
If anything, NPS is a fighter, and will battle each of these states. Does NPS have problems? Sure. The insurance in the trust scheme has had competitors mad for years, and for good reason. Does NPS’ problems make it vulnerable to the funeral homes it contracts with? Better go read those associate agreements. The Funeral Service Insider suggests funeral homes could be taking the hit if NPS fails. That may not be the case. Nor is FSI’s source on point when suggesting that the purchaser money that NPS collects is also the funeral home’s money. Funeral directors need to start reading those NPS contracts to determine if they are an ‘obligor’. Frequently, NPS associates are agreeing to provide the described funeral when they are paid pursuant to the terms of the agreements (note: plural….. agreements, you need to read more than the preneed contract).
The consumer is the one most exposed by a possible NPS failure. And if that were to happen, it would also be catastrophic to the industry’s integrity, and the arguments against federal regulation.
But, it is a little early to be giving NPS any final rites. Industry leaders need to take a calm approach to the situation, and avoid contributing to the rumor mill. Consumers need to contact their state regulators to obtain more information about the safety of their funds. Funeral directors need to get out those associate agreements, and begin to read.