One positive aspect of Texas appointing a “Rehabilitator” for NPS and its sister insurance companies is the emergence of a single authority over the NPS empire, a godfather so to speak. Rather, a Godmother.
Funeral directors have been chasing legislators, regulators, government officials, and judges for help. This is quite understandable when your entire preneed program was with NPS. However, the Agreed Order Appointing Rehabilitator and Permanent Injunction (“Agreed Order”) will stay all lawsuits like that brought by the Broussard’s Mortuary, a long established Texas company.
The Agreed Order could also bring much needed focus for groups like the “Consumers Funeral Assurance”, a Missouri outfit that is soliciting support from former NPS providers. (Have you spoken with Josh about the similarities in your names? )
One valid grievance funeral directors have with the regulators’ current status quo is the payment of claims based on the contract’s sales price. For NPS contracts sold within the past few years, the contract face does not represent much of a hardship. It will be quite a different story for the twelve year-old contract. Now we can appreciate why NPS was offering those Triad casket coupons.
Rather than pursue geese like the “formation of a quasi-state agency that will assist with the payment of claims”, funeral homes (or the entities that form to represent them) should channel their energies and resources towards the inclusion of their issues in the plan of rehabilitation required by Texas law. (See ¶2.11 of the Agreed Order.)
While funeral directors may be tempted to seek an appointment with Ms. Garrett, they would be better served by briefing the issues for her consideration. Funeral directors should be objective and honest in how they present their issues. Ms. Garrett will be taking possession of all NPS records, and ostensibly, will discover which funeral homes received loans or special commission payments. The emperor has no clothes.
It would also be advisable to tone down the rhetoric. Regulators are probably beginning to appreciate their responsibilities for the NPS failure, but are the funeral directors?