While the settlement negotiated with the National Organization of Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Associations (“NOLHGA”) provides funding for the vast majority of NPS preneed contracts, there could be as many as 7,500 NPS preneed contracts that fall outside this coverage. For one of a couple of reasons, NPS never purchased an insurance policy for these preneed contracts. These are the NPS “orphan contracts” that regulators and the NPS Special Deputy must figure out what to do with.

NPS and its sister insurance companies were put into receivership by the Texas Department of Insurance. The special deputy receiver appointed to administer the NPS assets and liabilities negotiated coverage with the National Organization of Life and Health Guaranty Associations (NOLHGA). However, this coverage is dependent upon a policy (or sufficient evidence of the intent to purchase a policy) having been issued for the consumer’s preneed contract. In the absence of a policy, the guaranty association will not honor a claim, and the consumer will be forced to make a claim with the special deputy receiver.

The orphan contract is primarily a Missouri problem because NPS sold insurance funded preneed contracts in most states. For Missouri, NPS sold trust-funded contracts, or rolled a funeral home’s trust into a NPS trust (that subsequently purchased insurance). With regard to Missouri installment contracts, NPS apparently instructed the trustee to defer the insurance purchase until the contract was paid in full. Consequently, the consumers who are making payments on one of NPS’ Missouri contracts may have an orphaned contract.

The Missouri Insurance Guaranty Association is working with funeral homes to identify those NPS preneed contracts that are orphaned. Missouri consumers who are making installment payments on a NPS contract should contact their funeral director for assistance in determining whether their contract is orphaned or not.

With regard to these Missouri consumers, the Special Deputy Receiver and regulators need to consider that it was their recommendation that all consumers continue to pay on their NPS contracts in order to maintain coverage.