The New York preneed law may be the best consumer oriented preneed law in the country (see Page 47 of the AARP Survey). It requires 100% trusting, the accrual of income and limits the permissible investments. The New York State Funeral Directors Association has good reason to be proud of their preneed program. Yes, their preneed trust is safe and steady. But, it is a one-of-a-kind model that owes a certain amount of its success to New York’s restrictions on insurance funding.
The bar set by the NYSFDA for other state associations is impossible to obtain in today’s legal environment. The last sentence from a recent article about the IFDA’s woes is most telling:
“The only lobbying we’ve had against our laws is from the insurance industry, which would like to bring their products into New York.”
Other than New York, what states prohibit insurance funded preneed contracts? States that consider the New York standards without insurance funding restrictions need to examine the consequences to the consumer and to the funeral home operator. If trusting requirements are set too high, operators will resort to insurance funding for their preneed contracts. Funeral directors will have insurance licensing requirements to fulfill, and consumers will have fewer preneed options.