The Funeral Rule is Facing Updates: Here's How Your Firm Can Prepare

For funeral professionals, it’s important to maintain professionalism and empathy throughout a client family’s experience with your business. Providing clear and itemized pricing information is also very important. Not only does this allow your families to make informed decisions without feeling added pressure during an already emotional time, but it also ensures that your funeral home is in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Funeral Rule.

Introduced in 1984, the Funeral Rule was designed as a safeguard for consumers seeking transparent and itemized pricing information when seeking funeral services. The regulation is regularly reviewed by the FTC, and many expect them to announce updates to it that better reflect the way many consumers seek information about funeral service today – online.  

According to our newly released Seventh Edition of Preneed Motivators, more people are looking for prearranging information online than ever before. Of the policy owners surveyed who were looking online for information about funeral planning, 73% were searching for price information. However, findings from a recent Funeral Services Online Report conducted by the FTC, most of the websites included in the study contained little to no pricing information on their sites, with just over 10% providing only starting prices or package offers, not their itemized general price list (GPL).

Many leaders in the funeral space agree that we are likely to see changes to the Funeral Rule in the upcoming year that address online pricing transparency for funeral homes and cemeteries.

This may lead you to ask: How does my firm ensure that we’re in compliance and prepared for any potential online pricing updates to the Funeral Rule?

Consider an Online Storefront

Integrating an online storefront into your website, such as eFuneral, provides a valuable digital experience for families while positioning your firm as a leader in innovation and transparency. It can also serve as your primary source for pricing and packaging information, helping ensure everyone on your staff can provide accurate, consistent pricing information to every family.

It’s also an easier way for consumers to plan ahead. By providing all the information upfront, and giving the option of advance funeral planning, consumers can go through the planning process and make those difficult decisions at their own pace. This allows them to move at their own speed and provides your firm with increased preneed sales.

It can also significantly reduce phone traffic to your business from people with general price inquiries. By providing all the pricing information in one location, you can rest assured that regardless of who answers the phone, your staff can direct consumers to your optimized website where consistent and transparent information is easily accessible.

Understanding the Funeral Rule and why the regulations exist is key, but making sure that your firm is following the regulations helps safeguard your business for the future.

watch a FREE Webinar

We partnered with eFuneral and Kates-Boylston publications to provide a FREE Webinar for funeral home businesses. During the webinar, Luke Frieberg and Mitch Smith from eFuneral shared a detailed understanding of the FTC’s focus on the Funeral Rule in early 2024 and how this impacts your business. They provided an in-depth explanation of what the FTC’s increased enforcement means for you, and how incorporating digital tools can be part of your FTC compliance strategy moving forward.

For more information or to watch a recording of the webinar, click the link below.

Watch a Recording of Funeral Compliance and Online Sales: What You Need to Know

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