Funeral Directors Insurance for Death Care’s Changing Landscape
Over the past century, Canadian funeral customs have changed dramatically. A century ago, families would wash and dress the bodies of their deceased loved ones, the local carpenter built a simple pine box for the casket, and burials took place in the church cemetery. Today, dealing with death is largely outsourced in Canada. The Canadian funeral industry has grown into a multibillion-dollar business that offers high-end products and services ranging from chemical embalming and cremation urns to burial vaults and burial vaults and expensive burial urns.
Death has become corporatized, and it has allowed for questionable practices to flourish. In some cases, fraud charges are related to the misappropriation of prepaid funeral funds and the substitution of cheaper caskets for more expensive caskets. Consumer advocates advise pre-planning, not prepaying. (1)
Funeral directors should be aware of the risks of increased litigation as a result of increased emotional difficulty. And to continue providing exceptional care to the deceased and their families, they should ensure they have the coverage and support they need. Having expertise in this market, South Western Group can provide brokers with the coverage this market demands.
Diverse Responsibilities Lead to Multiple Exposures
For the 2,057 plus funeral service establishments across the country – comprising funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematoria – liability exposures can be as varied as the responsibilities funeral directors take on. The funeral director profession alone can cover such duties as:
● Embalming, burial, care, handling, and disposition of deceased bodies
● Arranging transportation of the deceased
● Preparing the remains
● Submitting paperwork and legal documents
● Consulting with the deceased’s family
● Discussing and assisting in planning funerals
● Training junior staff
Liability Risks Unique to the Death Care Industry
Despite meeting high standards of professionalism, funeral directors always run the risk of being sued for negligence or mishaps. Their role is so sensitive and personal that even small mistakes can result in mental anguish claims for various reasons. Here are some of their key exposures.
● Mishandling of the deceased, whether alleged or real
● Negligence in the cremation or disposition of the deceased
● Inappropriate memorial rites
● A lack of professionalism or ethical conduct at the funeral
Errors and Omissions:
● Embalming the deceased improperly
● A deceased person’s preparations were incomplete
● Poor shipping advice on overseas estates of the deceased
● Errors or failures to follow procedures and regulations that may cause mental anguish
Bodily Injury/Property Damage:
● Injuries on the job (e.g. slipping and falling on a wet floor) and medical expenses incurred as a result
● Offsite property damage, such as a church or rented space (e.g. a wooden door frame is chipped as the casket is carried into a church sanctuary, forcing the funeral director to pay for the damage)
Having a liability policy protects funeral directors from claims of negligence, errors and omissions, bodily injury, and property damage. Rather than hire a lawyer and go to court, funeral directors can rely on their insurance company to pay for damages in the event of professional mistakes. Businesses can save thousands of dollars and enjoy peace of mind knowing they are protected in this manner.
SWG PL Covers Death Care Professionals
SWG PL – Miscellaneous Professional Liability insurance offers a packaged E&O and CGL policy that covers funeral directors as well as a wide range of other hard-to-place classes of business. Tailored E&O coverage protects small to large organizations from a broad range of miscellaneous risks. SWG provides a Miscellaneous PL policy at competitive rates, bringing extensive knowledge and underwriting experience in professional liability.
In addition to funeral directors, we also provide tailored coverage for the following hard-to-place markets:
● Business Consultants
● Collection Agencies
● Travel Agents
● Employment Agencies
● Event Planners
● Interior Designers
● Leasing Agents
● Management Consultants
● Utility Locators
● And many more
Visit our website at https://swgins.com/product/miscellaneous.html for more details.
Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.