Cremation insurance can help you fund the final expenses for yourself or another person affordably while you remain in control of the funds. Learn more about cremation insurance can help you plan a service in this podcast with Victor Buonfiglio of Boston Cremation.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher, and I’m here today with Victor Buonfiglio of Boston Cremation, and our topic is “What is Cremation Insurance”. Welcome, Victor.
Victor Buonfiglio: Hi, John.
Cremation Insurance Defined
John: So, Victor, cremation insurance, tell me a little bit about that. What is it?
Victor: John, basically, it’s life insurance that people use to designate for their final expenses. When people pre-fund in Massachusetts, that money can’t go into the funeral home’s operating account. We have to put that money into a specific funding mechanism. In Massachusetts, we’re allowed to put it into either an irrevocable trust or an insurance policy. So, we typically have a client who calls us and wants to do advance planning and they want to fund it. We buy an insurance policy on their life and we become the beneficiary.
Victor: So, what will happen is we take that insurance policy [and] we use it for the amount that the funeral that they fund or cremation they fund. So, if we use a simple cremation, it’s $1495. Well, then they purchase a $1495 life insurance policy. We become the beneficiary. When the time comes that that person passes away, we call the insurance company, send them a death certificate, and then they fund us so we can do the service.
John: And do you get back just the same amount of money that you put into it?
Victor: Well, there’ll be growth.
John: Yes, there’ll be growth on it.
Victor: So that’s how we control cost. We always guarantee our price. If you pre-plan today, it’s the same price today as it will be 10 years from now. And the way that we do that is the insurance grows. It doesn’t typically grow as quick as inflation, but it grows enough that it will help us offset what the future costs are.
John: Okay, that’s interesting. I was going to ask about that in terms of the cost of a cremation and what if I pre-pay now and then I don’t die for 10 years, do you honor that amount of money? But that’s how you deal with it.
Victor: It has to be paid in full because we need the growth. So, if you’re making payments over time or you’re just putting a deposit and you pre-plan, then we can’t guarantee the price. But once it’s paid in full, it’s guaranteed. Another benefit of the insurance is that people change their minds. People move, things change. You might be living in Massachusetts today, but 15 years from now, you might retire to Florida.
Well, if you retired to Florida and you’re not coming back to Boston but you have a pre-paid cremation arrangement with us, well, you can always change the beneficiary of the insurance policy to of another provider so that your money is always going to be there for you whether you use our service or whether you pass away in Florida.
John: Or I could still use your service but then I would have to have the body shipped up to you?
Victor: Yes. That really wouldn’t be very cost-effective. It doesn’t happen often, but we do have folks, they’re concerned about, “What’s going to happen to my money in the future?” Or if we go out of business. We’re only the beneficiary. You own the policy. We’re the beneficiary. You can always change the beneficiary. So, it’s a safe way for folks to put that money aside.
John: So, do I have to arrange that myself or is that something that you do? How do I sign up for that?
Victor: No. Actually, at Boston Cremation, we have about four companies that sell the life insurance for funerals. So, yes, we can handle that right from our office.
John: So we just pre-pay with you and then you handle all the rest
Victor: Yes, we handle all the paperwork. Again, it takes about 15 minutes to complete the paperwork. It’s a simple process and, yes, we’re happy to help everybody with it.
John: All right, that’s great information, Victor, thanks again for speaking with me today.
Victor: Thanks, John.
John: And for more information, visit www.bostoncremation.org or call 781-322-0909.