Senate committee approves pre-need funeral contract regulation
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Senate committee approves pre-need funeral contract regulation

Date: February 2, 2009
By: Nathan Higgins
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB1

Intro: A Missouri Senate committee has moved a bill to the Senate floor that would regulate pre-need funeral contracts.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

RunTime:0:37
OutCue: SOC

The action came after St. Louis based National Prearranged Services went bankrupt, leaving 55,000 Missourians without coverage.

Despite unanimous approval, Kansas City Republican Senator Luann Ridgeway said she is concerned about existing businesses.

 

Actuality:  RIDGE1.WAV
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Description: Somewhere down the road they are probably going to get a rule. And you all who were in the regulated industry are going to come unglued because the fees are high.


The costs include registration fees and licenses for funeral directors, sellers, and providers.

Other committee members say the costs are necessary to ensure safety and security for consumers.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Nathan Higgins.


Intro: Although a bill for pre-need funeral coverage won unanimous approval by a Senate Committee, one Missouri Senator isn't quite sold.

Nathan Higgins has more from Jefferson City. 

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OutCue: SOC

The bill creates regulation for the industry after 55,000 Missourians lost the pre-need coverage they paid for.

Republican Senator Jane Cunningham says the bill is risky and anti-consumer.

 

Actuality:  CUNNING1.WAV
Run Time: 00:07
Description: I almost feel like we should have a bill that disallows pre-need funeral sales in the state of Missouri.


Republican Senator Matt Bartle agrees with Cunningham saying consumers should beware that coverage isn't completely secure and regulation will cause more fees.

However, Republican Senator Delbert Scott who sponsored the bill, says the revised bill provides more security for consumers and will help the industry.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Nathan Higgins.


Intro: The attempt to regulate pre-need funeral coverage received a boost as a Senate committee moved the bill to the Senate floor.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

RunTime:0:37
OutCue: SOC

A company that failed to provide coverage to 55,000 Missourians prompted the legislation to regulate the industry. 

Executive Director of the Division of Professional Registration Kim Grinston said the bill will ensure security of the coverage.    

Actuality:  GRIN4.WAV
Run Time: 00:08
Description: If I purchased a ten-thousand dollar funeral, that contract says I get that ten-thousand dollar funeral no matter what that cost says if it's a guaranteed contract.
 
Grinston says the regulation ensures consumers get what they paid for.

However, Republican Senator Matt Bartle says the bill is still too risky for consumers who want pre-need funeral coverage.

Reporting from the State Capital, I'm Nathan Higgins.