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FTC Casket Price List and the GPL

  Funeral service providers must disclose that a Casket Price List is available, according to the Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule. The funeral service provider may list casket prices either on the General Price List or on a separate "Casket Price List." If a separate Casket Price List is used, the GPL should state the range of prices for the caskets the provider sells.

Information and Use of the Casket Price List

If funeral service providers do not list the retail price of each casket on the General Price List, they must provide a separate printed or typewritten Casket Price List (CPL).

The CPL must include the following basic information:

  • the name of the funeral service provider's business

  • the caption: "Casket Price List"

  • the effective date for the Casket Price List

  • the retail price of each casket and alternative container that does not require special ordering, with enough information to identify it.

Providers must give enough descriptive information about each casket on the CPL to enable consumers to identify the specific casket or container and understand what they are buying. For example, the CPL could describe the exterior appearance (including the gauge of metal or type of wood), the exterior trim, and the interior fabric.

They also may give any other information, such as a photograph or manufacturer name and model number. However, a photograph or model number alone is not a sufficient description under the FTC Funeral Rule.

Funeral service providers need to list only those caskets that they usually offer for sale that do not require special ordering, as well as the alternative container(s) offered for direct cremation. "Special ordering" means purchasing a casket or container that is not in stock and not part of the regular offerings to customers.

Except for the requirement that funeral service providers make an alternative container available if they offer direct cremation, the Funeral Rule does not require them to offer any particular caskets or alternative containers. However, both caskets and alternative containers should be listed on the CPL. There should not be a separate list for alternative containers.

The FTC rules don't require funeral service providers to list the caskets or containers they offer in any particular format or order. The Casket Price List can be in any form, including in a notebook or on a chart, as long as it contains the required information, displayed in a clear and conspicuous manner.

Moreover, funeral service providers aren't required to include customized caskets on their CPL, or list caskets that they keep in their inventory to fill pre-existing, preneed contracts, but which they no longer regularly offer for sale. It's also not necessary to prepare a new price list if a casket or container is temporarily out of stock. Instead, funeral service providers can simply tell the consumer which casket is not available when they provide the CPL to the consumer.

Also, if a particular casket is available in a variety of interior materials and designs or exterior hardware and finishes, the funeral service provider can simply note that fact on the Casket Price List rather than list each variation separately.

Using the CPL

Funeral service providers must show the Casket Price List to anyone who asks in person about the caskets or alternative containers that the funeral home offers, or inquires about their prices. They must offer the CPL when they begin discussing caskets or alternative containers—but before showing these items. Consumers must be able to look at the price list before discussing their options or seeing the actual caskets.

Note: Consumers should not first learn of casket prices by entering the casket showroom and reading price cards placed on individual caskets or by having the funeral director recite such information orally.

Funeral service providers can use individual price cards, but only in addition to a Casket Price List. Unlike the General Price List, the funeral service provider isn't required to give consumers a Casket Price List to keep. However, they can do so if they wish.

Funeral service providers aren't required to display the caskets in any specific manner. (Note, however, that many states have regulations regarding the manner of display.) In fact, they're not required to display any caskets. Some funeral providers present their selections through a book containing photographs of the various caskets offered for sale; some are using an innovative new computer system called Family Advisor (developed by Aurora Casket Company, the sponsor of this Website). If a book or electronic system is used, the funeral service provider must incorporate all the information required for the CPL, including the heading "Casket Price List."

If funeral service providers use a manufacturer’s or supplier’s casket showroom outside of the funeral home, they must offer the CPL when the discussion of caskets begins. If they begin discussing caskets in their place of business, they must offer the Casket Price List at that time. However, if they do not begin discussing caskets until they arrive at the manufacturer’s or supplier’s showroom, they do not have to show a CPL until they arrive and the discussions begin.

In addition to using a CPL as described above, funeral service providers must show a Casket Price List to anyone who wishes to modify the particular casket already purchased under a preneed contract.

 

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