Are Funeral Homes Still Recession Proof? Decline in the Demand for Funeral Cars at Services

People used to say that the funeral business was recession-proof. Even when people are suffering financially, funerals are something that they will always need. While this is true, many mourners are finding ways to save money when it comes time to say goodbye to a loved one. One of the main things they are cutting back on is funeral cars.

Michael Land, the president of the Texas Funeral Directors Association, said the trends were changing in the funeral business way back in 2009.  “What we see a lot of now are your consumers actually calling ahead and actually price-shopping several different funeral homes before they actually make a decision as to which funeral home they might use,” he explained at the time. He and other funeral directors throughout Texas just got finished holding their annual convention in Austin where the tales of recession were discussed and explored as they relate to the business of death.

People planning the services now want to know which additional services add to the overall cost.  Services like funeral cars for the family, personalized touches and even special embalming or grave protection can all add to the bottom line of a funeral’s cost.   In many cases, families opt to use their own cars since extra funeral cars can be a major expense.

Nearly a decade later, the funeral business has carried on, but it has definitely been changed.  Funeral directors and corporate owned homes are much more transparent now than they had been before.   The industry has already weathered major economic upheaval, a decline in death rates and a culture where some traditions are being laid to rest along with previous generations.

While the funeral industry is no longer seen as being ‘recession proof’, it is seen as being incredibly resilient.  Today, funeral homes that want to thrive have to offer a wider range of services and be willing to work within the budgets of their clients.  Being more accommodating, increasingly sensitive and simply more open about the process will help today’s funeral homes service the needs of grieving families well into the next generation.