We are excited to share information about our evolution to become Precoa, the Preneed Company of America. On this page you will find various resources and pertinent information to help you learn more.
Please contact us if you have questions, need additional information, or would like to conduct an interview with members of our leadership team.
Media inquiries can be made to:
Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning becomes Precoa, Evolving to Better Meet Industry Needs
PORTLAND, Ore. – Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning has become Precoa, the Preneed Company of America, evolving to better meet the needs of the preneed industry as it continues to build its nationwide partnerships with leading-funeral homes.
“With Precoa we wanted a hybrid that would offer the best features available in the preneed industry,” said Mark Hornibrook, Precoa co-owner and founder. “We see ourselves as being the complete preneed company, best equipped to help proactive funeral homes serve more families.”
Precoa will provide many of the same services and programs from its days as Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning, but with a number of enhancements to its marketing, technology and preneed insurance product design.
The change comes after a seven-year relationship with Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company, during which time the preneed company grew quickly from the ground up, posting sales of $100 million in 2010.
In addition to the more recent preneed venture, Lincoln Heritage Life has also operated its highly-successful final expense division for more than 40 years. The final expense arm similarly experienced considerable growth in recent years, more than doubling in size. The overlapping growth created a perfect environment for a change.
“With our parallel fast-paced growth, it just made sense for both of us to separate and focus on our unique, core visions,” said Bret Davis, Precoa co-owner and founder. “We couldn’t have hoped for a better start with Lincoln Heritage Life, but we both agreed this was the best way to move forward.”
As a completely independent company, Precoa has wholly separated from Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company.
Consequent to the transition, Precoa needed a life insurance company to provide their exclusive, industry-leading insurance product. After a careful search for a financially-stable, customer service-oriented insurance partner, Precoa chose National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL).
In addition, Precoa helped arrange for NGL to acquire and administer all preneed policies previously owned by Lincoln Heritage Life.
While Precoa is launching now, the roll-out and complete state-by-state transition is expected to last the better part of the year.
“We want to make sure we do this right,” Davis said. “There is nothing more important to us than our partner firms and their ability to serve families.”
Owner & Founder
For nearly three decades, Mark Hornibrook has led a distinguished career in the funeral and insurance industries and was one of the founders of Precoa.
In 1984, Mark helped co-found the Forethought Life Insurance Company for Hillenbrand Industries, and as vice president, shared in growing Forethought to be the largest and most comprehensive preneed provider within six years. As the head of strategic planning, Mark worked with the executive team to pioneer the emerging large-scale preneed insurance market. Forethought went on to achieve more than $600 million in annual sales within its first decade.
After seven years with Hillenbrand, Mark leveraged his experience into founding Prequest, a preneed insurance marketing agency. The company’s client base grew to 150 funeral homes in eight states before Mark moved back into the preneed insurance corporate office. Since 1996, Mark has held a number of executive-level positions with other industry leaders, including senior vice president of marketing and strategy for American Memorial Life, vice president of Great American Life and vice president of York Casket Company over preneed.
Beginning with Forethought, and throughout his career, Mark has designed and pioneered a number of innovative and trend-setting insurance products and marketing programs that have since proliferated throughout the industry as the basis for today’s preneed.
In 2001, Mark met with Bret Davis and later they founded Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning which would ultimately become Precoa in 2011.
At Precoa, Mark’s considerable industry experience, attention to detail and analytical thinking have led to continual updates to Precoa’s insurance product, making it an industry-leading design. Additionally, he has helped drive Precoa’s proactive program, developing marketing and lead source efforts, expanding Precoa’s image among potential and current partner firms.
Mark has a Master’s of Business Administration from Brigham Young University and a Bachelor of Architecture from California Polytechnic State University. An avid student of architecture and aesthetics, Mark designed his home outside of Portland where he lives with his wife, Ane. They have five adult children and eight grandchildren with two more on the way.
Owner & Founder
Bret Davis has been involved in the preneed funeral industry for more than 20 years and was one of the founders of Precoa.
Bret began his career in the funeral industry in 1990 as a staff member of Chico Funeral Home while attending California State University. Soon after coming on board, Bret became licensed as an independent agent selling preneed insurance through Sierra Planning Group, a third-party preneed marketer operating in Northern California. Within a year he was appointed vice president of Sierra Planning and by 1993, Bret had shifted his focus almost entirely from selling preneed, to helping manage and grow Sierra Planning’s client base, which would ultimately include industry heavy-hitters such as Stewart Enterprises and the Keystone Group on a regional basis. In large part due to his leadership, the small Sierra Planning Group grew to more than $20 million in sales annually.
Recognizing the limitations of a regional third-party marketing firm, Bret began looking for other opportunities to use his skills of working with people, caring for families in need and building great organizations. In 2001 he first met with Mark Hornibrook to discuss plans for what would become Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning and ultimately Precoa in 2011.
At Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning, Bret has thoroughly enjoyed building—in a relatively short time—an organization that employs more than 90 individuals with an additional 250 independent contractors in the field and sales of approximately $100 million.
Bret’s passion for serving families and considerable experience in preneed sales, coupled with his skills in bringing people together have been key in his responsibilities at Precoa. Spending a sizeable amount of his time in operations work, Bret has spearheaded efforts to maximize efficiencies within Precoa’s direct mail programs, Funeral Planning Center and customer relationship management system.
Known for his fun personality and deep care for those who work for him, Bret has earned great admiration from many of his employees at Precoa. An avid runner, Bret recently participated in a 200-mile relay from Oregon’s inland Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean. Bret and his wife, Jenny, have four children and live in the Portland suburbs.
Senior Vice President – Sales and Marketing
Michael Hornibrook began his work with what would become Precoa in 2004 and over the past six years has proven himself as a capable and visionary leader. He currently serves as senior vice president over sales and marketing.
Beginning in operations management and then moving toward strategic development, Michael has worn many hats at Precoa as he has sought to understand, and in many cases, spearhead the efforts of the company’s many departments. Michael was highly involved in the development of a number of the company’s key start-up projects, including the customer relationship management system, the Web portal and the operations, business development and planning center departments. His knack for piecing together complex systems and situations into simple solutions led to his promotion to leading all major company initiatives within a few years of coming on board. Currently, as one of his responsibilities, Michael leads the efforts of the company’s internal directors, coordinating and delegating resources and strategic priorities among all of Precoa’s departments.
Michael has successfully earned the trust of many of the more seasoned leaders in the company with his strategic thinking, drive for results and intuitive approach to building a great company. His varied background within Precoa and his unique ability to build unity among groups of people led to his promotion to his current position, managing the sales force and all internal marketing and business development efforts.
Michael graduated from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management with a BS in Business Management, emphasis Marketing. He and his wife, Heather, live with their four girls in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon.
In 2004, Mark Hornibrook and Bret Davis met with a desire to form a preneed company that would eclipse those that already existed in its ability to proactively reach families and help them preplan their final wishes. They partnered with Tom Londen of Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance, and shortly thereafter Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning was established.
Since 2004, Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning has grown to over $100 million in sales, expanding into a nation-wide network of leading funeral homes, including some of the largest and most revered firms in the industry.
In order to best meet the company’s needs as it continues to expand, in May 2011, Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning began a multi-phased separation from Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company to form a completely independent preneed company called Precoa.
Precoa (the Preneed Company of America) offers a complete preneed solution with comprehensive proactive marketing, innovative insurance product design and the financial strength of policies backed by the A.M. Best, A- rated National Guardian Life Insurance Group.
Mark Hornibrook and Bret Davis remain at the head of Precoa as the company evolves to better meet the needs of its industry-leading partner funeral homes.
Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning had its beginnings when Bret Davis and Mark Hornibrook first met in 2001 to discuss an opportunity to combine their experience and passions into creating a great company.
At the time, both of the founding partners were involved elsewhere in the funeral industry. Bret Davis was vice president of Sierra Planning Group & Cascade Management; Mark Hornibrook was a vice president for York Casket over Preneed. Both had specific and complementary skills which became increasingly apparent as they further explored opportunities to enter the preneed market.
In need of an insurance product to back their vision for a proactive preneed marketing and insurance company, the executive team sought a life company that would meet their unique approach to the market. They met with Tom Londen of Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance and found an ideal partner who had similar business values and was willing to offer an opportunity for largely independent growth and management.
In November 2002, the executive team signed an agreement with Tom and began market testing to launch their integrated preneed marketing and insurance company through Lincoln Heritage Life (LHLIC). In its final iteration, the preneed company was officially organized in 2004 into Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning (LHFP), operating as a semi-independent division of Lincoln Heritage Life Company with corporate offices in Portland, Oregon and policy administration at LHLIC’s headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona.
From early on, the partners recognized the importance of bringing both experience and innovation to their new company. Along with their decades of experience, they recruited a number of industry veterans to support business efforts in the field and the corporate office. Additionally, the partners’ drive to infuse energy and talent into an otherwise sleepy industry led them to recruit a group of young and capable individuals to help build their company. After proving their abilities, these “young and brights” moved up in position and responsibility to help lead the company with the more seasoned leaders, creating a dynamic and complementary team.
From its inception, one of the most distinguishing features of LHFP has been the company’s philosophy of developing a proactive preneed program that aids funeral homes in building market share. As the company grew incrementally, so did the projects and innovations implemented to further LHFP’s proactive offerings. Two of the company’s best industry innovations were also its first. The development of an effective direct mail campaign and the creation of the Funeral Planning Center, for telephone follow-up on direct mail replies, jettisoned LHFP into a realm that would allow it to compete heavily against considerably larger preneed carriers and stand out as a forward-thinking and professional leader.
2004 also brought a sophisticated and highly customized, proprietary customer management system (CRM) to support the Planning Center’s staff as they worked to set appointments for field sales counselors, follow up on in-home presentations, and send nurture communications to families who were investigating the preneed process. The Planning Center, coupled with the CRM system allowed preneed counselors to spend more time meeting with families and helped to drive sales to $20 million by 2006.
LHFP’s technological innovations continued in 2006 with the creation of a comprehensive Web portal for counselors to submit leads, work with an interactive calendar and report on appointments. The Web portal has allowed LHFP to drive better results by offering sales management a deepened understanding of what their counselors are spending their time doing and map the results that follow. Additionally, funeral homes benefit from reports outlining their preneed program’s production.
As a result of growth and a drive for heightened efficiencies, in 2008, the structure of field management was significantly altered from one team of individuals responsible for all account interactions to two; one responsible for the sign-on of new accounts, and one for training and retention. At a time when the company was seeking ways to spread its proactive program without compromising current accounts, the reorganization sparked an almost-immediate jump in new partner firms within its first year, and continues today.
Throughout the company’s brief history, considerable focus has been placed on the creation and development of lead programs. Though a highly successful direct mail program had long been the hallmark of LHFP’s marketing program, other approaches including post-service follow-up, group presentations, as well as customized strategies within individual markets have proven effective at building successful proactive preneed programs across the country.
In July 2010, LHFP launched the Community Education Program (CEP), a comprehensive approach to framing our partner funeral homes as community resources through educational events and group presentations. The program relies on LHFP’s already-existing Planning Center to contact community groups and its counselor and field management team to deliver presentations and develop face-to-face relationships with the community.
In January 2011, LHFP took another proactive step in the market place, soft-launching WhyPreplan.org. The content-rich Web site was designed to target Baby-Boomers and other increasingly tech-savvy consumer groups to illustrate the importance and value of preplanning.
After a positive and strong partnership of almost ten years, in May of 2011, Mark Hornibrook and Bret Davis led Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning in an official separation from Tom Londen and Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company. In a mutually-agreed upon move that was considered the best option for both parties, Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning became Precoa, the Preneed Company of America, moving all of its preneed policies with it. The transition came largely due to channel conflicts and resource strains caused by the rapid growth of both the preneed and final expense arms of Lincoln Heritage.
With a strong marketing program and industry-leading insurance product already in place, Precoa chose to work with National Guardian Life (NGL) to underwrite their preneed business. NGL was chosen because of their 100-year history, strong financial stability and unrivaled customer service.
Fueled by various innovations and a drive for results, in many ways, Lincoln Heritage and now Precoa have taken the funeral industry by storm; building a reputable brand of quality, trust and comprehensive solutions.
As the company embarks on its next chapter, the future looks bright. On the horizon, new projects include continual improvements to operational efficiencies, new and innovative insurance product design, online training for counselors and field managers and emerging lead source channels through the internet and the expansion of CEP.
What was at the beginning two partners with a vision and a handful of funeral homes has become a thriving network of proactive preneed partners, including several of the largest and most prestigious funeral homes in the industry.
Since 2004, the company has grown considerably both in sales and scope. With sales of $100 million in 2010 and a reputation as an innovative industry leader, Precoa will continue to evolve to fit the needs of leading funeral homes as they seek to preplan families better than ever.
Frequently Asked Questions
*Financial results current as of 12/31/10. Ratings current as of 05/05/11.
Insurance coverage provided by National Guardian Life Insurance Company. National Guardian Life Insurance Company is not affiliated with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a/k/a The Guardian or Guardian Life.