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Revolutionary solution prepares consumers for life’s certain outcome

HOUSTON, August 3, 2005 – Everest today announced its launch in the United States as the first nationwide funeral concierge service. Premiering as an independent consumer advocate in the death care arena, Everest provides impartial advisors who empower individuals with on-demand unbiased information to prepare for the end of life, whether their own or a loved one’s.

Funeral planning traditionally means dealing with funeral homes. However, a recent independent consumer survey* found that aging baby boomers (55+) do not perceive traditional funeral home service as a good value (59%) nor do they trust funeral homes to not take advantage of people during their time of need (57%). Baby boomers will turn 60 at the rate of one every seven seconds next year, and Everest is responding to consumer demand by providing a turn-key solution to assist this self-help generation prepare for one of life’s biggest expenses.

“Everest is revolutionary,” said Joseph Coughlin, Ph.D., and Director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “By serving as an impartial, independent
advisor, Everest is poised to create customized funeral solutions aligned with consumer preferences for portable on-demand services.”

Everest counsels individuals on the extensive range of options available in the marketplace and positions them to make the most informed decisions about funeral-related issues. Single point-of-contact advisors are available around the clock every day of the year to assist clients. Everest makes it simple for consumers to proactively record their wishes then serves as a liaison between the family and the funeral home of their choice to put those wishes into action.

Everest represents a fresh, first-of-its-kind alternative that is customer-centric and flexible, with the consumer in charge at all times. Conversely, the decades-old method of prepaying for funerals locks in the consumer to the funeral home and is void of flexibility. Everest solutions vs. prepaid funeral plans is “like comparing apples to oranges,” according to Mark Duffey, CEO of Everest.

“With the launch of Everest, gone are the days when prepaid funeral plans were the only option for planning ahead. We’ve looked beyond the outdated ways of previous decades and launched an innovative solution in an industry that has not experienced significant change over the past several decades. Everest is what today’s consumers want, and it is a timely introduction for today’s proactive, take-control mindset for solutions, not products,” noted Duffey. Consumers have long since made provisions for events along life’s way: selecting a college, planning a wedding, purchasing a new home and preparing for retirement. “With Everest, consumers can now prepare for the last step of life.”

As an impartial consumer advocate, Everest does not sell funeral goods or services, nor does it receive any commissions from funeral homes or other service providers in the industry. “Everest works for individuals, not funeral homes,” noted Duffey. Importantly, Everest can be used at any funeral home in the United States, and consumers have unlimited flexibility to change their preferences outlined in their customized Everest solution.

Everest is now available for purchase from insurance agents, online at www.everestfuneral.com, or by filling out the application in Everest’s brochure.

Everest Funeral Package, LLC and its affiliates have no affiliation with Everest Re Group, Ltd., Everest Reinsurance Company or any of their affiliates.

* Stevens¦FKM commissioned Gelb Consulting to conduct an online survey on behalf of Everest. The Greenfield Online consumer online omnibus survey took place on May 23, 2005 and used a sample of 1,082 18+ year-old members representative of an internet-using U.S. population. Margins of error at 95% confidence level for the entire sample is +/- 3 percentage points. This means that, in repeated samples of equal size, the true population measure will fall within these margins of error in 95 of 100 samples.