A large financial services company has expanded its burial expense operations.

Assurant Inc., New York, has agreed to pay $65 million in cash for Mayflower National Life Insurance Company, New Orleans.

Assurant is acquiring Mayflower from Service Corp. International, Houston.

Service Corp., a funeral home company, ended up with Mayflower last week, when it completed the purchase of Alderwoods Group Inc., Cincinnati., a funeral home company.

Service Corp. now has 1,600 funeral homes but does not want to be in the funeral insurance business.

Assurant is making funeral insurance once of its targeted growth areas, according to Assurant President Robert Pollock.

Assurant hopes to complete the Mayflower deal in early 2007 and fold Mayflower into its Atlanta-based Assurant Solutions unit, Assurant says.

Mayflower generates about $52 million in annual net earned premiums, Assurant says.

Assurant reports it also has extended for 3 years an exclusive funeral insurance distribution partnership with Service Corp. The partnership, which gives Assurant the ability to sell funeral insurance and related products through Service Corp. funeral homes, now is set to last until Sept. 30, 2013, Assurant says.