Funeral Director Training: Life Insurance Can Make Funerals “A Cashless Event.”



With cash flow solutions being my primary emphasis in my consulting business for at need services, I am continually confounded when I learn that a funeral home does not utilize an insurance factoring company.  As many know, I pretty much believe in the “I’m not going to tell you to go to hell.  I’m going to tell you the truth and it feels like hell.”  The truth: Wasting in-house resources (time, personnel, effort, and overhead) to collect insurance is ridiculous. Now, you may not feel like hell, but you may feel unenlightened and marginally distraught.

If you don’t know how this works, please allow me to enlighten you, and in the process, offer your the families you serve, you, peace and payment!  When a family presents you a life insurance policy for the deceased, you may tell the family member that you will accept the policy to pay for their loved one’s funeral expenses.  However, the policy must be valid, non-contestable and the beneficiaries must assign the funds necessary to pay for the expenses to the funeral home. Tracking so far?

At this point, you also inform the family that your firm has engaged a company that will confirm the viability of the policy, accept assignment, and pay your funeral home the proceeds directly.  If the policy has more funds than what is needed for funeral expenses, the company will send funds to the family in about 4-6 weeks. The fee for this transaction is .0x% and that fee will be taken from the life insurance proceeds.  So, by using this process, your loved one has provided you a gift of life insurance to pay for their funeral expenses and it is a cashless event…no money out of pocket.Peace.Payment.

I can hear the rumbling and grumbling from the unenlightened.  “I don’t want to charge a family a fee.”  Let me ask this question, Skippy: “Why not?”  At best, Miss Edna is going to make several phone calls to insurance companies trying to track down your money…yes, it’s your money.  Why are you going to wait the customary 3-4 weeks for your money?  The family will pay for the convenience and relief of a “cashless event.” Oh, another question, Skippy:“Have you ever conducted the service, buried the casket or cremated the body prior to learning that the policy is not viable?” Brilliant. Now Miss Edna is on the phone trying to get the firm paid and guess what the family will tell you: “We don’t have that kind of money.” Miss Edna just has to become a collection agent because you refuse to use common sense and sound business practices.

Peace and payment for both you and the family. The family will pay the fee, certain they wont have unexpected bill later; you will get paid with surety and faster.  If the policy is declined, you know immediately and deal with it before the service. Read what I rant and write, DO NOT SIGN A FUNERAL CONTACT UNTIL PAYMENT IS SECURED!

This is one of many steps in the business of doing business that will keep your firm in a $0.00 accounts receivable status.  Yep, I’m smoking a 6×6 Maduro blowing a thick cloud of smoke on the observation platform of the Command Post (West).  Cheers Y’all! #thefuneralcommander


  1. Just got done with arrangements for a family with serious financial problems. The widow has been avoiding a decision for two days—she knew she couldn’t afford burial, but she couldn’t commit to cremation.
    She’s enough like my mom that I was willing to gamble, and brought up cremation burial options, swiped through a few pages of urn vaults, stressed the fact that none of that had to paid for right now, she could save up for the burial and marker.
    “It means a lot to have a piece of earth and a stone, that you can go to.”
    She kind of lit up, as much as you can at a time like that. “That, exactly.”
    From there they decided, swiftly, on visitation and funeral followed by cremation.
    I’m lucky in that his daughter-in-law is super-practical and frank. She brought up money immediately, and the family discussed their options. There is an insurance policy, they think. Haven’t seen it in a while, but they know it’s back in the attic on the farm somewhere. One daughter-in-law is willing to pay now, so long as she gets paid back. They’ve already got several fundraisers and a GoFundMe in the works. So I explained how they could set up the GFM account directly to the DIL’s bank account, giving her a guarantee that she’ll at least get back whatever they scare up there. She was amenable to that, but . . .
    The deceased gentleman died unexpectedly, and the medical examiner has investigated.
    “Okay, so there’s an autopsy preparation charge of $150. I’m supposed to put that on your bill. But you know, if somebody brings me this amount in cash by the end of the day tomorrow, I’m gonna forget about it.”
    At that point they asked if I could maybe stay a few minutes late this evening, so they could run by the bank and come back.
    I *could* have sold a full burial service here. And even if I didn’t get stiffed on it, I would have spent the next week in utter misery, worrying about it. Watching every ten-spot trickle in on the GFM account. Laying out a ton of cash advances to the cemetery.
    Instead I sold a service that gets one of my *gorgeous* bodies out in front of people (we’re new in town), makes at least as much profit, percentage-wise, as a burial (they’re not a merch-happy clan), and I’m going to deposit the payment before I even pick up the body from the ME. Not only that, but this family thinks I’m the best thing since Miller Lite, and by extension, that this is the best damn funeral home in the county.
    Oh hey, there’s the door . . .


  2. (I left this on the wrong stupid post. But you’re spot-on with this one too, as always. The percentage charged by an assignment processing service is SO freaking worth it, to the family as well as the FH. I think we paid something like 4% on my dad’s when we assigned it, and just finding out that not only would it pay for the funeral, but my (pretty much incapacitated) mom and myself didn’t have to do anything but sign some papers, and the whole insurance claim process would be taken care of? Not priceless, but certainly worth a few percent.)


  3. Jeff Harbeson said:

    Agreed! Thank you for reading and responding


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