Working in a funeral home-still busy
Haven’t had much time to write lately..still adjusting to the new job, but like it so much better than the old place! We have been busy..pretty much non stop. Families haven’t been that bad though…a few pain in asses here and there. But, if we are really busy like we have been, than I don’t even meet some of the families. Since I do ALL the paperwork, permits, death certificates, posting of the death notices on our website and to the local papers, accounting, filing, ordering the caskets, vaults, urns, etc….and the dreaded insurance assignments.
So, when it comes to doing an insurance assignment, my biggest irritation with them is that the families seem to think that we will receive payment within a few days. I doesn’t work like that. When the family brings us the deceased’s life ins. policy, we take that policy and call the insurance company to first see if they accept assignments. Some will not accept them, like a Veteran’s Life Ins. Policy, they will NOT accept an assignment. So, the family is responsible to doing it themselves, we will of course get the paperwork they need, meaning the claim forms, and also let them know what else they will need to send in, but they are responsible to pay us. Anyway, so if the ins. co. accepts the assignment, then during that same phone call, we will report that death has occurred. The ins. co. will then ask us some basic info (date of death, date of birth, their full name, was death natural, etc…), then they will let me know what is required. Usually, a certified death cert., the original ins. policy, claim form signed by the beneficiary or beneficiaries, a copy of the funeral bill, and the assignment signed by the beneficiary or beneficiaries. Some ins. co’s. will fax me the claim forms, some we can get from their website, others will only mail them to us or only mail to the beneficiary. Some companies will tell us what the policy is worth but others will not and will only tell the beneficiary was the policy is worth. This is becoming more and more the norm, especially with all the privacy laws. Or, I can tell them what the cost of the funeral will be and they will either tell me that it will cover the entire cost or it won’t. Also, if our bill is say, $6000.00 and the ins. policy is worth $10,000.00 than our assignment will be made out for only that $6000.00. Any thing left over will be sent directly to the beneficiary or beneficiaries. Most of the time, we can only mail all of the info back to the ins. co. once we have everything signed and ready. There are the occasional ins. co’s. that will let us fax it to them. So, by the time I get the claim forms from the ins. co., fill them out, obtain the required signatures and other info that is needed (such as, the beneficiaries date of birth, address, phone #, SSI#, etc..) get the funeral statement typed and them mail it (always certified) it is at least a few days. Then of course, the time it takes to reach the ins. co. Then, however long it takes them to process the claim, some ins. co’s are really quick others take a while. Then once they process the claim and cut the check and mail it us…well, we are talking a few weeks. It is typical for us to wait up to a month sometimes longer. I get phone calls days after a family has had the funeral asking if I have heard anything yet…when I tell them no, it was just mailed or sometimes not even sent yet…they just do not comprehend. Just like with death certificates, once I send it, nothing I can do. I always tell families that if they have an issue with the ins. co. taking too long, they should contact them themselves…Also, if someone wants to pre-arrange their funeral, we cannot accept their life ins. policy as payment. Even if it is paid up and verified that it will be payable upon death. This is the law not our funeral home rules. If you were to come in and say, I do not want to pre-pay, I just want everything on paper and I want you to put my ins. policy in my file with all my information, then we can do that. However, it is that person’s responsibility to let the beneficiary know that the ins. policy is at our funeral home. So that’s that.
Hopefully, I will have more time to write soon…..