C&J Financial: Rapid Cash When You and Your Families Need It Most
No matter how many hundreds of times you’ve guided families through the arrangement process, there’s one part that never gets any easier: asking for payment. Your brain understands that revenue keeps your business afloat. However, your heart makes it hard to talk about money with grieving loved ones. If this sounds like you, don’t worry. You’re certainly not alone. Perhaps C&J Financial understands this better than most providers of death care products and services.
“We get it,” says Rob Brice, Director of Strategic Partnerships at C&J Financial. “Funeral directors are called to serve, not collect.”
Leave it to the experts
Brice gets it because he’s been there. As a former funeral director and embalmer, he’s intimately familiar with the struggles funeral directors face when balancing service and cash flow. He and his team are also well aware of the challenges of processing piles of papers just to get paid.
“Funeral home owners and directors are people people,” says Michael Mostofsky, C&J’s Director of Business Development. “They’re not paperwork people. Their whole world revolves around serving people.”
Most of the folks at C&J Financial, however, are paperwork people. Their diverse team includes detail-oriented insurance experts, cash flow gurus, and customer service specialists. This is in addition to former death care professionals like Brice.
“One of the things that sets C&J apart is the diversity of our team,” he says. “Some of them have worked in funeral home operations, some worked in preneed, and we have a lot of people from the insurance side. We’ve assembled a team with a broad range of expertise.”
Removing headaches and hassles
Together, the C&J Financial team leverage their collective knowledge and experience to make one of the hardest parts of working with families much, much easier for you and your directors. First and foremost, C&J takes on the heavy lifting of filing and verifying insurance claims and quickly dispersing proceeds to you and the beneficiaries. The impact is immediate and incredible.
“We’ve done the calculations,” says James Brochu, C&J Account Executive. “Without a company like C&J, it takes the average funeral home two-and-a-half hours to file a claim and four to six weeks to get paid. With C&J, it takes five minutes to file, and we pay you directly — in most cases within 24 hours of verification.”
C&J’s proprietary Assignment Funding Management System is where the magic happens. All you have to do is enter basic information about the deceased and the policy. As C&J works with hundreds of insurance companies, the portal generates the appropriate claim paperwork in minutes for the family to sign.
“We know your time with the family is valuable,” continues Brochu. “Our process is so fast and simple that you could even complete it from the arrangement room.”
C&J Financial’s services could end there, but they don’t. Not by a longshot.
“We continue to look for ways to bring value to our clients,” says Brice. “That’s one thing I’ve appreciated during my seven years at C&J.”
One of those added benefits is training to help directors tackle the subject of payment in the arrangement room.
“Our arranger training removes those uncomfortable conversations,” says Brice. One reason for the discomfort, he says, is that funeral homes simply don’t have a consistent practice in place for financial discussions. Conversations may differ from family to family, director to director, or location to location.
“This is where accounts receivable gets out of hand,” Brice adds. C&J’s optional arranger training program helps you establish a specific protocol for directors to follow during every conversation.
Zero receivables with C&J Financial
Practicing this conversation and knowing the answer to potential questions makes both the arranger and the family more comfortable, and helps owners know how and when to expect payment. In addition, a practiced protocol ensures every arranger is always in compliance with the FTC General Price List rules.
Perhaps the best result of C&J’s training is the elimination of accounts receivable. Some funeral homes with as much as $600,000 in accounts receivable have reduced that to zero after C&J’s training, according to Brice.
“When you look at your accounts receivable today,” says Brice, “just ask yourself what you could do if you had that amount of money available.”
Research shows that when families know a policy is paying for the funeral, they spend about 30% more on services and products, says Mostofsky. Many don’t realize assigning a policy to your funeral home is an option, which is yet another reason to learn from C&J how to discuss financials with families.
Financial situations vary
Sometimes, though, even the peace of mind of an assigned policy isn’t enough to relieve a family’s financial burden. Unfortunately, Mostofsky has seen many examples of this scenario.
“One family was in financial ruin when the husband died after a long illness,” Mostofsky recalls.
The proceeds of the deceased’s $25,000 policy would eventually go to the wife after the $7,800 funeral home assignment. However, Mostofsky explains, she couldn’t wait the weeks it would take those proceeds to process.
“The funeral director found out the wife was on the verge of being evicted from her home in a matter of days,” he said. “With C&J Financial’s Beneficiary Rapid Cash option, though, the director was able to advance funds to the wife at the same time the funeral home received their assignment. She was able to pay enough of her mortgage to stay in her home.”
Opportunities for hero points
Beneficiary Rapid Cash from C&J Financial Service allows funeral homes to increase insurance assignments to include immediate funds for the family. When you get paid, the family also gets paid — usually within days. The family pays a small fee for the service, and you get to deliver the check.
“Some funeral homes don’t want to get involved beyond the claim,” Mostofsky says. “That’s a missed opportunity. Families will remember it was the funeral director who brought them these funds. This service that will earn you and your funeral home hero points in the eyes of that family.”
Beneficiary Rapid Cash can benefit families in different ways. Some have used these funds to fly in out-of-town loved ones for the funeral service. Another individual was able to pay for car repairs, allowing her to make the five-hour drive from her husband’s funeral to his burial place.
“You never know what financial burdens a family may be facing,” says Mostofsky. “Now more than ever, when people are uncertain about their jobs and their financial situations, the Beneficiary Rapid Cash option can provide the cash families need to stay afloat.”
Experienced people, innovative options, and a deep commitment to improving the financial condition of funeral homes and families — each of these, and all of these working together, truly set C&J Financial apart from companies offering similar services. To learn more about C&J, visit cjf.com today.