November 2019

Page A6 NOVEMBER 2019 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS S ec t i on A • Family Owned and Operated • 20+ Years Industry Experience • New Product Increases Settlements • No Contracts... Free Recycling Tote Cremation Metal Recycling 800-664-8365 cremation metal recycling - responsible recycling charitable foundation XL industries inc. Call: 406-449-4100 • Visit: Available Through Quality Suppliers Made in USA It’s time to upgrade your Display Stands! Providing the Best-Designed Tools for Your Services Since 1926. Dozens of products that give you years of service and store compactly when not in use. Lightweight and easy to take to gravesides or churches. Portable Folding Display Table Basic Gold Stands Nesting Stands Wall Channel with Shelf By Christopher Kuhnen There’s More To It... Advance Funeral Planning Funeral Home & Cemetery News Contributors share insights and exchange ideas. Blogs Christopher Kuhnen has been actively engaged in funeral service for over 32 years. He is best known as an industry go-getter, a cap- tivating professional and progressive leader. As an insider into excel- lence, he is a trusty advisor to numerous funeral home and industry professionals. Kuhnen provides regular comprehensive consultation and support and additionally trains and bolsters leading death care professionals concerning profitability, management, pre-need sales and marketing, family service follow-up, and much more. Over the course of his celebrated career, he has directly con- tributed to the success of many award-winning funeral homes, pre-need sales and marketing organizations, as well as an ac- claimed pre-need insurance company. Kuhnen is a Kentucky Licensed Funeral Director, Life Insurance Agent, and member in good standing with the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky. Additionally, he is a Certified Marketing Specialist, as bestowed by the National Marketing Academy and a Certified Funeral Celebrant as bestowed by the distinguished Insight Institute. Chris can be reached at (859) 307-7223 or Do You Really Know Your Pre-Need Insurance Product? In my career position, I have the opportunity to reg- ularly speak with a number of funeral home owners and pre-need department managers. There are some extremely talented, knowledgeable and dedicated indi- viduals that work in this profession. One thing that still amazes me, after all these years, is this. The sheer number of funeral home owners, and sometimes pre-need department managers, that have absolutely “no idea” what the current premium rates, policy growth rates and/or commission rates are for the pre-need insurance product(s) they offer. Absolute- ly none! When they do venture forth their best guess, it usually is a figure that was in place five or more years ago. They are genuinely “out of touch” regarding the products they offer their families. When I share with them, the “accurate facts” about what their current pre-need insurance and/or funer- al trust carrier is compensating them, their jaw drops. “That can’t be true,” one funeral home owner told me. “Nobody pays that low of a policy growth rate these days.” I assured him they do. I proved it to him, in writ- ten documentation, from his own pre-need insurance provider. He is not writing with that insurance carrier anymore. This experience was not unique. Hundreds, if not thou- sands, of funeral home owners are not up to date on the current features, benefits, premium rates, commission rates and policy growth rates of the product(s) they sell. I wonder if they run the at-need side of their business, the same way they seem to be running the pre-need side. As we wind down the year, I strongly urge all funeral home owners to do a “deep dive” into the features, ben- efits, financial stability, policy growth rates, commission rates, and premium rates of all their pre-need insurance/ funeral trust carriers. Make sure that you know and “fully understand” what you and/or your third-party pre-need marketer is selling to your families. Consider, if there isn’t something better available for you. Do you truly offer the best overall product(s) to your families? Product changes (however slight) occur on a regular basis by pre-need in- surance and/or funeral trust companies. I know this to be true, because I keep track of them all. Are you up to date? What you sell today can come back to bite you. Ever heard the word “shortfall?” Don’t go into the year 2020 with blinders on. Ask hard ques- tions, learn and understand to make sure you keep your business strong…now and into the future. Melissa N. Unfred and her therapy dog, Kermit Melissa Unfred Launches Affinity Green Cremation AUSTIN,TX— Melissa N. Unfred, Austin mortician and national funeral industry influencer, has launched the first and only environmentally focused, carbon- neutral funeral home in Texas. “The mission of Affinity Green Cremation Texas is to empower families through the thoughtful adoption of technology and innovation, while reducing the stress and environmental impact brought on by traditional funeral practices,” said Unfred. “We are Texas’ only car- bon-neutral funeral home; we use no paper or plastics, and utilize only recycled material during our process. We are intently focused on providing a high level of modern care to our families, and we aim to return con- trol over the end-of-life process back to them.” Service offerings include contemporary flame crema- tion, as well as Texans’ first opportunity to select water cremation, the most environmentally friendly method of cremation available, thanks to a trusted partnership with Hughes Flameless Alternatives. “We provide 24-hour availability, dig- ital paperwork and more; families will never experience the stress of hidden fees or surprise expenses. By implement- ing a paper-free administration process (thanks to help from Parting Pro), us- ing biodegradable materials, eschewing plastics, introducing water cremation, and purchasing carbon offset credits, we strive to assimilate end-of-life care into the holistic spectrum of nurturing the planet, the family and the community,” Melissa states. “Death is a natural part of life. Everyone should be able to care for their dead in a dignified way. Our cremation methods make that possi- ble. You don’t need a funeral director to have a funeral. A funeral is a gathering of friends and family to honor or com- memorate their departed, and just like weddings, we believe families can hold these events on their own time and un- der their own accord.” Affinity Green Cremation Texas opened January 16th 2019, and has served over 138 client families in Texas since their launch. Dual licensed FDIC, Melissa N. Unfred, is a proud support- er of both the Funeral Consumers Al- liance and the National Home Funeral Alliance. She educates people all over the world through her active and educa- tional instagram @mod_mortician, and recently dipped her toe into the world of YouTube on her channel, The Mod- ern Mortician. USPS Announces New Mailing Requirements for Cremated Remains WASHINGTON,DC— The United States Postal Ser- vice announced new mail- ing requirements for cre- mated remains. As of September 30 any box used to mail cremated re- mains must have the new USPS Cremated Remains Label 139 applied to all six sides of the box. In addi- tion to the new label, a new Priority Mail Express Cre- mated Remains box will be available at no charge. Rolls of 100 Label 139 as well as box kits are avail- able for registered users at Labels and boxes may also be available at local post offices. Send Us Your News! PO Box 5159, Youngstown, OH 44514 Fax 1-800-321-9040 • Email FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS We welcome news of the industry. Send us information on your firm today!