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UPDATE: Funeral homes will accept competitors' paid-in-full contracts

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Adelita Quijada's mother bought a prepaid funeral policy but when the funeral home went out of business, she wonders what will happen to his policy. (Source: 3TV) Adelita Quijada's mother bought a prepaid funeral policy but when the funeral home went out of business, she wonders what will happen to his policy. (Source: 3TV)
The policy was paid in full years ago. (Source: 3TV) The policy was paid in full years ago. (Source: 3TV)
La Paz Funeral Home, the funeral home listed in the policy, recently went out of business. (Source: 3TV) La Paz Funeral Home, the funeral home listed in the policy, recently went out of business. (Source: 3TV)
Richardson Funeral Home in Tempe accepts prepaid funeral trusts or policies from facilities that have gone out of business, particularly if the contracts have been paid in full. (Source: RichardsonFuneralHome.org) Richardson Funeral Home in Tempe accepts prepaid funeral trusts or policies from facilities that have gone out of business, particularly if the contracts have been paid in full. (Source: RichardsonFuneralHome.org)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

3 On Your Side first told you about Adelita Quijada about a week ago. She had no idea what to do when the funeral home that had been paid in advance to bury her mother when she dies went out of business. 

ORIGINAL STORY: Mesa woman questions prepaid funeral policy (Nov. 16, 2016)

"If I have to pay something when she passes, I’m not going to have that money," Quijada told 3 On Your Side. "I don't make that much money."

In the previous report, Quijada explained how her 84-year-old mother bought a prepaid funeral policy years ago through an insurance company called Great Western Insurance. The funeral home listed in the contract was La Paz Funeral Home, but it has since gone out of business.

So, what do should a consumer do when the funeral home listed in his or her prepaid funeral contract shuts down? For the answer, we turned to Richardson Funeral Home in Tempe. 

"It happens more often than you think," owner Troy Richardson said.  

He’s been in the funeral industry for 20 years and says funeral homes do not have to accept an insurance policy made out to another home. That said, he explained that most are more than happy to do so anyway.  

He says family members -- Quijada in this case -- should simply look around.

"Most funeral homes will accept a funeral home trust or funeral home policy that has been taken out with another mortuary, especially if it's been paid in full," Richardson said.

The Arizona Board of Funeral Directors agreed with that recommendation.

So does Great Western Insurance Company.  In an email to 3 On Your Side, a spokesman said, "...funeral homes are willing to serve those left behind by funeral homes that have gone out of business."

One reason is that funeral homes know they're going to be paid. 

"You know, the money is good. There is money sitting there to pay for the funeral,” Richardson said.

He went on to say that even if the amount of the insurance policy isn't enough to cover all funeral expenses, most funeral homes, like his, are willing to absorb some of the costs in order to accommodate families. 

"Most funeral homes, if they're going to accept the policy, understand that and will discount prices down," Richardson explained.

Quijada says she’s relieved to learn that her mother’s prepaid funeral policy is still valid and won’t go to waste. Richardson Funeral Home says it will be more than happy to accommodate Quijada and accept her mother’s policy when the time comes.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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