CONTACT US 1800 268 2466 | info@gfd.org

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Joining GFD

What benefits does GFD offer me and my funeral establishment?

Helping clients understand and pre-plan for their last wishes leads to growth and prosperity for your establishment. Working with GFD has the following benefits for Members:

  • Increased competitiveness – GFD carries a wide range of financial products which allows Members to be more competitive, because clients can choose the product that best fits their investment habits, finances and lifestyle. This gives Members a competitive edge over those who offer fewer funding options to clients.
  • Business growth with training – The training that we provide free of charge allows Members to reach and communicate effectively with interested clients. This helps to build pre-need business and results in a consistent growth rate for Members. Our training in product knowledge, presentation delivery, and seminar management has had a proven success record as documented in case studies of Member establishments.
  • Return on investment – We help Members calculate the rate of return on investment for the marketing campaigns they undertake. This gives them a clearer view of their marketing efforts and helps maintain the finances of their marketing campaigns.
  • Savings in terms of marketing costs – Our free of charge marketing materials means significant cost savings to the Member as they do not have to incur the cost of hiring a marketing company or an in-house marketing professional to design unique and compelling marketing materials.
  • Savings in terms of consulting costs – Our free of charge pre-need consulting services means significant cost savings to the Member as they do not have to hire expensive consultants to assess ways to improve pre-need business
  • Enhanced reputation – the training and tools we provide equips Members to deliver a professional and well-rounded service to their clients, which leads to a good reputation in the community.
  • Visibility – Hosting information sessions, group presentations and conducting marketing campaigns, increases the visibility of Member’s establishment in the community
  • Up-to-date reporting – Our website contains current and historical monthly, quarterly and yearly pre-need sales reports to help Members assess their past and present pre-need performance.
  • EFT – Electronic Funds Transfer deposits are quick, efficient and hassle-free.
  • Free online tools – The website, open 24/7 contains a secure section for Members where they can view reports, forms, applications, marketing resources and online training sessions.
How do I join GFD?

The first thing to do if you want to join GFD is to fill out and submit the “GETTING STARTED” form (link…). We will call you within one business day and set up an appointment with one of our pre-need staff who will visit you and provide all the resources you need to get started.

You become a Member of GFD when you place your first deposit with us. Once we have the first deposit with the necessary forms, we will send you a certificate and wallet card for the beneficiary. As a Member, you will have an online account to our website for secure online access to applications, contracts, monthly statements, and marketing resources.

What do I need to become a Member of GFD?

You become a Member of GFD the moment you place your first deposit with us. It is that simple! A deposit could be either a Trust or Insurance product. There are no terms, conditions and fees to becoming a Member.

How is GFD different from other companies?

GFD is a non-profit association created by funeral professionals for funeral professionals. Our board chooses the products that they themselves use and therefore, understand the needs of your business very well. Our staff works to manage your pre-need funds for your business growth. Other financial institutions are concerned with their profit margin. We are here to help protect your families’ (clients) funds and offer the best rate possible.

What pre-need funding products does GFD offer?

We offer Trust, Insurance, Annuity and Travel Assistance Plans to fund a pre-arranged funeral. For more information on our products, please call us at 1-800-268-2466 or 416 626-7225

What penalties does GFD hold over the funeral establishment?

Our Trust offers no penalties for cancellations for early withdrawals of Trust accounts for funeral establishments and their clients. Our insurance is competitive and offers Members and their clients the best course of action should there be an early cancellation or reduced paid-up certificate.

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Funds management

What pre-need funding products does GFD offer?

We offer Trust, Insurance, Annuity and Travel Assistance Plans to fund a pre-arranged funeral. For more information on our products, please call us at 1-800-268-2466 or 416 626-7225

What penalties does GFD hold over the funeral establishment?

Our Trust offers no penalties for cancellations for early withdrawals of Trust accounts for funeral establishments and their clients. Our insurance is competitive and offers Members and their clients the best course of action should there be an early cancellation or reduced paid-up certificate.

How is my money managed?

All pre-paid funeral services contracts in Ontario are governed by the Minister of Consumer Affairs for the consumer. Pre-paid agreements can be funded using trust funds, or by purchasing an insurance or annuity policy. In both cases, they can be paid in full or paid over time. All funding vehicles for your pre-paid funeral arrangement will earn a growth rate to offset the cost of inflation on a guaranteed funeral service.

As our name implies, your pre-paid funds for funeral services are fully guaranteed. GFD does not provide a report to the public. We are governed by Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) a Provincial Government agency and must provide the Commission with an annual audit report and a signed actuary report attesting to the solvency of GFD and the security of the trusted funds we manage.

Using Trust as a funding option to pre-pay your funeral

All funds on deposit with GFD are placed with an approved financial institution and invested only in GIC’s (as per provincial regulation) and consequently are protected by either CDIC (federal insurance) if deposited in a bank or DICO (provincial insurance) if deposited with a credit union.

GFD pays a growth rate on the prepaid deposit comparable to the current markets. We reserve the right to adjust the rate, and if our Board of Directors decides to change the growth rate all depositors are advised at least 3 months in advance.

GFD has operated successfully for 50 years and we have never had a default. Your trust deposit principal is fully protected by regulated depositories such as banks or credit unions and they are respectively protected by government guaranteed.

Using Insurance as a funding option to pre-pay for your funeral

If a pre-paid contract is funded by purchasing an insurance or annuity policy, the purchaser of the policy names a beneficiary to whom any excess funds leftover go to. Policies issued for insurance are all guaranteed by Assuris the insurance industry supported agency.

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Training

How does GFD help Members build their pre-need business?

To help Members build their pre-need business, we first evaluate their at-need to pre-need ratio. We then develop a plan of action by setting goals that are attainable, manageable and cost effective. We help you reach clients who have an interest in pre-planning and educate you on our products and their benefits, so you can provide an excellent service. No other institution offers what GFD does in terms of breadth of product, product and pre-need training, marketing resources and superb rates.

What training is available for Members?

The following types of training are offered free of charge to Members:

  • Product training – training on the features of our products and how best to communicate our products to interested clients
  • Aftercare training – designed to assist families with completing funeral protocol
  • Seminar coaching – hosting effective information sessions
How is the training delivered?

Training is offered in both in-person and online formats to accommodate the schedules and learning styles of Members. Our self-guided, online product training is available 24/7 and our Pre-need Manager is available to conduct face-to-face training as well.

Is there any training available to non-members?

Select training is available to non-members at a reasonable fee.

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Marketing support

What kind of marketing support does GFD offer its Members?

The free marketing materials we give our Members include: pre-planning brochures, product brochures, banners, surveys, advertisement templates, flyers, direct mail pieces, post cards, seminar invitations, press release writing, community relations and media training. To help calculate the return on marketing campaigns, we also equip Members with a handy tool.

How can GFD help promote the benefits of pre-planning in our community?

Hosting information sessions is a marvelous way to answer questions families may have about the pre-planning process. GFD has helped many Member establishments organize successful seminars. We help Members organize information sessions by designing seminar invites, assisting in calculating seminar cost and coaching them on public speaking.

Are there any hidden costs associated with marketing campaigns?

Marketing campaigns are designed according to each Member’s budget. There are no hidden fees or markups for the consulting services or printing costs of marketing initiatives. GFD charges Members the cost of printing brochures and materials. Seminars are also organized according to Members’ budgets.

Are there any marketing services offered to non-members?

Select marketing resources are available to non-members for a fee.

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GFD Service Standards

What is the process on new business for Trust and Insurance?

When funds are deposited in the bank or a cheque is received, by GFD, we enter the applicant and payment details. A certificate is issued with a unique account number. The certificate along with a wallet card will be mailed to your location. You are responsible for getting the wallet card to your client.

If my client calls with an account question, can I forward the call to GFD?

No. This is in violation of our privacy policy. We do not know the client and therefore, cannot verify their identity.

How are claims handled?

Claims are paid when we receive the proof of death. We can pay out claims by cheque, which takes two business days, or by electronic funds, which takes one business day.

How are cancellations handled?

To cancel a certificate, we need supporting documentation from both the client and the Member establishment.

How are telephone inquiries handled?

At GFD our Interactive Voice Response system immediately directs you to the service representative you need.  Calls directed to extensions are answered before the third ring after which you can leave a voice message. At any time during business hours you can transfer to a Customer Service Representative for assistance.

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