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It happened to me: Death claim during a storm

Joseph Spinelli

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Helping a client during a death in the family and a hurricane.

What happened: My client died in a nursing home the night before a hurricane. Her sister, who was the executor of her estate, evacuated to Alabama, and her house was destroyed. Because of the storm, the sister couldn’t claim the body, and we couldn’t get a cause of death on the death certificate. It took almost three weeks to get the death certificate to file the claim. Usually we need a cause of death to pay a claim.

How I helped: I notified our home office and explained the situation. I said that we emailed the sister her paperwork to fill out. Usually we like to sit and go over it and help them fill everything out, but since we weren’t able to do that, I emailed it to her. They basically told us to get whatever death certificate I could, and they would pay out the claim.

The lesson: You have to roll with the punches. Sometimes you get punched in the stomach. We’ve been very fortunate, but a lot of my clients have not been. It makes me appreciate what I have. These people have been an inspiration with their resilience, and I am happy to be able to serve as a middle man between the client and the company. She had so many things going on with her sister dying and her house being destroyed. I was just trying to make it so she had one less thing to worry about and make things as easy as possible.    

Joseph Spinelli is an eight-year MDRT member from Tallahassee, Florida.

Contact: Joseph Spinelli joseph.spinelli@kofc.org


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