Cerberus: Beware of the Insurance Dog That Will Try to Bite You

Dear Katrina,

Thank you for your message reporting that World Nomads has become involved in my bereavement claim and that $2,500NZD will be deposited into my account. Much appreciated.

To put the situation into perspective, my 56 year old brother dropped dead from a heart attack on 3 September, 2015. I didn’t go to Canada as I had been there two months earlier and we had spent quality time together. And I had just started Spanish classes in Medellin.

Then my 48 year old brother did the same thing on 6 November – three months and three days later –and I got on the plane to Canada for his funeral. Next, my 92 year old father quietly slipped away on 30 November. I had only been back in Colombia for 11 days and couldn’t face another trip. We had already said our good-byes.

So three family deaths in three months and I have to deal with bureaucracy, death certificates and attending physicians reports to claim a ticket for my second brother’s funeral. Then Cerberus comes back to me demanding his medical records. Really?

The pettiness of the bureaucracy continues to upset me. Who – except for questionable insurance companies, of which Cerberus lead the pack – cares how and why someone died?

While I realize it is the way slimy insurance companies worm out of paying, it is both immoral and unethical. Or, as one of the comments on my Facebook post said “Insurance companies belong in the ninth circle of hell.” Agreed.

Dead is dead and grief is grief. World Nomads could set a precedent by doing away with quibbling about details and leaving people alone to go through their mourning. New Zealand has euthanasia on the table. So how will World Nomads deal with that one? Time to get start thinking about it.

Pre-Existing Condition

I forwarded your message to my sister-in-law and she came back with the news that my brother’s insurance company had signed off on the claim as he didn’t have a pre-existing condition —

From: “Home” <>
Date: 2/10/16 10:27 pm
That is excellent Jody. I also received final payment today – after proving there was no pre-existing condition. Take care. 

When I asked if she had a certificate she replied –

No, I just gave them a list of doctors and permission and they dealt directly with the doctors. 

So – as a matter of principle – there was no pre-existing condition. But to return to my earlier statement, who cares if it was pre-existing, suicide or an accident as it wouldn’t make death any easier to deal with. Get human about it.

When you review how Cerberus deals with claims, I want to be part of the 360 process. The energy that was sucked dry by dealing with them caused almost as much grief as the three deaths.

They kept picking off the emotional scab – and that speaks volumes of how mercenary Cerberus is. Nobody, but nobody, should have to cope with that during a time of grief.

Best regards,

Jody Hanson