Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Computer Says You’re Dead

She was hit by a car.

The driver didn’t have a license, never had a lesson. He’d been drinking. He mounted the pavement and struck her a tremendous blow that threw her 40 meters into a shop-front. The double impact broke almost every major bone in her body and she was pronounced dead at the scene by a doctor who happened to be nearby.

When the paramedics arrived they were able to resuscitate her in the ambulance. She lay in hospital for six months then spent over a year in physiotherapy before she regained her health and mobility.

She was fully insured. She had worked for an insurance company at the time of her accident and held all of her insurances with her former employer.

Her medical bills and loss of earnings came to a little under $250,000 and she put in a claim.

It was refused. According to the insurance company’s computer the claimaint had died at the scene and post-mortem claims for treatment, let alone loss of earnings, would not be honoured.

She contacted her former employer through the human resources department. Informing them of the situation and that the initial prognosis had evidently been inaccurate and that she was still very much alive. HR acknowledged these facts and established her identity, but there was nothing they could do about her claim. That was an entirely different department.

She tried again, sending ample evidence of her survival and recovery, but again her claim was refused on the basis that the claimaint was deceased.

Then she had a genius idea. She put in another claim. Not for mere medical costs or loss of earnings this one. This claim was for almost $2,000,000 on her life insurance. She included the insurance company’s own written statment concerning her death.

It was only at this point that the insurance company decided to honour her prior claim for medical expenses and loss of earnings.