If I ever doubted the power of the press, I had to be impressed by how quickly Empire Life reacted when I asked about Liudmila Corovcova’s claim. An 11-month wait for payment ended within a day.
Her husband, Sergei Corobcov, was killed while riding a scooter on a family holiday in Ukraine last June. The drunk driver who was responsible went to jail last February.
But Empire Life kept asking for paperwork to prove Sergei was legally dead. Its investigation dragged on.
I got a call this week from a life insurance broker, Sonia Gorchakova, who knew the widow and wanted to speed things up. The long delay had left the widow and her two sons in desperate financial straits, unable to return to Canada.
Sonia translated Liudmila’s plaintive letter (posted below) from Russian into English.
Talk about a quick turnaround. On Thursday, May 13, at 3.50 p.m., I got this email from Empire Life’s spokeswoman Laurie Swinton:
Hi Ellen. In response to your enquiry, since this case is still under review and no decision has been made yet, it would be inappropriate for us to provide a comment. Thanks.
On Friday, May 14, at 4.46 p.m., Corovcova’s lawyer got this response from Empire Life’s manager of individual claims Bev Rose:
We are pleased to advise that we have now completed our review of Mrs. Corobcov’s claim and are proceeding with settlement.
Sonia sent me an email late Friday afternoon: “It works! Thank you.”