Insurer asked for payment from dead postman

Ron Bull/Torstar News Service


Jeff Menary’s sisters, Ellen Anderson, left, and Andrea Menary, look at copies of a letter sent by Co-operators Group insurance, which were addressed to the deceased postman.

Can a dead man be insured as the primary driver on a car?

It seems that’s precisely what was expected of Jeff Menary, a longtime postman in Mississauga, who died Feb. 16 from colon cancer at the age of 51.

Soon afterward, Menary’s sister, Ellen Anderson, began wrapping up her late brother’s affairs and notified his bank of his death.

Three weeks later, a letter from the Co-operators Group insurance company came in the mail, addressed to the deceased postman.

"This letter is to advise you that your payment for March 1, 2008, was returned to us by your bank or financial institution due to ‘PAYOR DECEASED,’" the letter begins.

It continues: "It is important that we receive payment prior to March 20, 2008, as this will ensure that your insurance coverage is continued."

Surprised, saddened and confused upon reading the letter, Anderson called the phone number listed and asked to speak with a live person but was told none were available to speak with her.

The policy has since been cancelled and Leonard Sharman, spokesperson for Guelph-based Co-operators, said the company views the entire incident as regrettable and embarrassing.

"Obviously no family should have to go through that," he said.

As for the letter, "It was a computer error," Sharman said.

Latest From ...