7 On Your Side

Funeral home insurance mess

Friday, March 01, 2013

The family lost their beloved dad, and then lost thousands in a life insurance scheme to a funeral director who they say lied to them.

The family said they learned a hard lesson in trust, and then called us for help.

He died right before Christmas and ever since the Gruna family turned their front window into a shrine to their own sailor, Andrew Gruna. He was a former World War II Navy gunner and Fairview firefighter.

"He had a heart of gold. He was the best man that ever walked this earth," his widow, Irene Gruna, said.

Last December they paid Community Funeral Home in full nearly 5-thousand dollars for cremation. Then came an odd, but not unheard of, offer from the funeral director to sign over Andrew Gruna's life insurance to him.

"He would go to the insurance company because it would be faster for him to get her the money," Cindy Sprusansky, his daughter, said.

They say they were told it was a courtesy and assured as soon as he got the insurance money that he'd forward it. Sprusansky says he cashed the check on January 11, but a month later they still did not have their money.

So Cindy called the funeral home, and she says she was told three times that he sent the check.

So we called the funeral director, who once again insisted the check was 'in the mail," but just hours after our call?

Cindy and her mom got their payment in full.

About a week after we left a second check arrived. The funeral director claimed it proved he had sent out the check before we called. But the postmark told a different story - the date was nearly a week "after" we first called the funeral home.

LINK: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0070-shopping-funeral-services

LINK: http://www.funerals.org/

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