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New York Life to Promote App Aimed at Bereaved Families

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What You Need to Know

  • Empathy is offering an app that can help guide families through steps such as account cancellations and submitting benefits claims.
  • The app also can help users organize their paperwork.
  • Specialist also are available by phone for those who prefer that personal help.

New York Life is putting its marketing clout behind a mobile device app that can help families cope with the loss of a loved one.

The insurer has started offering beneficiaries the Empathy app, from Empathy, a company that aims to support grieving families.

Empathy estimates that grieving families typically spend an average of about 540 hours on administrative matters related to the death of loved one, such as planning the funeral, looking for important documents, and submitting claims for life insurance benefits and other benefits.

The app can help users locate and organize information and handle the administrative tasks and other tasks, according to Empathy.

Users who want to talk to a live human can call a help line and reach Empathy specialists. The Empathy specialists can help the users with filling out forms and finding local legal and accounting experts, Empathy says.

Launched this year, Empathy has the backing of General Catalyst and Aleph.

Empathy co-founder and CEO Ron Gura previously started a company, The Gifts Project, that was acquired by eBay. From 2016 through 2020, he worked for WeWork.

Yonatan Bergman, the other co-founder and the chief technology, also has worked for The Gifts Project and WeWork.

New York Life has made a point of supporting companies and organizations that serve the bereaved. In 2012, for example, the company donated $238,000 to an Outward Bound effort to support grieving teens. In 2013, three company executives joined the boards of nonprofit groups focused on childhood bereavement.

The company says an affiliated foundation has awarded a total of about $57 million in grants to bereavement programs and bereavement-related research since 2008.

(Photo: New Africa/Shutterstock)