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In Denial

What do you do when your insurance company refuses to pay a claim?

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This story appears in the May 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Do insurance companies routinely deny valid claims just to avoid paying for them? Such a scenario might make good dramatic fiction, but it's not the case in the real world, says David W. Henry, an attorney with Allen, Dyer, Doppelt, Milbrath & Gilchrist PA in Orlando, Florida. "Carriers look to get the right answer," Henry says. Even so, claims adjusters are human, some claims and insurance policies are complex, and mistakes happen.

So what should you do when you think you have coverage and your claim is denied? Henry, whose practice focuses on insurance litigation, says to start with a written explanation from the insurer. "Insurance companies normally provide this automatically," he says, "but if they don't, insist on it." You can also ask that a supervisor review the claim decision.

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