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Uncle Sam Steps In State and federal governments save the day with insurance assistance for entrepreneurs.

By Claire Tristram

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're having a dispute with your insurance companyregarding a claim.The insurance company refuses to pay you a dime,you think you're entitled, and you've reached an impasse.Whom do you call for help--a lawyer or your state insurancecommissioner?

Asking your state insurance commission for help is free to youand any other resident across the United States, and the commissionhas the power to mediate on your behalf. That's usually enoughpressure to get your agent to cooperate. It can also fine yourinsurance company for wrongdoing or, as a last resort, take awayits license to sell insurance in your state.

But the commission has no power to mandate how much you shouldbe paid for your claim--it can only make a yes-or-no decision aboutwhether your policy covers the situation for which you've madea claim. If your dispute is over the monetary amount of your claim,a lawyer might be more helpful than the commission.

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