For over 25 years, I have been representing individuals who have had life, health, and disability claims denied by their insurance companies. I have represented over 3,000 people. What is so disheartening to me is that I hear from clients again and again that they “almost gave up before calling” me. They tell me they were beaten down by the process, convinced their insurance company must be right, or that they didn’t know there were lawyers who specialized in handling their kind of case on a contingent basis. While sometimes the client HAS waited too long for us to help them, usually my law firm, Kantor & Kantor, is able to step in and successfully resolve their claim.
However, I wonder just how many DO give up unnecessarily. While my view of the insurance industry may appear very cynical, I am 100% convinced that the industry employs a strategy of denying as many claims as possible in the hope that claimants will just give up and go away. I could write pages upon pages of stories about clients who had almost given up, but for whom we were able to obtain benefits with nothing more than a well written letter. It sometimes seems like the insurance company is daring their insured to challenge the denial, or to get a lawyer. If they do, the insurance company will reconsider its denial. If not, the denial will stand and the insurance company will keep the benefits which are rightfully yours.
In the last month, I have obtained over a $1,000,000 in total benefits for several clients who separately told me that they had seriously considered giving up before calling my firm. This led to me to come back to a familiar thought, which was to wonder about all the people who did simply give up. I decided to write this blog in the hope that maybe ONE insured might read it, and decide not to give up. I am not writing this to get business. I have more than I need. I practice in California, but this blog might be read by someone in Florida, or Illinois, or New Jersey, for example. If it is, and you were considering giving up trying to get your benefits, I am not suggesting you call me. Go on the internet, or call your State Bar, and find an experienced attorney in your State. The worst thing that happens, is that no one will take your case — but what if they will?
Now, I am not trying to suggest that all claims are easily won just because an attorney is involved, or that most cases can be won with a simple letter. Most require a long hard fight. But again, making insureds fight to obtain their benefits is a strategy which insurance companies will often employ. Sometimes, insurers will try to convince insureds to settle their claims for much less than they are worth, with the threat that if they don’t, they will be in for a long hard fight. So what?!? Don’t let the insurance company wear you down. Instead, seek the assistance of someone who is willing and able to fight the fight for you, and to stand up to your insurance company.
Corporations, especially insurance companies, often have nothing but negative things to say about consumer attorneys. It’s not surprising. Attorneys are often the last thing that stands between an insured giving up on a valid claim, and the insurance company being forced to pay the claim. Don’t let any negative press keep you from trying to find an attorney.
To be fair, not every case we are asked to take on is valid. We often have to tell potential clients that we don’t think their case is viable. But we take on as many as we can. So before giving up, and letting the insurance company win, check with a lawyer in your area who is experienced in fighting against insurance companies. You may be very pleased with the result.
-Glenn R. Kantor, Esq.