A dentist in Georgia has brought a lawsuit against his insurer, The Hartford Financial Services Group, after the company refused to cover his claim which seeks coverage for COVID-19-related losses [Source: Marietta Daily Journal]. Dr. Roy Johnson, who owns Windy Hill Dentistry in Smyrna, GA, says he has been in business for over 40 years and employs three dentists and 11 full-time staff members. In mid-March, he was forced to shut down operations by the government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which led to him suffering an income loss.
Johnson knew he had purchased an all-risk business interruption policy from The Hartford so he decided to file a claim on April 29th. That same day, Johnson says he received a denial notice from his insurer stating, “since the coronavirus did not cause property damage at your place of business or in the immediate area, this loss is not covered.” With such a quick turn around on Johnson’s claim, he knew something wasn’t right.
If you weren’t aware, insurance companies are required to conduct a thorough investigation into each and every claim they receive before approving or denying them.
Georgia Dentist Turns to the Legal System for Help
While The Hartford did invite Johnson to provide additional information so that his claim could be reconsidered, he decided to turn to the legal system for help. On May 8th, Johnson filed a class-action lawsuit against his insurer in federal court “individually and on behalf of other insurance clients.” The Smyrna dentist says he purchased insurance that covered him through the year ending June 2020 with “several extra coverage options.” In fact, Johnson says his policy is an “all-risk” policy which “covers all risks of loss except for those expressly and specifically excluded.”
It is for this reason and many others that Johnson believes he is entitled to business interruption coverage and why he has filed a class-action lawsuit against The Hartford.
The Marietta Daily Journal says that Johnson is not only seeking damages from his insurer but also legal fees and other relief as deemed appropriate at trial.” And he isn’t the only one. According to the dentist’s attorney, “there is already, and will be more, cases filed against insurance companies which don’t honor obligations to pay small business income losses.”
Did your insurer wrongfully deny your business interruption claim?
If you believe you are entitled to coverage, yet your insurer has informed you otherwise, USAttorneys.com can help you get in touch with experienced Georgia insurance claims denial lawyers in your area who can provide you with some clarification. In the event your claim was wrongfully denied, an insurance claims attorney in Georgia can explain what your next steps should be.