Grabhorn Law is a niche law firm focused solely on representing real people with insurance and ERISA claims.
Grabhorn Law is the natural evolution of Michael and Nancy Grabhorn’s lengthy experience in the insurance industry – initially involving the marketing and sale of life and disability insurance, later to include insurance policy consulting, design and administration, and finally to teaching (providing continuing education to 1000’s of insurance agents). Over time, when it became apparent their clients could not find competent legal representation for their insurance and ERISA claims, Michael and Nancy made the decision to harness their years of experience working in the insurance industry and to create Grabhorn Law.
Why we began Grabhorn Law.
“We spent years within the insurance industry. We marketed and sold the same disability and life insurance policies. We consulted with insurers on designing new insurance products. We administered ERISA plans, providing both insurance and claims assistance. We became the largest provider of in-class education for thousands of insurance agents. As a result of our lengthy exposure and experience, we had a first-hand view to the best and, unfortunately, the worst of the insurance industry.
We witnessed insurance agents churning insurance policies solely to generate commissions, to their client’s detriment. We saw insurance companies marketing insurance policies with grandiose promises of coverage, only to see the promises evaporate when claims were submitted. We experienced insurance companies ignoring their obligations under ERISA, improperly calculating insurance benefits, and arbitrarily denying claims. Unfortunately, at that time because we were not a law firm, we could only help our clients to a point.
But, when our clients needed a lawyer with insurance experience, there weren’t any to be found. Sure there were lawyers who knew the law, but they didn’t know how the industry really worked. For example, the lawyers didn’t know what a replacement policy was or meant, let alone why an agent and an insurance company wanted to avoid replacement requirements. The lawyers didn’t know how long-term disability policies had been marketed to professionals as insuring their income, regardless of whether they could work in another occupation. Similarly, the lawyers were unfamiliar with the intricacies of ERISA and how it impacts insurance claims. Suffice to say, they didn’t have the same insider view and lengthy experience Nancy and I had accumulated over 15 plus years.
Against this backdrop, we made the decision to evolve our business and we began Grabhorn Law. Our sole focus was providing legal help to real people dealing with insurance and ERISA claims.”
Michael & Nancy Grabhorn
Frequent Client Communication is a Must.
Carrying over from our time working with insurance clients, we knew frequent client communication was a must. The same holds true with Grabhorn Law. Sending copies of documents and letters to our clients is one thing. But people need to hear from a real person. The insurance and ERISA claim process, especially where a lawsuit has been filed, is stressful. Most people have never been involved with a lawsuit, and do not know what to expect. Frequent communication can help ease some of these concerns and minimize the stress. Just as communication is the key to a successful claim resolution, it is also the key to helping our clients stay on an even emotional keel. This means making the legal process understandable, and not using legalese. It also means answers your questions quickly, and preferably before you ask them.
“Client service was excellent, informative and frequent. Briefing before mediation was concise and efficient. Attorney was efficient, prepared, and supporting documents were organized and presented with precision. Attorney was outstanding in his delivery of the case. Kept me informed and relaxed.”
A high quality and experienced legal staff is important.
In order to provide a high level of legal service to our clients, it goes without saying that an experienced legal staff is important. This includes not only experienced insurance and legal professionals, but also high quality and experienced client claims service and medical professionals. Grabhorn Law is one of a handful of law firms nationwide that actually employs a license RN on staff. This additional medical expertise allows us to better address each client’s specific medical issues necessary to a successful disability or life insurance claim.
Changing the law for the better.
While it does not happen with every case, there are instances where we are not only able to help our client with their claim, but we are also able to change the law for the better. Because of the national scope of our practice, Grabhorn Law has been fortunate to appear in courts across the country on behalf of our clients. The result of this national exposure is that we have been able to impact and improve the law – to tilt the legal balance back in favor of the insured, and away from the insurance companies. The legal issues have ranged from the scope of discovery (what information the insurance company has to disclose), to requiring an insurance company to explain why it denied a claim, to the standard of review (how the judge is going to review the claim denial). More recently, the courts have finally begun to hold insurance companies accountable for missing deadlines for making a decision. Any or all of these changes in the law, depending on the claim, can be a game-changer – the difference between a claim being approved or denied.
Direct and aggressive.
“I tend to be very direct, some call it blunt, when speaking with clients. When dealing with insurers and opposing counsel, the term is aggressive. The reason is simple. I feel that being direct and straight forward is generally the best course of action. It ensures our clients are well informed, know their legal rights, and are fully aware of the risks. That way our clients can make the best decision based on their specific needs and personal situation. This philosophy has carried over to my firm’s personality and mission. Our mission is to aggressively advocate for and advance our client’s insurance and ERISA claims -whether at the claim, the appeal, or the lawsuit level.”
Whenever I spoke with you or Nancy, you were pleasant and professional. My questions and concerns were answered. I never felt rushed. If I left a message, there was always a prompt response. There was two-way communication. Mr. Grabhorn, you were pleasant and direct with me. You didn’t give me the run around. You honored your word and worked hard for me.
My husband and I were both impressed with your aggressiveness for lack of a better word. Thank you for your expertise.