GOODYEAR, Ariz. (3TV/CBS 5) — Whether golfing or hiking, Will Bennett loved the outdoors. “He loved nature,” his wife said. “We have traveled a lot. And that’s what he wanted to do in his retirement.
Carly Bennett was married to Will for 26 years while the two worked as food servers. “We’ve both worked as servers pretty much our entire lives and that’s how we met in Michigan,” Carly said.
Will worked as a full-time server in Scottsdale, but COVID-19 hit in 2020. As a result, restaurants across the country, including Will’s employer, closed, preventing him from going to work. However, Will’s employer was generous enough to continue to pay him his 40 hour weekly salary even though he was not working. “I mean, we both felt blessed because he had a great job,” Carly said.
According to Will’s pay stubs, not only did he pay his hourly wages, but Carly says $4.75 per pay period was also paid for a $50,000 life insurance policy from a company. called Unum Insurance. But when Will died last year, Carly, the beneficiary of the policy, said the insurance company refused to pay. Why? Well, according to Carly, she was told that Will wasn’t actually working, which overturned the policy.
“The insurance company tells you that because he was not ‘actively working’, we are going to decline this policy?” asked Gary Harper of 3 On Your Side. “Yes, I am actively working,” she said. “Performing his job while still employed and getting paid all the time.”
Carly has appealed Unum’s decision twice and the company has denied her claim both times, meaning she will not receive the $50,000 payment. So Carly contacted 3 On Your Side. “Well, I emailed and you were kind enough to contact me,” she said.
Harper got hold of Unum and asked if they would reconsider Carly’s request to make sure they made the right decision. The company investigated and again denied the claim saying: “According to the plain language of the policy, Mr. Bennett was no longer covered at the date of his death, which occurred more than a year after he stopped working. We have carefully considered this case and we maintain our decision.
Carly says she remains frustrated and thinks insurance companies are looking for loopholes to not pay. “In your heart and in your head, you think you have all the papers and documents, and you shouldn’t have been refused?” Harper asked him. “Yeah, that’s how I feel,” Carly said.
The insurance company gave no more details than this statement it provided. But published reports indicate an increase in COVID-19 and other deaths have reduced the revenue of many insurance companies.
Copyright 2022 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.