Getting the Unsweetened Truth
AWAC Allied World Assurance Co. - My Take
Folks that read my website know that I don’t pull punches. I call it the way I see it and I am definitely not afraid to throw high, hard heat. So here I go again. Let’s talk about the relative new kid on the block - AWAC Allied World Assurance Company and that is providing insurance for overseas civilian contractors.
Those of you that are regular readers of this website know that I have been representing seriously injured overseas civilian contractors in Defense Base Act cases for a long time. I have one of the top three (if not top two) largest DBA law firms and the largest on the west coast. I wrote the book "Win Your Defense Base Act Case".
I call AWAC - Allied World Assurance Company the new kid on the block because they haven’t been a serious player in DBA insurance until relatively recently. In the last few years though we have been seeing Allied World Assurance Company (or AWAC) more.
From what I have seen is DBA insurance companies go through stages - just like kids do. However, with insurance companies - they have the ways and means to make your life hell. And when they go through these stages, that is exactly what they do - make life hell for good folks like you that have legitimate claims.
So with the “older players” in the DBA insurance field - what we saw a few years back was they were spending a lot of money and time denying legitimate claims and then making low-ball settlement offers. All no doubt in an effort to set a low settlement ceiling. In other words they were trying to force folks to take low settlements by making them desperate.
It didn’t matter that we were talking about folks with legitimate claims. It didn’t matter that they were trying to destroy good people. None of that matters when there are profits to be made in denying legitimate claims.
The only thing that gets them to offer half-way decent money
What most folks don’t understand is that the insurance company doesn’t need a good reason or excuse to deny your DBA claim. Just file a Notice of Controversion (LS-207) and the insurance adjuster can put down the reason for controverting the claim anything from “under investigation” to “there is no medical evidence to support the claim” to “just because.” Controverting is the legal way of saying they are denying your claim. I tell folks that they should be trying to overcome whatever reason is listed on the LS-207. But that is not the point I am trying to make here.
They can put down whatever reason they want to deny your claim. And there is no “penalty” if they make up a flimsy reason to controvert your claim. So they deny legitimate claims left and right. With the flimsiest of reasons.
Now here is the irony of it all. There is only one thing that keeps the DBA insurance company from denying claims. A lot folks have a hard time with wrapping their heads around the concept though. Truth is the DBA insurance company has to pay attorney fees and costs to the attorney you hire. And they have to pay their own attorneys fees and costs.
And if you didn’t know it already - attorneys are expensive.(However, you need to realize that you should never have to pay attorney fees. The insurance company should be paying your lawyer's fees on top of what you get).
So what happened with the DBA insurance companies that have been around a few years is that they initially played hardball with DBA claims. Just like AWAC seems to be doing now. After having to pay a ton of money in attorney fees and costs (to their lawyers and claimant's lawyers) when they fought cases for years and eventually lost a lot of cases - - they softened up and started to try and settle cases. At least they are making settlement offers that are a lot more than they used to be.
So we are in the early years with AWAC. They haven’t taken the body blows like some of the more established DBA insurance companies have. Of course we will have to see how this all plays out. AWAC may keep playing hardball for years on end.
The first takeaway point that you need to the insurance company is always the enemy. They are in it to make a profit. My strong advice is for you to immediately get my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.
You can buy it from amazon.com (read the reviews here) or get a free copy from me. It is the best investment you are going to make in your case. I advise you to get the book before you speak to the adjuster, sign any forms or even hire a DBA attorney.
The adjuster is always sizing you up
Even though the adjuster is your enemy, you not mush, ALWAYS be polite and nice to the adjuster. No matter what. This is another reason to hire the best honest DBA lawyer that will take your case. So you don't blow it with the adjuster.
The adjuster is trying to read you. To see if the Judge is going to like you or not. Because if the Judge does like you and believe you - you have a much better chance of prevailing at your trial.
It's all about the truth. You must always tell the truth. Nothing is more important to you and your case than your credibility. Nothing else is even close.
What's the score?
You need to act and think that your benefits are going to be cut off at any time and that you will need to be able to economically sustain a long drawn our battle. You need to be ready for what I call the long haul. Because that is the only way that you are going to get fair value for your case. But for today, you need to know the score of the game.
What this means is that you need to prepare yourself today for the fact that AWAC is not going to make a fair settlement offer. So you need to be ready economically for the long haul (read: long amount of time); it is going to take to take your case to trial and get a Decision and Order.
Don't be owned by who you dislike
One more thought. Insurance companies are all about profits. The folks working there are getting their marching orders from the stockholders, board of directors, and/or CEO. From the CEO on down, these folks are worried about losing their jobs if they don’t perform. It is all about quarterly profits in today’s corporate world.
I am not saying that the adjusters, supervisors and such are evil people. They are caught up in all of this. If you got a chance to talk to them confidentially - they would tell you that they don’t like any of this.
Even though what they are doing is screwing your life up royally, you don’t want to be owned by it. When you hate someone, they own you. I suggest that you don’t go there.
Today, your job is to do everything in your power to beat them in court. I cover all of this in my book. I know my firm can’t represent everyone. We are blessed to be able to only accept as clients people we want to work with. So even if we don’t take your case - my book is my way of giving back, so to speak.
I firmly believe luck is when preparation meets opportunity. You make your luck. Getting my book and actually taking the time to read is the first step in making your luck.
AWAC DBA Claims
AWAC Defense Base Act claims are administrated through Broadspire. AWAC's website states that they have partnered with Broadspire.
Here is a partial list of some of the Broadspire Defense Base Act adjusters we have had DBA claims with:
Broadspire/AWAC DBA claims adjusters:
Felicia M. Yates
Terry L. Henderson
Again, this is a partial list.
I also suggest that you be sure and read the sections above. First, I suggest that you don't communicate directly with the adjusters at all. Second, everything you do and say will be used against you with your case. Third, always tell the truth. Fourth, you need to hire the best, honest DBA attorney that will agree to take you case. Fifth, before you do anything, read my book Win Your Defense Base Act Case.
Check out the dozens of 5 STAR reviews of my book at amazon.com. My book is the best thing you are going to do for your DBA case. Seriously.
A word to the wise
He is a final bit of advice. Don't talk to the DBA adjuster. Seriously. Chances are you are going to cost yourself a lot of money by talking to them. It isn't small talk. They are trained to get you do do and say stuff that they are going to use to deny your case. Depend on it.
Instead, spend your efforts trying to find the best, honest DBA lawyer that will take your case.
And if you think you just can't help yourself and you have to speak to the adjuster - always tell the truth. And you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.