According to their website, Starr Indemnity & Liability Company is one of the largest and fastest-growing insurance companies in the world. Based on what I am seeing in the Defense Base Act world for overseas private contractors, I believe it. More on this later.
Starr works with Gallagher Bassett as a partner “to facilitate a timely response to each incident. Starr’s own claims account executives also monitor the claim process from start to resolution...”
This is code for Starr uses Gallagher Bassett to timely deny claims. It is all about plausible deniability for DBA insurance companies. I would say that it is no different with Starr, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate.
Denying Claims Left and Right
Starr is a relatively new player in Defense Base Act insurance. From what I see, Starr is about where the big players were 6-8 years ago. The mentality is to deny claims and then play hardball. The big players figured out that this strategy is going to cost them a lot of money in the long run. They figured out that trying to settle claims was cheaper in the long run than fighting a ton of claims and running up huge claims defense monies for adjusters, doctors, lawyers and the like and then still facing substantial exposure.
Starr hasn’t seemed to have gotten there yet. Not hardly. They are in the typical early stages of DBA claims management. That is, deny legitimate claims and then play hardball all the way.
According to a recent article, Starr claims they “[O]ffer a strong overlay of claims services and coverage.” Based on what I see, the “strong overlay of claims services” is to deny claims.
Am I saying that Starr/ Gallagher Bassett deny all legitimate claims? Of course not. But what I am saying is that I see claims being denied left and right that are brought by straight-up folks with legitimate injuries.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (and based on what I have seen in the real world) - in the last year - Starr was the third in number of DBA claims. Starr wasn’t even in the DBA coverage business until 2013 when Starr debuted at number six.
One thing is for certain, Starr is writing more and more DBA coverage. We expect to see them more and more.
It seems that they think they are going to make a lot of money writing Defense Base Act coverage. You know how insurance companies make money? Collecting insurance premiums and denying claims. Same as it ever was.
Get Ready For The Long-Haul
The biggest problem with the DBA is that the insurance companies can deny your claim and it can take years to get your weekly disability benefits and/or medical treatment. They just slap out a LS-207,Notice of Controversion and cut off your benefits willy nilly.
Not to suggest that we don’t get folks their benefits fairly quickly on some occasions where we gather the necessary evidence needed to process the claim. That happens.
But what also happens is that the DBA insurance companies like Starr can take a hardball stance and then you might have to wait years to get your benefits. It happens. If you want fairy princess tales and be told pretty bed time stories, you aren’t going to get that here.
Instead, you need to hope for the best - but plan for the worst. You don’t want to be forced to settle your case for some chump change offer because you are desperate. That means that if you are receiving benefits, you should be squirreling money away for that day when you get cut off.
And if you aren’t getting benefits you need to be getting ready for the long-haul.
This is all especially true with Starr.
I strongly suggest that you get a FREE copy of my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. Before you talk to the adjuster, sign any forms that will wreck your case or even hire a lawyer, read this. You and your family deserve to hear the truth first. Before you make a move that you will only regret later.