by Marty Hayes, J.D.
This will be a short message, due to the length of the lead article, but I just wanted to take a minute to reiterate a couple points I made in the article.
The first point is to emphasize why we developed the Network to not be an insurance-backed membership program, and why we did not attach an insurance policy to our benefits.
The reason is that insurance will not necessarily get you where you need to be at the end of the day, with that “end of the day” being your court battle over the legality of using force in self defense. If you read policies from the other companies that are out there, they all spell out the type of “self defense” that you must have undertaken in order for the policy to cover you. Most make reference to something like “all legal weapons” and others refer to use of firearms only.
Insurance companies like bright lines, and while we all like clarity and certainty in our lives, the fact is that a self-defense situation may be a very muddy gush of dirty water.
For example, what if the “weapon” you used was your car, while being attacked by an angry mob and you had to run over an attacker to escape what you believed was a very legitimate threat against you and your family? Were you using a “legal weapon?” An insurance underwriter may decide that your claim does not fall within the parameters of your policy and refuse to pay.
Remember, the bottom line for insurance companies is to make money for their shareholders, not to make sure justice prevails. There are a couple of the companies in this industry that are now advertising over a half a million members. WOW. Can you be sure that your individual case has priority over making sure the insurance underwriter for all those other people is happy?
The second point I wanted to cover is that when I set up the Network, I wanted to make sure that we were not under the control of insurance regulations and thus under the oversight of an insurance commissioner or other government agency. The field of insurance is ripe for fraud, and I believe most people’s mentality is to simply buy an insurance policy without reading and understanding all the fine print of the policy. For example, if you are one of the 500,000-plus members of one of these large companies, do you know that there is likely a recoupment clause in the policy?
A recoupment clause means that in the event you are found guilty at trial, the insurance company has the legal right to “recoup” the money they spent on your legal defense. This would only apply in a criminal trial, but nonetheless, you really should know that ahead of time, shouldn’t you? If you belong to one of these large programs, be sure to check out the “policy” language. I suspect it will surprise you.
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.