Marty eJournal column pix

No News on OIC Investigation

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

Many members have e-mailed and asked whether or not there is any new information regarding the Washington State Office of Insurance Commissioner’s investigation into the Network. The latest is we have heard nothing from them in over a month. I don’t know what to make of that, so I am just reporting the fact. Interestingly, I have become a reasonably well-educated person on the inner workings of the OIC, now that I have read over 2,500 e-mails and other documents sent back and forth between individuals working at the OIC. That material was not about the Network but were documents regarding their investigations of other companies, such as the NRA, USCCA, US Law Shield and others made available through the Freedom of Information Act.

I have also been reading court cases regarding insurance issues, both Washington cases and other state’s judicial rulings, and have found nothing that works against us. That is good news. Ironically, I imagine that there are attorneys in the WA Attorney General’s office who have been reading the same cases, but with a different goal in mind. One thing is for sure–if our case ends up in court, we will be making new law. I will keep you updated when I know more.

Service With a Personal Touch

I am seeing advertising for at least a couple of our competitors in which they boast about having over 300,000 members! Well, bless their hearts! I cannot imagine the headaches a business that serves 300,000 members must produce. We have our hands full just enrolling, renewing and providing what I feel is great customer service to over 17,000 members. Remember, my original goal was 5,000 members, figuring that number would accommodate providing personal service, and generate enough income to be able to fund any member legal defense needs. Going well over that number has caused us to hire a few people to handle the increased workload, but it also allowed us to grow the Legal Defense Fund to over two million dollars. That is pretty good security, in my opinion. We have done this without relying upon insurance underwriters who may or may not decide we are worth continuing to do business with.

Having said all that, I want each and every Network member to know that if you need something from me personally, just call me. I am reachable by phone if you have a question or concern, or also by e-mail. I talk to many members each month, and occasionally answer the business line when everyone else is talking to other members. If you have a question or concern, just call. There is no “press 1 for English” answering machine, just a recording if you call after-hours or all the lines are tied up. Most of the time, William, Josh, Belle, Gila or I will personally answer the phone and try to help, and if you do get the answering machine, please leave your name and phone number, and we will call you back just as soon as we can. My whole business life, I have operated on the simple philosophy that I want our customers treated like I myself want to be treated.

In the event you have been involved in a self-defense incident, you will not be shunted off to a “case manager.” I will personally be involved in making sure you have the best legal defense we can arrange. That is my promise.

To read more of this month's journal, please click here.