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Massage Today
August, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 08

Will Green Speaks Up: "I am not faultless"

Recently, Massage Today reported on the financial demise of the International Massage Association (IMA), a once major provider of liability insurance to massage practitioners since 1994.

After the Massage Today article "What Became of IMA?" posted on Monday, July 19, Will Green owner and founder of IMA, released a statement to IMA members via e-mail. The following is a copy of the complete letter sent to IMA members by Will Green on July 21:


July 21, 2010

Dear IMA Members,

The IMA celebrated sixteen years of memberships on April 1, 2010. On April 22, 2010 our insurance broker cancelled all five of our insurance policies although we were only in contention over two with one company.

We have been cooperating with the FBI for three years and just yesterday one of the parties plead guilty to insurance fraud. We expect the other parties to be found guilty soon.

I am not faultless. I began to sabotage the business through hurt and anger last year. Looking back I wish I had gotten some help because depression is a subtle destroyer.

I owe the insurance broker about $600,000 and am selling my farm and commercial building to pay that debt. I am embarrassed but honest. I refuse to become a liar.

In July of 2009 I received a claim on one of my two International Entrepreneurs Association's insurance policies. The person was not in our database. Our staff asked the insurance company to send us their file on this case. What we found out was that our insurance policy was being sold by another insurance broker with our name on the policy for an inflated wholesale price.

This had been going on for four years and we had been competing for business against our own policy with the Direct Selling Association in Washington, D.C.

My friends at the insurance brokerage had been raping me economically since 2004. I was hurt and angry. I found out from the U.S. Justice Department Insurance Fraud Division that this was not legal. I did not pursue a legal remedy. I went into a depression without even realizing it.

I stopped paying the insurance premiums and went into a tailspin. I lost interest in everything. When I finally saw where I had gotten to it was almost too late to save the IMA but we were managing the NAMT for their Board of Directors and it was with another insurance company. The premiums were paid up ahead of schedule every month and in great shape. We had only one claim that was not covered.

On April 22, 2010 the broker cancelled the NAMT policy with Colony for no reason except to stop IMA members from moving over to that organization. I was devastated.

I offered to sell the IMA to the ABMP for the balance due but they did not want to be caught up in the FBI case that is still pending. I don't blame them! It is already exploding.

Both the AMC and Massage Magazine wanted to take over the IMA for an insulting deal. My only option was to terminate our staff of 18 people and do the best I could to sell off assets and pay off my debt. I owe the money! I began selling off vehicles, investments, business equipment and now buildings. In over 66 years I have accumulated a home, farm and a commercial building. The farm and building are on the market with two potential buyers. The economy is not good to sell property.

The IMA had an excellent record of claims because I know the business. I have personally massaged over 30,000 hours of clients. I know what not to cover like T-bars.

I am committed to Jesus Christ although I feel like an embarrassment to Him right now. I began too pray a lot more than usual and out of the blue I got a phone call from an insurance broker. I told him what I needed. He told me I was nuts! A few minutes later he called back and said the insurance company was interested. The NAMT was alive again with the best insurance anyone could ever hope for.

The very best insurance companies like State Farm®, Nationwide® or Allstate® are admitted to do business in every state as admitted carriers and their policyholders are protected by state insurance pool funds. This new company is an admitted carrier. All of our previous carriers were surplus lines carriers. Admitted is best, way best!

I never ever even dreamed of getting an admitted carrier to insure massage. Admitted carriers write individual insurance policies for each member. They deliver certificates of insurance on Acord® insurance forms and write separate certificates of insurance for each additional insured, hotels, landlords, parks, etc.

All the other associations have master policies. The members are added to the policy with their limits. Here is what I have learned from the FBI case. The U.S. Justice Department Insurance Fraud Division has also given me a great education. The insurance industry has problems.

These master policies have a limit. Most are $ 10,000,000. Each member is told they have a $ 1,000,000/3,000,000 limit but that is not really true. If the entire policy reaches $ 10,000,000 in claims they have no ($ 0) coverage at all. For sixteen years I was never told this by the insurance brokers. My bet is none of the associations know this!

Knowledge is power. I will never do business again without real insurance done the proper way. I am sad that the IMA is over. The IMA created insurance that covered multiple modalities under one policy. The IMA was the pioneer and for that I am proud.

For sixteen years I was lied to by every insurance agent, broker and personality the IMA dealt with. Each one wanted our money but neglected to tell us the whole story. I was given lots of misinformation. I teach my children to always tell the truth and if you mess up, face up to it, fix it and move on. I want a legacy of honesty.

I have learned more about insurance since the IMA demise than over the previous sixteen years. For several years the IMA sold equine massage insurance only to learn that the horses were not covered. We informed the broker and immediately stopped. Others picked up our business knowing the truth. We could not knowingly do that to our members. That is wrong.

ABMP is with the same company the IMA had. Does their policy have a limit? Good question if you have their coverage. To not disclose the whole story is not right. We need the truth to do business correctly.

Massage Magazine is with the broker who cancelled us and is using an off shore insurer. HOTA and ATA are also with them. I am not sure the broker will survive the ongoing FBI investigation with one of the parties already pleading guilty to insurance fraud just yesterday.

The AMC policy is claims made. If you ever leave them you have no coverage for past claims. The IMA forced everyone to go to occurrence form coverage when we started including the AMTA. In my opinion no sane person would buy claims made insurance. You can never retire!

For massage there is only one logical choice, NAMT, real insurance with a real insurance policy directly from an admitted insurance company for the lowest price in the industry. The insurance company answers your questions directly. Not only that, $ 89.95 a year!

Next Thursday the Health and Beauty Association, Inc. is meeting with a real insurance company for cosmetology, esthetician and nail tech insurance. HBA hopes they will consider including massage in this coverage also.

The IMA is still managing the NAMT for the time being.

The NAMT has dropped their non-profit status as of this month.

At the end of 2010 the IMA will be officially terminated and the HBA will take over management of the NAMT. Lots of changes! In the long run you will be the winner with better insurance that is real and above board.

Sometimes shakeups are good. They are just hard to go through. Change is never easy.

A lie only lasts for a moment but the truth lasts forever. Thank you for your support for the past sixteen years.

http://cts.vresp.com/c/?IMAGroupInc./892f05f1a4/9bf36af9cb/b2b8092633

I have loved serving you.
You are the best.
Thanks,

Will Green

P.S. The Massage Today article's information on IMA and myself came from unnamed sources. We know how rumors start. This is simply character assignation. Should I thank them for their unbiased reporting?

 

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