Tangiers in Action

What do we do? Read on for some real-life cases from our archives

Case One: Medical case management

In 2009 a US transport vehicle returning to Camp McHenry near Kirkuk, Iraq, blew a tire and rolled, killing three passengers. The fourth, a Ugandan national, was badly injured. After the patient received stabilising medical treatment in Iraq, the insurer flew him to Kampala in an air ambulance. A Tangiers representative met the plane and arranged transportation to a private hospital, where the injured worker underwent two surgeries to repair his spine and bladder. For more than a year, Tangiers handled the medical case management while the man returned to good health. The claimant negotiated a lump sum payment with the insurer, which he used to open a gift shop in Kampala and rebuild his life. He now operates an orphanage in the Ugandan capital.

Case Two: DBA investigations

After a series of Taliban attacks on food convoys to US bases, the local company handling security submitted numerous death claims to its US defence contractor. Since the contractor operated under the American Defense Base Act (DBA), regulations required that claims be verified. The contractor turned to Tangiers when its original claims support service provider was unable to locate and identify beneficiaries in the chaotic and strife-torn country. Tangiers’ field agents soon uncovered a scam: one of the security subcontractor’s supervisors had collaborated with the Taliban to fake the attacks and then filed phony death claims for still-living or non-existent employees. The supervisor pocketed the death benefits, using some of his ill-gotten gains to pay off the participating Taliban commander. The Tangiers’ investigation prevented the US contractor and its insurer from paying millions of dollars in fraudulent claims.

Case Three: Repatriation of mortal remains

In 2011, during the Arab Spring uprising, a Philippine employee of an Australian energy company suffered a fatal fall from an oil rig near Benghazi. The energy company’s insurance carrier tasked Tangiers with repatriating the body. Working with a Libyan who served as an honorary consul at the Philippine embassy in Tripoli, a Tangiers field agent brought in from Egypt identified the remains in a Benghazi morgue, obtained the death certificate and arranged for an air ambulance to pick up the body from a local airstrip. A few hours before the plane was scheduled to land, the airstrip came under heavy fire, so the field agent quickly changed tactics: instead of arranging another medevac, the field agent transported the body by ambulance to Cairo, where it was loaded on a commercial airline for transport to the deceased’s family in the Philippines. This saved the insurer $100,000.

Case Four: Investigation of claims

A United Nations truck ran off a road in the Democratic Republic of Congo and ploughed into a villager’s house. No one was hurt in the accident, but local military authorities confiscated the truck pending compensation for the homeowner. The military demanded $50,000; the insurer offered $5,000 and hired Tangiers to mediate the dispute. A Tangiers field agent from Kenya travelled to the village and obtained a $15,000 quote from a local contractor to rebuild the house. All parties agreed on the price, and the case was closed.

Case Five: Guarantee of medical payments

In the Middle East, a busload of Indian contract workers rolled over, killing one person and injuring 10 others. Ambulances arrived quickly and scattered, taking the crash victims to multiple public hospitals and private clinics. The owner of the business, who spoke no Arabic, couldn’t locate all of his employees. He contacted Tangiers, which alerted its regional office and notified the insurance carrier. Within three hours, all 10 victims were found and assessed. The field agents paid the medical bills of the discharged patients and confirmed financial arrangements for those needing further care.

Case Six: Location of beneficiaries

A Tangiers investigator in the Philippines discovered that the death benefits of a deceased policyholder were going to the man’s widow. She had since remarried, which nullified her status as a beneficiary. Once the investigator obtained a certified copy of the woman’s marriage certificate, he arranged for the carrier to redirect the payments to the deceased claimant’s legal beneficiaries – his children.

Case Seven: Medical evacuations (air ambulance)

An Afghan policyholder who suffered multiple injuries from an IED blast was brought to an American military hospital in Kandahar, where it was determined that the patient required specialised medical care. Tangiers worked with the attending physician to evaluate the evacuation needs of the patient and then requested a medevac plane from an air-ambulance partner in New Delhi, India. Meanwhile, Tangiers’ field agents in Kandahar and New Delhi obtained travel documents for the patient. Within 30 hours of Tangiers receiving the initial report, the medical team at Sir Ganga Ran Hospital in the Indian capital was treating the Afghan IED victim. Tangiers’ New Delhi field agent arranged the patient’s visa extensions and coordinated his medical payments.

Case Eight: Medical evacuations (commercial airline)

When an American working in Frankfurt, Germany, suffered a heart attack, the medical team at a local hospital stabilised the patient and recommended follow-up care in the US. Working with the hospital staff, the Tangiers medical department confirmed the patient’s status as Fit to Fly with a Medical Escort. A field agent booked first-class seats for the patient and a nurse on a nonstop Lufthansa flight to Denver, Colorado; obtained medical clearance from the airline; and arranged for ground transportation to the Frankfurt airport. The elapsed time from Tangiers’ initial notification until the patient was checked into a Denver hospital: five days.