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Gale (Gale)
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2000 - 9:44 pm:   

Mr. Graves, Tom and Jerome all make positive points about a subject what seems to be discussed annually about this time each year. It is true most everyone associated with the insurance industry in any manner are hoping it make a profit. Never once did I expect to be involved with this industry but since I am here a profit is required to stay.

It was after a chance meeting with a cat adjuster in March of 1993 that I first learned about property adjusting. He had just returned from Andrew. (By the way I read today that Andrew was the first named tropical storm of the 1992 season.) After a little over three years of being continually asked I finally said OK out of ignorance to begin developing an adjusting software package. After a few years and no product on the market he gave up on us but I had passed the point of no return so to continue on into the unknown was my only option I could live with I felt :)

Without questions some of you are in this industry by an accidental meeting as well. Perhaps some of you even did not realize what you were getting into when you said yes to someone who just would not take “NO” for an answer.

As for having supernatural powers to bring disaster or guide disaster, most of us realize that is just not the case. But to survive the stresses associated with this industry in more that one case has made some of us realize our dependency on the One that can control the storms.

Storms occurred before we were on the scene and most likely continue after we pass from the scene. In our Tuesday staff meeting today we discussed this very subject. We are not agents of destruction but can be an instrument used to help people to get their lives back to “normal” as quickly as possible.

In our country death from natural disasters is very rare as compared to the past, when hurricanes came without days or weeks of warning. With risk sharing made possible with the invention of insurance, even the individual financial losses are only a fraction of the past.

If hurricane is to hit land what better-prepared place could it hit than the US? Remember last year when the hurricane that never even came close to the US but caused major damage in some of the island countries. People lost what we would call huts, their chickens and other livestock and often their lives. Babies starved to death because mothers could not find clean water to drink so they could produce milk. There was no help on the way in many villages.

This is the things we do not like to think about but if we could feel the pain, smell the smells and hear the sounds that follow hurricanes especially in third world countries, we might just joke a little less.

The trauma even in the US is not a pleasant view on the evening news. The deaths are real and the pain is real but seldom are people dying and suffering from the secondary effects of hurricanes but Floyd is still making the news over secondary effects. We have warnings before and resources afterwards that the third world countries do not have and may never have.

The carriers typically make good money underwriting risk. If they did not we would all be looking for another industry? Is our future really tied to the stock market or interest rates? If losses occur then claims are settled regardless what the state of the economy? Anyone that has studied Amway 101 knows that this is a major reason to be involved in the claims industry. It is economy proof for the most part as well as being a repeat business.

The undertaker (the one that will one day put us all under) is not a vocation that everyone enters but society would break down in most places if the dead were just left lying in the streets. The cat adjuster plays a similar role. You have to get in the dirt, touch things you had preferred not to touch and help mend broken hearts.

My hat is off to each one of you in the trenches that truly care to be both compassionate and professional in your services rendered. May God grant you the wisdom and strength you will need this new hurricane season because your services are sure to be called upon at some point in time.

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