Saturday, 26 May 2012

Saturday Story Time - Insurance Claims

After having left the jewellery insurance claim business for a couple of years, I thought I had a good reason to re-enter that market.  Working for Diamori in downtown Edmonton, I now had the ability to adjudicate high-end watch claims, we could repair damaged diamonds and I had access to more high-end jewellery.  So, now that Diamori was up and running, why not put my new connections to work with my network of insurance adjusters?

I hit the phones and then launched a flier campaign telling all of the insurance and adjusting firms that I was at their service; listing my new capabilities.  This flier hit the desk of the person who was coordinating that year’s Claims Manager’s Golf Tournament.  Perfect!  I’ll throw some prizes at them and take part in order to rekindle the old relationships.  It’ll be fun, right?

Do you know the best moment of being hit in the head?  When it stops.  Until I walked onto that golf course and started glad-handing the claims managers, I didn’t realize how much better I had been feeling about jewellery since I had quit doing claims.  All you have to do is look at Harlings in Vancouver or Fleetwood in Calgary.  The insurance claim business can be very lucrative.  It just wasn’t overly lucrative for me, and it made me feel nauseous just being among them again. 

I really enjoyed the rewards of helping people get through a very stressful situation (usually break-ins).  However, it seemed the more honest and forthright I chose to be, the less competitive I was against my competitors.  Underwriters’ rules would change on a dime, and all of a sudden, rather than allowing the client to use their claim to buy whatever jewellery they wanted, you had to replace piece-for-piece according to estimates.  At one point, one of my insurance companies had a policy where they paid one-half of their total exposure to the insured, and then asked us to collect the deductible from the first $500 dollars spent, collect half of everything over the deductible and invoice the insurance company for the balance.  Sound confusing?  It was, but I knew it would only be a matter of time before the rules would change again.

I don’t discourage anyone from pursuing insurance business.  It ceased to be enjoyable for me and therefore I stopped promoting in that arena.  This is a huge industry.  If you don’t understand insurance business and don’t enjoy it, don’t do it.  If chasing corporate awards business is a passion for you, do it with gusto.  Gemology, custom design work, service work, wholesale, volume retail, carriage trade, management are just some of the avenues that you can focus on in your career.  Life is too short to work at something that makes you miserable.

For now, I hope, like me, you’re doing something that utterly fulfills you.  If not, do what you’re doing to the best of your ability so that you can earn the privilege of graduating or transferring to what you’re really passionate about.

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