FarmAssure's Taylor Millard Explains How Insurance Makes the Capitalist World Go 'RoundTue, 22 Dec 2015 08:36:47 CST
Whether your business is tilling thousands of acres of wheat, punching holes in the ground in search of oil, or is one of the myriad of operations in between, chances are that business relies on a number of different insurance products. How many of us know the story behind insurance, though? Taylor Millard, vice president of claims for FarmAssure, says the history of insurance is actually quite fascinating and is the cornerstone upon which a free market society is supported. In the following article and the audio interview below, he details a portion of that history and how it has shaped today's insurance marketplace.
"On the surface, the purchase of insurance could be considered odd. Many individuals still characterize insurance as something you buy and hope to never use. Those whom would characterize insurance policies as such are viewing reality through a distorted lens. Quite to the contrary, for the overwhelming majority of individuals an insurance policy is the only thing allowing use. The use of a new car for example, or the use of a mortgage company to purchase a new home. Just like insurance companies, lenders employ actuarial tables to assess risk. And unless an individual has the ability to remit payment in full for the cost of a new automobile or a home, he or she must rely on lenders who in turn employ strategies to limit liability in the loans they extend. So stop thinking of an insurance policy as a one dimensional product that only protects against another automobile operator or wind damage. Because without insurance policies, lenders would be unable to extend affordable credit and the economies of the world would grind to a halt.
"Imagine the port of London in the early 1700s where merchants were purchasing and shipping goods all over the world. If the ship on which a merchant's goods were being transported sunk to the bottom of the ocean, all was lost. Notwithstanding inherent value, accounting for the perils of 16th century maritime voyages drove up the price of goods to levels beyond the purchasing power of consumers. For this reason, a group of visionaries at Lloyds Coffee House began to absorb the risk and insure the cargo and ships. For a fee or premium, a merchant could buy a policy for that cargo to protect against loss at sea. This was a fundamental shift in international trade and made Great Britain and newly minted trading partner, America, wealthy nations. This paradigm shift allowed the creation of the merchant class and when conservatively navigated, the conditions for individuals to amass wealth.
"For the first time in modern history wealth was no longer the exclusive privilege of those possessing aristocratic lineage or military might. Instead, insurance would give birth to the ambition of entrepreneurs known otherwise as capitalism. Banks employing this new layer of protection were able lend more money. In the centuries since, insurance has evolved from the protection of property, to include the protection of life and eventually health. Today there is even an insurance agency willing to issue a policy for Taylor Swift's legs!
"FarmAssure doesn't insure body parts, just small family farms, country homes, and farm auto in the state of Oklahoma. In a state where many insurance companies were exiting or barely hanging on and subsequently leaving Oklahomans with few real options to protect their livelihood, FarmAssure marched boldly into the region. Joining the brotherhood of daring coffee drinkers whom over three hundred years ago realized that progress requires an umbrella of protection, FarmAssure wants to provide on a simple piece of paper a simple peace of mind for Oklahomans. A policy is a contract and with that bond comes a promise that FarmAssure will deliver the help needed in times of crisis.
"FarmAssure adjusters are instructed to convey the following statement, "I am here to get you the most money I can under the policy you have, but I have to follow the rules." Of an adjuster representing the interests of both parties, nothing more could be aspired. An adjuster is a mediator and guide to the coverages under a policy. They are encouraged to seek coverage when applicable and to make whole again policy holders, while following the rule of law. Many insurance commercials sell a mirage of magical service when mischance requires the filing of a claim. In reality settling any claim requires the same old fashioned hard work, time and adherence to rules that farmers put into long days cultivating land and livestock. All FarmAssure agents are instructed to extend kindness and communication so that customers fully understand how the company determines the value, or lack thereof, of all claims with the respect that any guest on your property should be expected to extend.
"Without exception FarmAssure aspires to exceed the expectations of all customers in the handling of claims. Because at the end of the day, the honest handling of claims is the reason FarmAssure has earned the trust of Oklahomans. As an insurance company the enduring trust of Oklahomans is of paramount importance and hopefully merits the careful consideration of individuals seeking protections for farm, home and farm auto."
You can listen to a recent conversation that Taylor had with Jim Apel of the Radio Oklahoma Network- click on the LISTEN BAR below to listen.
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