I was always good at writing thank you notes and they always made an impression, which means my hosts usually invited me back.
Now the time has come to thank the insurance industry for all it has given me and my family.
The industry has taught me much, more than I ever expected to learn, not only about insurance but about the industries insurance is designed to protect.
Senior managers have been kind enough to spend hours with me over the telephone, in face-to-face interviews and in panel discussions sharing what they know. What they told me was often for publication but sometimes in confidence.
Even during the difficult moments, the industry has labored to help me get my facts straight and my understanding of the industry on-point.
And, of course, the industry has helped pay my bills – household expenses as well as making us whole.
For all those reasons, the insurance industry has my eternal gratitude.
As a policyholder, I’ve had my share of the frustrations with client services. Haven’t we all?
But as a writer and commentator about the goings-on in a vitally important industry segment, I can’t say enough about the sector.
It was 13 years ago that I started seriously covering insurance, after transitioning out of newspapers and into specialty publications.
I spent 10 years covering the property/casualty segment as a writer and manager for a commercial property/casualty magazine. Then, and three-and-a-half years ago, I began covering the life and annuity side of the industry.
You insurers host sober parties absent of the Kardashian-like circus that seems to afflict some of the higher-profile industries.
No, insurance isn’t glamorous. I won’t be titillating readers about the latest details of the Brangelina divorce, and that suits me just fine. I learned long ago never to compete for cocktail party attention with fashion and gossip writers or foreign and national correspondents.
But when I casually slip into discussion issues surrounding 401(k)s, retirement assets or property lost to flooding in the latest storm, I’ll slip my neighbor at the dinner table a sly wink to let them know there’s plenty more to chat about.
Absent a mechanism to make whole, nothing happens: homes don’t get bought and all manner of public and private infrastructure doesn’t get built.
But I’ll say this for y’all in the insurance industry: You are a fractious, stubborn lot and even your issues have issues.
You complain about too much regulation, but when the government or lenders require that property be insured, the industry falls silent in the face of the premium torrent.
When technology companies make it so easy to sign truck-loads of documents by electronic means, still you resist and insist on wet signatures.
Oh, you’ll eventually change. The market will see to that, so no point me berating you about your quirks and blemishes.
With 50 separate state regulators and in some cases a federal regulatory structure as well, there’s no better industry to write about.
Please, keep up your love-hate, obsession-compulsion, passion-aggression or whatever you want to call it, with regulation. We writers love people and places weighed down by issues, fuel for our narratives.
For that especially, I thank you.
I don’t know when my next thank you note will pop up, and I can’t even promise you that I’ll still be writing about insurance in 10 years.
If I ever leave the industry one day only to return, I hope you’ll have me back, and if you do … well thank you for that.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected]
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