As he hid underneath the table located in the middle of the boat wearing a life jacket praying to God that he would survive, he swore that he knew better than to go sailing when the weather forecast called for afternoon storms. You never know how bad that scattered storm will be and this one was bad.

Twelve-foot sea’s rocked his twenty-six-foot boat. With every massive crash of the waves, he feared his boat was going to flip over.

This went on for hours and it got dark… he couldn’t take the dark. He’d never been scared of the dark, but he couldn’t take it anymore. He flipped on his flashlight and followed the beam to the bottom side of the table he was hiding underneath and saw a plaque placed here where no one would see it. He read it aloud and let the words come out quietly and slowly….

“Panic slowly.”

Whoever had placed these words under the table knew that if they or anyone else ever ended up under the table riding out a storm they’d need these words of comfort. At that moment these were the exact words that he had needed to hear… and he felt peace.

Panic Slowly

Today I’d like to put a plaque under the table for you as an IA so you can read the words…

“Panic Slowly…”

If there is one thing I can assure you of about this industry is that the industry as a whole, the companies who work inside of it, and many of the individuals that make up the industry are PANICKERS.

Almost by the very nature of the business we PANIC at the slightest waves and frustrations and overreact to situations and people that don’t deserve our response.

This email is for the individuals and businesses that make up our amazing industry as we talk about OUR PROBLEMS. I too am a panicker by nature and this industry can get me worked up in about 1.5 seconds to a panic.

Why is the industry like this?

For one, the true customers, the insureds who have need of our services are often rightfully panicked and distraught over their current situation.

The people who are talking with them feel their sense of urgency and want to help them AS FAST AS POSSIBLE and pass on that urgency to the claims department handling the claim.

Then expectations and urgency get passed onto the IA Firm and the IA’s working with them.

EVERYONE is in a rush because the insured is in a rush.

There isn’t anything wrong with this, EXCEPT that we as the claim professionals should be the calm in the storm… we know its coming so we shouldn’t be hiding from the storm under a table when it shows up by not addressing the situations like they are normal.

We need to be prepared for every encounter with the storms that show up. We can take every precaution possible (status every file, every day, every time), but any time you venture into the sea of claims you know that a storm can pop up at any moment and when they do, we should be the captain in the storm steering everyone else involved in a calm manner.

This is what we are there for, this is why we get paid, not because what we do is hard, but because what we do is DEMANDING and everyone else is panicked, but not us, not anymore.

I’ve had conversations with at least 4 people this week where the IA Firm or they have panicked and pulled claims, thought they had done something wrong and lost all their work, or made a wrong decision with their finances.

Yes, something was wrong, but they haven’t been left adrift in a sea of uncertainty it was a momentary storm that will soon leave and they can get back on track.

Now to the companies that may read this email, too often we throw the IA’s away at the slightest storm on the horzion. It is like we are saying,

“Ligthen the load! Throw them overboard!”

We need to take a breath and calm down and steer the course, lower the sails, and secure everyone that is on board. Our job as leaders are the safety of all on board, no matter the storms or the mistakes that happen during them. It isn’t about just getting there fast, it’s about getting EVERYONE there.

Batten down the hatches, storms are coming and that is OK because that is where we are the BEST and most needed!

Why?

Because we are IA’s and we thrive in the storm…

So next time you feel like hiding under a table IA, next time you hear of a technology that may replace you, or next time you feel like throwing an IA overboard IA firm, remember this,

Panic slowly…

Your Guide
Chris Stanley