Next month, Stan Kaufman will be honored for his hard work and dedication as the founding public insurance adjuster of CAPIA, the California Association of Public Adjusters.
Stan got his start in the insurance industry in 1950 when he was only 20 years old. He was a college student on scholarship, working weekends scoping auto claims for his uncle, a well known insurance broker in New Jersey. Stan was known as a “runner” – he was paid five dollars for every claim he worked. On a given weekend, he could make twenty to thirty five dollars evaluating the automobiles, taking photos, and summarizing the damages.
Stan graduated from St. Paul College and went on to become an insurance agent. He was quickly promoted to managing agent. In 1956, Stan became a public insurance adjuster, starting first in New Jersey, and then expanding his business to five states –80 public adjusters strong.
Stan Kaufman worked approximately 30,000 claims on the East Coast before expanding to California. Stan was challenged in California. Back East, business was done with a handshake. Stan and other public adjusters built solid reputations and were respected by many insurance company representatives. Stan was known in the community for helping people navigate the muddy waters of insurance coverage. But after moving west, Stan encountered resistance when he was adjusting claims. Insurance companies and police and fire departments did not understand his role. The communities weren’t as familiar with the good work of public adjusters. Stan explained that in the beginning of his career in California, the competition between public adjusters was intense and caused a divide between policyholder representatives. Seeing an opportunity to improve the industry, Stan started gathering the troops.
Stan formed the California Association of Public Insurance Adjusters in 1976. CAPIA held monthly Saturday morning meetings. At every CAPIA event, Stan said he has pushed for CAPIA members to follow three key principles:
- Brotherhood. Professional Public Adjusters should work together. Public adjusters should interact with each other on a claim with respect. Respecting the profession includes following a first-come, first-serve approach when several adjusters arrive on a loss site. Adjusters should join together to help protect policyholders.
- Education is fundamental. Each CAPIA meeting features experts who discuss relevant insurance topics.
- Socialize. The monthly meetings, originally held over breakfast, allowed the adjusters the opportunity to build up a sense of camaraderie.
Currently, CAPIA’s headquarters is in Los Angeles, California, and the association promotes professional public adjuster education and employs lobbyists throughout the Los Angeles area to protect the interests of the industry and the insureds.
Jeff Sjobring, vice president of CAPIA, said the association plans to honor Stan with a plaque, recognizing Stan’s lifelong hard work and dedication to the initiation and preservation of CAPIA at their August 5, 2011 Bi-Monthly meeting in Simi Valley.
For more information on how to join CAPIA, Jeff encourages licensed public adjusters to go to the CAPIA website at www.capiainc.com to contact the association. To be considered for membership, persons must be licensed by the California Department of Insurance and adhere to the CAPIA Code of Ethics. To be considered for affiliate membership, a person must be employed by a company or firm engaged in the business which serves the best interests of Insureds.
For directions to the August 5, 2011 meeting, where the featured speaker will be Amy Bach Esq., of United Policyholders, go to: http://www.lostcanyons.com/facility_directions.php. All Public Adjusters are welcome. Admission is the cost of lunch. Applications to join CAPIA will be available at the meeting.
This would be a great chance to meet Stan. After helping insureds for over 60 years, Stan has a wealth of knowledge concerning the principles and application of insurance coverage, and he is willing to share his knowledge in every way that helps policyholders.