Chris Aldrich and I first met following Superstorm Sandy in 2012. I was still getting my bearings straight along the devastated New Jersey shore when Chris offered to take me on a tour. Getting a tour with a first responder was a little different because he was an eyewitness to the destruction and knew the story behind the story of what happened. 

Chris wrote about Superstorm Sandy in a guest blog written nearly a decade ago, A Responder’s Perspective on Hurricane Sandy. I noted his background:

This guest blog is by Chris Aldrich, a firefighter for 23 years, (19.5 in Toms River with 2 of the 19 years as Fire Chief, 12 years as a command officer, 3.5 years in Whitesville FD, Jackson Township serving currently as Fire Commissioner), as well a Deputy Fire Coordinator, with the Ocean County Fire Coordinators for 3 years, and 14 years as a Deputy Coordinator in the Toms River Office of Emergency Management. Chris is a public adjuster with Andrew K. Knox and Company.

We talk a lot about supporting First Responders. The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) has one as its new President. 


Here are some quick questions posed by me and answers from Chris:

1. Number one objective you want to accomplish?

Answer: To establish a better relationship between NAPIA and the contracting community. I want to erase the stigma that NAPIA’s membership is against restoration contractors. 

2. Who had the biggest influence on your public adjusting philosophies?

Answer: Biggest influence, hands down, is Leslie Knox. 

3. Can you describe the amount of work you do and knowledge you gain being on the NAPIA’s leadership ladder?

Answer: The amount of work gains every step of the ladder; the higher you get, the more work there is. NAPIA easily consumes 10-20 hours a week. The knowledge of how the insurance industry works, especially the internal knowledge learned from attending NAIC, CAIF, meetings, etc. My learning and hearing stories from peers have added a great deal of knowledge to my understanding of public adjusting. 

4. Why did you become a public adjuster, and why do you continue to do it? 

Answer: Because I truly enjoy helping people. This is such a rewarding career, and it’s a David vs. Goliath fight daily. 

5. Describe when you were the most scared or frantic as a firefighter.  

Answer: Most scared/frantic was on 12/31/2018, when I got blown out of an elevated ranch in a flashover fire in Toms River, New Jersey, attempting to search for victims. There were none in the building, thankfully.


I have been to a lot of places and seen a lot of sights since first meeting Chris. He is a fun guy to be around, as seen in this photo in a wine cellar:

Chris Aldrich and Chip Merlin


And this photo close to Times Square: 

Chip Merlin and Chris Aldrich


Having known Chris as closely as I have over the past decade, what is NAPIA getting with its new President? Chris is a person continually learning and seeking to better himself. His knowledge and experience as a public adjuster have increased tremendously since I first met him with Superstorm Sandy claims. Today, he often leaves New Jersey and conducts public adjusting on a national basis. He genuinely likes people and wants to establish positive relationships with his colleagues. He asks a lot of questions before making final decisions and likes to obtain consensus through collaboration. 

Chris Aldrich will be a successful President. NAPIA has a very hard-working and dedicated leadership team. It is in good hands. 

Thought For The Day 

Firefighters are some of the most selfless public servants you will ever encounter.

—Denis Leary