Where Does All the Knowledge Go? Give It a New Home!

With insurance being such a complex product, you never stop learning and we build our knowledge from the shoulders of those that came before.

Recently I have had the need to ring a senior insurance expert for advice and have learnt that they have retired and while they are still happy to assist where they can, they have advised me that they have dumped all the reference files that they had built up over a lifetime.

This is not a new phenomenon. It is often at the insistence of their spouse or just a need to make a symbolic break from the past that they make the trip to the recycle centre.

The first time I came across this was nearly 18 years ago. John and Iris Salmon, both very talented loss adjusters and very supportive educators for the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters, had an large collection of text books and articles. With downsizing their home to spend their retirement on the Mornington Peninsula, Iris came to my office, at that time with one of the international loss adjusting firms, and said she would like me to have them. I gratefully took the books and added them to the firms library which I put into a room, which I named the Iris and John Salmon Library.

When I left the firm to start my own practice, I had to make the call as to whether the books and article collection from Iris and John were given to me or to the firm. I have always tried to do the right thing and so I decided it was probably in my position as the regional leader of the firm, rather than to me personally, that the books were donated and so I left them all behind.

About 3 years after I left the company, the new management decided to move offices and as the new offices were smaller, they decided to trash the library and had them put into a mini skip for dumping. One of the staff rang me to say what was happening and I rushed into the city to offer to buy the lot, only to find that the books and articles, all cross-referenced, and very difficult to replace, were gone. I know that some of the books were over £400 to buy back in the early 1990s.

At LMI, we have an extensive library of books, insurance articles and insurance policies. With the articles and policies, we scan them and have them online so that they are available to students and a valuable resource to the industry. Any books that we have duplicated, we donate to the Victoria Univesity Library who are, themselves, building a good insurance library.

It was equally heartbreaking to hear, as I did twice last week, that a large important collection has again been lost by someone who had recently retired, throwing away their collection.

On the other hand, I would publicly like to thank Interlink in WA, Karl Barduras in Queensland, Ivan Vojlay, Max Salveson and David Goodlad who have kindly donated policies, insurance texts and articles to our insurance library.

Before you throw anything out, no matter how old or seemingly out-of-date, please let me know and one of the LMI team will collect and store it. Naturally, you will have access to your own material, and the entire library, should you ever require it.

You can be assured it will be given a good home and be put to very good use in that it will be helping train future generations of insurance professionals.

2 responses to “Where Does All the Knowledge Go? Give It a New Home!”

  1. Ivan Vojlay says:

    I must say that since the Storms on Xmas Day, I have not read anything positive about the Insurance Industry ,only negatives from a number of journalists quoting un-named sources casting doubt on people being satisfied in relation to their losses. We do not have a strong voice in Insurance ,be it on behalf of , the Broking Groups including NIBA , the Underwriters and no individuals from these sources. I hesitate to mention Re Insurers and loss adjusters.
    It was pleasing in one way to skim across a headline that the RACV have a solid team of workmen in place and working around the clock to satisfy their clients , but that was about all.
    Has anybody told the Public of the number of Brokers who came back on Xmas Day and opened up their Phones to deal with this crisis? I understand that many utilized their emergency Trade contacts to provide immediate assistance. What an opportunity for the Broking Industry to publicize the services that they DO provide.
    All I hear is a very quiet passive response on the ABC from our ICA spokesman. This is when we had a perfect opportunity to very plainly put our point of view, and gain our ground back.
    We need a much stronger advocate to protect our image with the Public. The current efforts are quite poor

  2. Allan says:

    Thanks for your post Ivan. The sad fact is that the media are only interested in bad news – not good. I think RACV have some good people in public relations but the issue of flood and vehicles with pre existing hail damage being damaged again appeal more to the press barons. The old adage about do not let facts get in the way of a good story comes to mind.

    i do believe that both the ICA and NIBA are working harder in this area but I agree as an industry we have a way to go.

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