Tom Crawford, who has worked in the insurance industry for more than 45 years, retired as chairman of the board for Crawford & Company in December 2009. Claims’ Editor in Chief Eric Gilkey spoke with him to find out more about his achievements, how he sees the independent adjuster industry changing, and his retirement plans.

You’ve worked for carriers like Allstate and CNA, served as CEO and president of several companies, and even founded your own insurance company. For which insurance-related achievement are you proudest?

I think that would have to be the building of Southern Heritage Insurance Company. That was a publicly held company specializing in personal lines and, at the time, was the first insurance company of its kind to be formed in this country since 1950. More than 50 percent of the company was owned by independent insurance agents, and I have a great affinity for them. I think they are some of the greatest businesspeople in the country. I’m also proud of the fact that I raised funds for the company by becoming a licensed stockbroker and selling stocks for $2 and $3 a share to raise a total of $6.5 million. Starting this type of insurance company isn’t something that’s done every day, so as far as I’m concerned that’s the number one achievement for me.

How has the independent adjusting industry changed over the years? How does it differ from when you began working in the industry in 1965?

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