GOING THE EXTRA MILE
Dec 16, 1999 - Minnesota-based Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS) needed extra help to service its crop insurance policy holders after three hurricanes swept through North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia. After word went out, Lance King of Lubbock, Texas, didn't take long to make up his mind to volunteer. "They needed help, and I was ready to go," said King.
King spent long days providing claims adjusting services for a variety of crops along the East Coast, once topping 15 in a day. At home, he travels Texas working mostly with cotton, grain sorghum, feed corn, peanuts, and nursery crops. In North Carolina, he evaluated mainly flooded cotton and damaged corn fields, though most of the corn along the coast had been scorched by drought before the hurricane rains and wind came.
"I saw people still trying to remove furniture from their flooded homes. Sometimes they hadn't even thought about their crop damage when I would come to adjust their crop loss. These people were enduring terrible stress. But no matter what was going on, they were always nice to me."
--Lance King, Claims Adjustor
Adjusting cotton losses in North Carolina and Virginia meant learning a different technique for King. Though familiar with the harvesting requirements for the low growing "stripper" cotton grown in Texas, King found the taller "picker" cotton varieties grown along the coast required another approach.
"You can't believe how overwhelming the floods could be. There was one town in North Carolina that was completely under water. I've seen towns destroyed by wind or flood on television, but nothing compares with actually seeing the damage first hand. After this experience, I will never think of hurricanes in the same way," added King.