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Columbia Claims Association History

On March 21, 1949, approximately thirty-five claims people in the greater Columbia, South Carolina area were sent a communication in reference to the organization of a Claims Associations. In early 1949, approximately twenty-eight interested people met at the old Elks Home which is on the same site of the present home of the Elks. It was there that the Columbia Claims Association was organized. J.G. “Herb” Willis of Employers Mutual Liability Insurance Company was elected vice-president. In January1950, “Mack” would be elected president of the association.

The purpose of the association was to insure better understanding amoung claims people and to promote a feeling of goodwill, friendship, and cooperation between the members. A further purpose was to provide programs to keep the members in touch with new developments of general interest and to provide an orgization for interchange of ideas and information on subjects of common interest and with the altimate purpose of assisting members to render his company better and more valuable service. By the adoption of a Code of ethics, the Association went on record to conduct themselves so our profession would inspire public confidence and render the highest quality of service to claimants and the companies represented.

In the beginning, we had members from Charleston, Greenville, and Spartanburg, as ours was the only association in the state. In 1951, JB “Jim” Phipps and others began, on behalf of the Association, The Statement, which is a publication with information of news, education and gossip of interest to our membership. The Association has has its “ups and downs” with the peek periods always concurrent with the better planned programs. The spring outing, the state affair has been held each year at Lake Murray and it has been a social affair of the year. We have added the fall outing which is an annual oyster roast.

In April, 1965 the Columbia claims association was pleased to one of the four local associations sponsoring the creation of the South Carolina Claims Association. It is felt that a strong state association can do much to increase the stature, education and influence of the claims people in the state of South Carolina. Columbia was one of the prime influences in getting this Association moving and off the ground.