Here in Leavenworth, Kansas, we are fortunate to have a close-knit Armed Forces Insurance family. Although it’s not typical to start an annual report on a sad note, I would be remiss not to share with our membership that in 2021 we lost two great leaders who served both their country and Armed Forces Insurance with distinction.
COL John F. Orndorff, USA, Ret. and COL Stephen J. Kempf, USA, Ret. worked tirelessly for our membership during the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. They both originally began their leadership rolls by serving as elected members of our Subscribers’ Advisory Committee then in turn they each agreed to accept leadership positions at Armed Forces Insurance, ultimately serving as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors prior to their respective retirements. Even after retiring they both continued to be strong advocates who supported the Leavenworth community, Armed Forces Insurance and our mission. They were both great individuals and it was an honor for me to have the opportunity to learn from both of them during my career at Armed Forces Insurance. Their values established many of the principles that we at Armed Forces Insurance hold true to this day and they will both be dearly missed.
For many of our members, 2021 brought a lot of challenges, particularly from a catastrophic weather perspective. From the start of the year with the terrible winter storm and power outages in the southern plains to the devastating wildfire in Denver, Colorado. In December, we had to help many of our members deal with the second year of off-the-charts heavy catastrophic weather events. Throughout the year, our members dealt with tornadoes, hail, windstorms, freeze/power outage events, wildfires, hurricanes and tropical storms. From an insurance industry perspective, it was an incredibly challenging year for insurance carriers.
Fortunately, Armed Forces Insurance continued to fulfill our mission to help our members in their time of need. The past two years have been busy, but we are still strong and dedicated to our members. Our efforts to provide premier service when our members have a claim once again resulted in an increase in our member satisfaction score in 2021.
While it has been challenging, some good changes have come out of these past two years. Our staff has embraced the ability to work from home or an alternate location. Our remote access capabilities have allowed us to improve our member services and keep operations open even during weather events (like blizzards) when we must shut down our physical locations. We are saving trees and have made more progress automating paper and manual processes over the past two years than we made in the past decade.
Overall, we have made good progress adapting and taking advantage of opportunities and it is good to see that our management team and employees were able to turn some lemons into lemonade.
One of the bigger challenges of working for a company that is 135 years old is that it requires constant “maintenance and upgrades” to keep things running smoothly and to keep us up to date. Spending time working on upgrades and new technologies is critical to keeping our company relevant and competitive.
Our management team looked at 2021 as a great opportunity to work on enhancing our technology and improving our members’ experiences. With a goal of providing our great service and products in a more efficient and timely manner, we invested in new technologies to bring us up to the leading edge of insurance providers – all while making sure that we can continue to provide the excellent service our members deserve.
With our new phone system in place, we expanded our capabilities for online chat, updated our website infrastructure and enhanced our online capabilities. If you have not been to our website recently, you should take the opportunity to look at the enhancements we have made. Our new online quoting processes are now in the top percentile of all insurance carriers in terms of how quickly we can deliver quotes online or over the phone. Whether your preference is to talk to your favorite agent in person or connect with us online we’ve made it easier and faster to work with Armed Forces Insurance for all your needs.
I think one of the best ways to make sure we achieve the correct goals is to keep focusing on what we do and who we do it for. Working hard to serve those who serve our nation is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, and that’s why all of us working at Armed Forces Insurance are here and I want to make sure that all employees remember who we serve as we look to our future endeavors.
Most importantly as I reflect on the past year, I want to thank you, our members, for continuing to put your trust in Armed Forces Insurance. Your support and trust are both motivating and appreciated.
On behalf of all our employees, I wish you a safe and somewhat less eventful year in 2022 and assure you that we are here to serve our members, because at Armed Forces Insurance Our Mission is You!®
Arlen L. Briggs
President & Chief Executive Officer