Tom Clancy Was in the Insurance Business?

June 14, 2016

insurance on valuable booksKudos to Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi for calling on Mohawk Valley kids to take part in the Assembly’s Summer Reading Challenge. The theme this year is “On your mark, get set…Read!” The goal: get our children to continue reading all summer. You can find out more about the program here.

And many of us at SZW are also looking forward to some good reads this summer.

So all of this book talk got us thinking about a little known fact that we think is pretty cool. Have you read espionage and military science novelist Tom Clancy? How about the ghoulish undead in Anne Rice’s vampire novels. Then there’s every college lit major’s bizarre Franz Kafka.

What is this little known fact? Glad you asked…

They all worked in the insurance business! Yes, some of the great imaginations in the history of literature worked at one time or another in our business.

Here’s a little about them. By the way, if you’ve read any of these authors, let us know what you think about them and their books.

Tom Clancy
One of the most prolific and famous fiction writers of the 1980s and 90s. Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, and The Sum of All Fears are just a few of his exciting, action packed novels.

Turns out Clancy got his start in the insurance business right after college working for a company in Hartford, Connecticut. Then he joined his wife’s grandfather’s insurance agency in Owings, Maryland, the O.F. Bowen Agency.

He bought the agency in 1980 and worked on his writing in his spare time. So Tom Clancy, independent insurance agent, shot onto the literary scene in 1984 with his first bestseller, The Hunt for Red October.

Known for his storytelling, witty dialogue, and technical accuracy, Clancy has since sold over 100 million copies of his books. We like to think that his attention to detail that readers find so fascinating originated in his work selling and servicing clients’ policies at the agency.

Anne Rice
Anyone out there interested in vampire stories?! They are everywhere on TV these days…have you watched the Twilight series?

Well Anne Rice is one of the most popular American authors of the demonic supernatural. Her series of novels called the Vampire Chronicles started with Interview with the Vampire in 1976 and includes The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned.

Before her literary fame Rice, originally from Texas, moved to San Francisco in 1959 and worked as an insurance claims processer. Hmmm…wonder if she worked on life insurance claims?

Franz Kafka
Born in Prague in 1883, Kafka liked to write about protagonists faced by bizarre predicaments and perplexing bureaucratic powers. Many of us read the Metamorphosis in high school or college. That’s the story of Gregor Samsa who wakes up transformed into a large, monstrous insect-like creature. Yikes!

Well it turns out Kafka worked at the Assicuazioni Generali, which today is the largest insurance company in Italy. He quit there because the hours were long, leaving him little time to write.

He then got a job at the Worker’s Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia. There he investigated Workers Compensation claims, which at the time were quite common. Even then, companies continually pleaded with Kafka to lower their risk category to save money. Sounds a lot like today!

So this summer, to all the kids (and adults) in the Utica, New Hartford area, “On your mark, get set…Read!”

By the way, if you have any rare, valuable books, we suggest you get them appraised and keep the appraisal somewhere other than home (in case of fire). If you’re interested in adding them to a floater on your homeowners insurance, give us a call and we can help. A Valuable Items policy might be right for you.

Until next time,
Your SZW Team

Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.