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Leading Independent Insurance Adjustors

Don Sams and Sams & Associates

Don is a larger than life dynamo who becomes the epicenter of any group. His engaging cackle will often emanate from the largest clutch of folks in the room who are drawn to his warmth, humor and genuine humanity. He is not a cuddly person but he does disseminate a respectful caring for his fellow imperfect humans. Quick-witted, he often questions people in a rapid-fire style that can lead an ill-prepared petitioner to stutter to try to keep up.

He started his claims career in Chicago not that far from the Missouri home where he was born, with Crawford and Company some 30 years ago. After a few valuable years there he joined the group at Brown Brothers Adjusting and moved to San Francisco to manage the branch office when he was promoted to Vice President of the firm. Ted Brown sold the business and Don became the Senior Vice President of adjusting services nationwide for Frank B. Hall in the 1980's. That company became Rollins, Burdick, Hunter & Hall thereafter.

In 1990 Sams & Associates was opened in Emeryville at the urging of loyal carrier executives who wanted to be sure that Don would remain in Northern California and continue to service their accounts. Don's main focus of attention was originally on the many carriers who had offices in San Francisco. When the epicenter of Western claims shifted to the Sacramento hub starting in 1995, Sams & Associates has maintained an office in the Sacramento area and the region became the headquarters in 2003.

Don credits the Sams & Associates team with the ability to successfully compete in the electronic era by working smarter and cutting the costs to the levels that the carriers demand. The decision to consolidate the operation to Sacramento was based on a more affordable lifestyle for the families that comprise Sams & Associates and more affordable office space. There are four Sams and Associates divisions serving specific contracts and Time and Expense clients throughout the California and Nevada territories. Through improved technology, including a virtual private network, they are able to monitor and mentor the claims process and product. This allows for the use and success of resident adjusters, they are able to reduce commute times for their employees and travel time for their clients. When the reports come in there are 5 managers available to review the file which improves quality control. The clerical staff people are able to process the work effectively in a timely manner. "We are proof that you can teach old dogs new tricks", Don laughs. "I believe that we are a viable claims option with the current carrier concern about employee overhead and benefits, not to mention the overtime exposure."
"I have found that if one takes care of family, friends and clients- all else will take care of itself to have a productive life and business success." Don stated. Sams & Associates is an active participant in charities and the list of the recipients of the company's contributions is considerable. WEAVE and the American Diabetes Association are just 2 of the organizations that have benefited from Sams & Associates contributions. Don was an organizer of the first annual Father of the Year Award in Sacramento. He also worked on the Bobby Jackson Breast Cancer Foundation and spear headed youth organizations through his church to provide humanitarian aid in Mexico. One of the more diligent workers on those trips now has a prominent role in the Sams & Associates office in Sacramento.

Don has been a generous sponsor of CCNC and Sacramento Claims Association events. As the SCA President for 2009, Don says "The various topics at the meetings are a key to global understanding of the insurance business and the peer to peer solutions to problems that adjusters face may be more helpful than a chapter in a book."

by Joan Barrett for Sacramento Claims Association News Network Newsletter
December 2008

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