Noel Harris, Wall Street Insurance of Edwards
High Country Business Review
Noel Harris started in the insurance industry in Vail as a Farmers Insurance agent in April 1981.
Within a few years, he had opened his own agency on Wall Street in Vail, which he called Wall Street Insurance. A 1996, a fire in the building forced Harris to look for other office space.
Harris and his wife, Valerie, bought a space in Edwards Village Center, where Wall Street Insurance has been since 1998.
Harris recently answered a handful of questions via e-mail.
A: This is evidence of a continued effort toward excellence in the industry and a substantial commitment to continuing educaton
A: The cost of real estate and the uncertainty of parking in Vail Village and Lionsead prompted us to relocate to Edwards. It is very difficult to keep an office in Vail for these reasons.
A: Underwriting training on the company level has decreased, and underwriting knowledge has become eroded, and most “underwriters” are now clerks.-Additionally, companies are no longer run by executives who came up through the industry and who concentrated on underwriting profit. Instead, they are being run by business-school grads who look at investment income as the main profit center, leading to pricing instability. That instability is what causes consumers to see significant price fluctuations that have nothing to do with their claim histories.
A: The legislature should go back to 1996 and repeal HB 1210. That law created havoc in what was a very competitive marketplace by eliminating 70 carriers. The provisions of that law in large part created the problems that health-insurance customers face in Colorado today and has resulted in fewer options, less coverage and higher premiums for them.
A: Call your agent immediately and discuss the loss in great detail. The sooner the claim is reported, the less it will cost to repair the damage, and the less one’s rates will be affected.
A: Virtually everything! Had I known the upside, I would have gotten into the industry sooner!