elebrating 75 years of providing insurance services and risk management solutions for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Adventist Risk Management (ARM) and the Gencon companies have seen an eventful five years, to say the least.
Hurricanes and Fires
In 2005 ARM helped Adventist churches, schools, and other entities recover from one of the worst Atlantic hurricane seasons in recorded history. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita pounded the south and southwestern United States, displacing millions of residents. While many insurance companies abandoned writing insurance, Gencon Insurance Company of Vermont continued to provide such coverage for Adventist properties.
Catastrophic fires also occurred at multiple Adventist Church properties, including two blazes in 2008 that destroyed the headquarters of the British Union and the Upper Columbia Conference. ARM has been honored to assist both entities with the rebuilding process, which between them has required more than $13 million in insurance claim disbursements.
In the aftermath of the 2008 fires ARM discovered that proper business continuity planning was a serious need at Adventist organizations. Thus a comprehensive program was put in place to help denominational entities prepare contingency plans for continued operation in case of facility loss.
Denominational Health Insurance . . . and More
ARM also administers health insurance for the majority of Adventist organizations in North America. During a time of escalating health-care costs, ARM has been able to secure quality coverage, and through negotiated discounts has saved denominational employers more than $150 million in medical charges and more than $10 million in prescription medication costs. As a result of additional cost savings, another $5 million was returned to the church to be used for its missions of evangelism service.
Providing risk management resources and education are key goals of ARM. During the past five years nine risk management conferences have been held for Adventist Church administrators—four at various international locations and five in North America. In addition, ARM field representatives have worked with Adventist entities to supply customized risk management plans and training to meet today’s needs.
Furthermore, the ARM Web site, www.adventistrisk.org, has been greatly expanded. It now includes an online Wellness Station with personal health advice, a Travel Hub offering short-term travel insurance, and a Resource Gateway featuring numerous risk management articles, how-to videos, and even illustrative cartoons.
Tragedy struck ARM when President Robert L. Sweezey passed away on October 16, 2009. His loss was a serious blow to ARM, as Sweezey had served as president for 17 years. We would like to take this opportunity to honor the dedicated, exceptional leadership Sweezey gave to ARM and the Adventist Church.
ARM is privileged to be a part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s worldwide ministry. Our service is an active stewardship to protect the human, physical, and financial resources of our denomination. Over the next five years and until Jesus comes we will faithfully continue “Providing Solutions to Minimize Risks.”