From Missoula, written by Tran Thanh Thao, Director of Bancassurance Division, Baoviet Insurance Corporation of Vietnam
Time flies so fast and I can’t believe that I have stayed in Missoula, Montana for more than 02 weeks. The excited and happy feeling of the first days remains unchanged as everyday I wake up with lots of new things waiting me to explore in order to really buy-in the American culture, to be a member of my American families and a good buddy of my new colleagues. My insurance profile and work experience has brought me to ALPS – an insurance company based in Missoula which provides Lawyers’ Professional Liability insurance to protect and guide lawyers toward a successful and worry-free profession.
The legal system of the US is very complicated basing on the triangle balance of power among judicial, regulatory and governmental authorities in administering, enforcing the laws, operating the judicial system and resolving judicial disputes and appeals. There are three levels of official bodies being Federal courts, State Courts and Regulatory agencies. While Federal laws apply to all people living in the US, State laws generally just apply to people living in that state meaning that there are many state-specific regulations. Everything combined makes lawyers to be a very potential yet challenging job.
Founded by Attorneys for Attorneys since 1988, ALPS has hold true their said original vision to be firmly grounded in supporting the legal community. I must say that Lawyers’ malpractice insurance is among the toughest types of insurance that an insurance company is capable of underwriting. Various factors like insurer’s capacity, high-profile expertise required, closed association with Bars operating in a complete and sound legal system all count for its development. The fellowship at ALPS during these days has exposed me to things I couldn’t get so far from many professional workshops I’ve ever attended. I am no longer an outsider getting to know what is told to be true. This time I am an insider, observing and learning myself how things are going on in an American insurance company. I gain practical hands-on knowledge when spending hours sitting with wonderful people from the board of directors, managers and staff in various departments like finance, sales and marketing, claims, education and training, underwriting and many more others in coming days. I am overwhelmed by the way ALPS is striking a balance between profit-making and community-serving which seems to be unachievable in insurance industry. They are making continuous changes to bring more values to their customers, protect the benefits of not only shareholders but most importantly of the society as a whole. In business world, there is no absolute competitive advantage. You can only end up to that by keeping working hard and harder to excel and exceed your own capabilities.
I’ve tried to take note as fast as possible of what I heard with a fear that I may miss something. However, I also know for sure that everything is already here in my mind and my heart. American people especially people in Missoula and in ALPS greet me in the warmest way I can think of and naturally I reciprocate without any hesitation. I would probably be proud to claim myself as a Montanan whenever I tell anyone about this awesome adventure.
P.S: I owe special thanks to my fellows partner – Ms. Sara Smith, CFO at ALPS – for her excellent effort to make my schedule busy like crazy to meet whoever in other insurance companies, brokers, banks, state authorities she thinks may help address my issues and concern! I am extremely grateful to my host families who are Sara’s colleagues at ALPS. They are my beloved Stacey, Michael and their two boys Nate and Tim; Julie and her husband Ted. You all make my homestay so special, filled with family love and care that I will never forget!!!