Kara Skinner, The Bonder
My grandfather Roderick J. Skinner began as a fisherman in Canada, which was not an easy life. When he made enough money to buy a car, he was turned down for car insurance. Wanting to know why, he found out that the insurance company made certain verifications and inquiries. It turned out that a neighbor had informed the insurer that the police stopped behind my grandfather’s home and flashed a light on the house at least two to three times a week. The neighbor did not know that the policeman was a high school buddy and Grandpa would bring him a cup of coffee and chat. My grandfather wrote a letter to the insurance company that impressed them so much, they offered him a sales job. After a few years in the insurance industry, he learned of an insurance agency for sale in California and bought it.
The agency insured a few home builders. One of them asked about a bid bond for a school project. Since Grandpa didn’t know much about bonds, he called the Hartford bond department and made an appointment for his contractor to meet the underwriter. The underwriter was very impressed by the presentation. He approved the bid bond and they became good friends. From then on, the agency specialized in contractors and surety bonds.