Insurance Official Recalls Unusual Claims

A specialty insurance risk manager recounts his most memorable anecdotes from 17 years of work with cities, schools and police departments.

Oh, the stories Bob Marinelli can tell …

Marinelli, risk control manager for Argo Group’s Trident Public Risk Solutions, has spent much of the past 17 years helping cities, towns, school districts and police departments pick the right insurance policies. Although most claims are routine, some have stuck with him over the years. Here are some of his favorites.

• The rogue trailer: A guy driving a truck towing a trailer full of school band instruments didn’t notice that the trailer had detached. “The trailer took out a few vehicles that were parked on the side of the road,” Marinelli recalls. It also took out a fire hydrant and a streetlight. When the driver came to a stop, the trailer rolled right past him.

• A shooting pain: A student in a community college forensics class conducting an experiment on a .22-caliber rifle “ended up shooting one of their classmates in the rear end,” Marinelli says.

• Sewer gems: After a nasty sewer backup, a town contracted with a vendor to figure out the problem. Using scope cameras, they helped workers find a bowling ball, an old fire hose and a high school class ring that had been missing for 40 years.

Safety rewards at home

Fortunately, bringing home his tales of accidents, mishaps and misfortune seems to have lowered his family’s risk profile. With a wife, four kids (ages 18, 16, 12 and 10), six tropical birds, three dogs, two rabbits and a gecko, there’s rarely a dull moment.

“My kids – probably more than me – have adopted a more safety-conscious or risk-conscious lifestyle, just based on some of the things I tell them about my job every day.”

Looking back, Marinelli says he’s had a pretty rewarding life so far, both on the job and at home.

“I’m grateful for having a supportive family and a highly rewarding career,” he says. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

International underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in areas of the property and casualty market.

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