Faces of NYCM: Don Kaczmarek Helps Insureds in Time of Need - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Apr 15, 2020

Faces of NYCM: Don Kaczmarek Helps Insureds in Time of Need

“It sounds cheesy,” Don laughs, “but I always try to leave things better than how I found them.”
Don Kaczmarek is a Casualty Adjuster who handles bodily injury claims. What exactly does that mean? In its simplest form, it means that Don is responsible for helping people through some of the most distressing and stressful moments of their lives. For example, Don’s job is to protect our insureds when they’re facing issues that look like this:
-        They are in a car accident and someone claims to be hurt in that accident.
-        Someone falls on ice in their driveway and breaks their leg.
Sometimes the situations can look much more tragic than this. The bottom line - Don’s job is to be in our insured’s corner as they get through what can often be trying times.
Don’s commitment to our insured’s wellbeing doesn't go unnoticed. Don was recently recognized by his colleagues at a corporate event, where he was surprised to learn that he had won a Vision in Action award - a honor given through our Vision in Action program which is designed to call out those who exemplify our dedication to providing a superior experience to our customers.

Don was surprised and honored to receive the award:
“It means a lot that other people notice when you’re doing your best to do your job. It says a lot that you don’t have to jump in front of everyone and wave your arms to be recognized.”
It was also meaningful to Don that it was his manager who put him up for the award.
“I’m lucky because, honestly, my manager is one of the best managers I have ever come to work for. He is supporting, understanding and always has an ear to listen to me. He always makes time for my colleagues and I and recognizes how important our culture is.”
While there are many stories that justify Don receiving this award, there was one specific interaction that led to this recognition. Don was dealing with a particularly tragic case where the insured was distraught over the loss of his best friend, due to a construction accident. The situation at hand included navigating a difficult legal situation but Don was able to do so with sympathy, understanding and grace. Don’s positive influence was so palpable that he received an email from the attorney involved, saying “Thank you for your consideration throughout this case and your honest approach to such a difficult manner. Your sincerity was profound.”
In addition to his personality and ethics, Don also has the experience to back up his efforts, having been at NYCM Insurance for 16 and a half years. Prior to joining our team and the insurance industry he worked at a fencing company for 10 years where he would get laid off during the winter. His wife, who also happens to be his high school sweetheart, was the one who brought him to us at NYCM. At the time of Don’s joining our team, our Orchard Park office was run by his wife, Cindy’s, father.
Don threw himself into the insurance industry. He took his 90-hour pre-licensing course at Brian & Stratton and became a licensed agent before also acquiring his General Adjusting License. When he first joined NYCM, Don worked in Customer Service on the night shift as well as on property claims during the day as a Property Claims Adjuster – if someone filed a property claim where they suffered damage Don would go out and assess the damage. While he has enjoyed his entire NYCM career, Don especially loves what he does now.
“I love the interaction I get to have with people. When an insured is being sued or is in an accident, it’s very stressful for them and they are very scared. I get to go out and meet these people, and tell them that we’re here to help and protect them.”
Don explained that some files can stay open for much longer than you might imagine - upward of five years.
“It’s important to get to know people right from the beginning of the process. That way, people feel more assured. They already know you.”
Don continued that part of his job entails attending trials where he observes and takes notes.
“Our customers feel more comfortable knowing someone in the room.”
Aside from dealing with serious situations, Don also noted that his job can - at times - be pretty fun.
“I’m looking for witnesses and accidents…I get to be a private investigator like a police officer, which I always wanted to be as a kid.”
Aside from being a caring person on the job, Don also enjoys giving back to his community. Don has been organizing NYCM's involvement in the 5K Run the Burg race for Autism in Hamburg for 8 years and volunteers annually for Food 2 Families through the Foodbank of Western New York.

In his free time, Don enjoys spending time with his family. He and his wife have two kids: a 20-year old son who just returned from boot camp for the National Guard and 16-year-old daughter whose volleyball hobby keeps them busy. His wife still works at NYCM on the Quality Assurance team. Aside from spending time with his family, his passion is fishing. He’s a proud boat-owner and has even entered some fishing competitions. He especially loves to fish for smallmouth bass.

When asked his favorite part of being a member of team NYCM, Don had this to say:
“The culture, the ability to be myself...I see so much opportunity in what I do. While it doesn’t always present itself in minor issues, there is always a chance to make someone feel better or help them sleep better at night. If I can do that, then I feel like that’s an accomplishment.”
To read another installment of our Faces of NYCM series, click on the button below.