FCCI Keeps its Promises in the Midwest Region

Most of us have, at some point, breathed a sigh of relief upon realizing you’ve made an important decision.
For Amy and Tony Dennis, owners of Test Development Innovators (TDI) in Morton, Illinois, they did breathe a sigh of relief after the worst did happen.
Thankfully, FCCI Insurance Group was there for them – to the tune of $19.4 million.
Since its establishment in 1998, TDI has worked in the niche industries of innovative testing, machining, machine control design, data acquisition, manufacturing and industrial technology in Morton, Illinois. In September 2018, TDI became an FCCI policyholder, which turned out to be a fortuitous decision.
At 2:00 a.m., April 17, 2019, a fire erupted in the building where TDI tested industrial equipment.
In addition to machinery, there was some diesel fuel and other flammable materials that contributed to the blaze, whose flames exceeded temperatures of 3,000 degrees at its worst.

In the end, the building and all of its contents were a total loss.
The call from Amy and Tony was received by FCCI’s after-hours line at around 5:00 a.m., while the fire still raged.
Within nine business days, an advance of $1.5 million was hand-delivered to help Amy and Tony secure the building, keep the business running and relieve the immediate financial strain.
Overall, the recovery process was a success due to the exemplary efforts from our regional underwriting, risk control, legal, recovery and claim technical unit as well as our reinsurance partners.
“It’s easy to look at insurance as a necessary expense … and for what? Well, now we know for what.”
(L-R) Amy and Tony Dennis, Test Development Innovators
The facility and all its contents were completely destroyed in the fire
FCCI was assigned and responded to the claim immediately. Mike Panizzi, director of risk control for the Midwest Region, was on-site the day of the loss when the building was still smoldering.
Mike’s presence immediately provided a sense of comfort, support and reassurance to our policyholder. Chuck Street, the lead adjuster on the file, provided strong oversight and communication of the claim from the very beginning. Wendy Dean, managing director of claims for the Midwest, was also involved from day one. She was deeply engaged in the initial investigation, communication with the policyholder and emphasizing the importance of getting initial monies out quickly for the claim.
Damage to the lab after the fire
“It’s easy to look at insurance as a necessary evil that you’re paying for … and for what?” Amy mused. “Well, now we know for what. You never know when a situation is going to occur when you’re going to need people like Wendy and Chuck standing by your side to get you through it.”

With the overall claim now nearly fully resolved, Amy and Tony are forging on, looking at ways to continue to grow and stay viable for their employees’ and their own future. While Amy admits that finding the strength to heal and go on is something they’ll have to continue to muster from within, she says that the support they felt from FCCI provided infinite relief and comfort.
Inspectors prepare to enter the building post-fire
“The level of gratitude that we feel for FCCI is immeasurable,” Amy said. “You have to make your decisions on the types of insurance coverage you need based on what your company situation is and what budget will allow. For us, it’s really the personal aspect and level of comfort they were able to provide us. We were going to be okay, and they were going to take care of us on that personal level. We know that we – as people – matter.”
“I ask myself how I feel about this claim and I struggle with that, knowing that it’s the largest loss this company has ever experienced,” Wendy added. “I think about our mission statement. I was empowered to deliver exceptional customer service to meet TDI’s needs and worked to manage their risk. Amy’s comments regarding our partnership are so important to our team. We see just how much peace of mind we offered. She knows we care about them. It wasn’t dollars and cents. It was about Amy and Tony as people.”

“The level of gratitude that we feel for FCCI is immeasurable. You have to make your decisions on the types of insurance coverage you need based on what your company situation is and what budget will allow.”
TDI before the fire
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