A weak letter

Ah, the brain dump.  Sort of hope I didn’t mail this but I likely did.  All true, likely served the purpose of clearing some brain space, now it is clearing some disk space.


January 5th 2015


RE: Potential opportunity


To Whom It May Concern;

I have been and will continue to be an admirer of your company.  What I am particularly drawn to is your “Do Know Evil” philosophy and the millions you invest in positive causes.  For the last eleven years, I have been in the insurance industry.  Specifically the personal insurance market.  There is a bigger opportunity available than you are currently experiencing through advertising.

As you are aware there is a big shift coming in the personal insurance industry.  Specifically due to the divide between how consumer products are purchased and how personal insurance is purchased.  Currently, you are running one operation in England that mimics some of how a U.S. focused model can work.  Now I think it is time for you to follow your “Do Know Evil” philosophy and apply it to how you view insurance.

Insurance advertising can be traced to many of the problems in the insurance industry.  Specifically negatively impacting millions of humans.  The money you are currently making off of the word “insurance” and anything surrounding it is a fraction of what it can be.  Only making money off of advertising for insurance is not nearly as profitable as another way.

Although in the industry for over eleven years I have been running my own firm for three and a half.  The model I have developed has lead my company to be profitable for over three years. Unfortunately, we are unable to keep up with growth.  This has led us to develop a mostly automated system that has fundamentally changed how insurance can be purchased

It would be great to have a conversation.  Either way, all the best.




Billy Van Jura

[email protected]


Birchyard LLC

A letter to the Lizard

Most times it is easier to dump stuff out of my brain than keep it in.  Not sure if I mailed this or not but I likely did;

January 5, 2015


Billy Van Jura

Birchyard LLC

Box 2055

Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Dear Mr. Buffett:

Recently you released a letter to your employees that referenced how much you value the reputation of your company (ies).  Part of this letter also mentioned suggestions for successors.  Both of these were particularly interesting to me.  In this case, I did want to bring an ethical concern that on some level already negatively impacts your reputation.


Having been in the insurance industry for eleven years I have reviewed hundreds of Geico declaration pages.  Unfortunately, there are some recurring things that I have seen that are quite negative.  Fortunately, they are fixable and even more, fortunately, if done correctly, they’ll increase profits.  Points, specific to New York, are below.


  1. Routinely your liability coverage is at the state minimum. This is irresponsible to the public and also negatively impacts your customers’ future rates.  In actuality the rate increase is minor yet the impact to that household and society can be huge.
  2. When you do go to the industry accepted liability of $100,000 per person $300,000 per occurrence many times you choose to not provide this same amount of supplemental coverage. Again the rate increase is minor but the impact can be huge.
  3. New York is a no-fault state and more times than not your reps provide the minimum $50,000 instead of the maximum $175,000. Again, easy fix and woefully irresponsible.


These seemingly minor improvements can have a massive positive impact on Geico.  If we looked at your claims history we would likely find a very small amount of occasions when you paid out above $50,000 in no-fault or $100,000 in liability.  That is part of what makes this so beautiful; you’ll be increasing piece of mind, elevating Geico’s reputation and increasing your premiums all at once.


In an effort to be considerate of your time I’ll stop here.  There are some more details and suggestions as far as how to potentially maximize this opportunity.  Not to mention eliminating a pretty large lapse in ethics that could hinder your reputation.  Geico is in a position to positively impact millions of human beings and lead the charge in shifting an industry.  This is something I can help you do.  Either way, all the best.





Billy Van Jura

Birchyard LLC



P.S.  Not terribly pleased with Benjamin Moore’s paint.  You should see how quickly it failed on my house.

Thoughts circa 2005

Doing an audit/ clean up of my computer.  Lots of satisfaction in finding goal list and projects that were successful but forgotten.  Also, find lots of thoughts that I am thankful I had then and are still valid today.  Some from a goal list I had put together;

My mission is to continually provide my clients with the service that I would expect, the best possible.  Each relationship will be treated as though it is priceless.  My professionalism must always be visible and I cannot sway from my principals.  Purely on principle, I must always give the client everything possible all while being the person who I would want to deal with.  I must be a reliable source for information and provide those who I deal with the utmost of professionalism…….

It will never be about the money, it is the goal that will drive me and I cannot lose sight of the fact that the money can disappear and I have to appreciate the experience and wherever it may lead.  Since it is my clients who will fund my pursuits, they will be priceless to me and therefore I must be unflinching in my resolve to make their experience great enough to share.  Once this is shared I will be in the best position.  It is about the overall financial goal however my clients must know that they are people and not just numbers and I cannot lose sight of this, my production goals are merely the road map, it is the people and the relationships that must be my fuel.

It is simple I will give them the best to start and therefore cannot be questioned later one.  Accountability is extremely important and I will hold myself accountable for everything.