Ethnic minorities are both misrepresented and under-represented within the insurance industry. Tony Cornell detects a whiff of CRAWFORD and Company reports its team of loss adjusters has handled more than 2,000 claims stemming from a series of disastrous earthquakes that have struck the central American country of El Salvador since January.

More than 700 people died when the first earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, hit the country on January 13.

Another 300 people were killed by a second earth tremor a few days later and this was followed by up to 4,000 smaller aftershocks over the following two months.

Most of the resulting damage to property has occurred away from the capital city San Salvador, including some to local roads, railways and bridges. The Crawford staff said they have encountered difficulty in reaching some claims, as roads have been blocked with displaced rocks and other debris.

More than 2,000 claims have been notified to Crawford's team of 15 loss adjusters, the majority of whom originate from El Salvador and other central American countries.

Spokesman Peter May said: “We are handling claims for 97 local hospitals and clinics which have suffered extensive damage such as cracked walls and damage to operating theatres.”

He added: “There have also been 2,000 claims for major damage to housing and to industrial plants. Claims have been mainly for property and machinery and, of course, business interruption.”