“The one thing I was certain of when I was [a youth] was that I would never go into the insurance business,” said Ray Arouesty with a laugh. “When I went to college, it was my intention to become a college professor.” Indeed, he obtained a Master of Science degree from Purdue University and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School.

Fortunately for pool and spa professionals, however, his career path led to insurance anyway.

“My father was in the insurance business,” Arouesty said. “Maybe that’s why I didn’t want to go into it.” Nevertheless, he has worked with the industry for some 38 years now, handling more than 2,000 pool-related claims to date. His company, Arrow Insurance Service Inc., is the exclusive insurance broker for the Independent Pool & Spa Service Association and the Swimming Pool Association of Hawaii. The Simi Valley, Calif.-based firm also does business in nine states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia.

If he could give just one tip to industry professionals, Arouesty would stress the need to find an insurance policy that protects them and their businesses. Pool service routinely requires techs to do work not covered by general liability policies, Arouesty said. For instance, chemical damage to a pool deck is considered pollution damage, which is not covered, nor is damage from an overfilled pool. Both incidents can be included in a customized policy, which a specialist who knows their business can provide.

Though he is just such a specialist, it is but one of his many skills. Arouesty’s early desire to teach has led him to be a seminar instructor at various industry trade shows and a PSN Webinar presenter.  He also was admitted to the California State Bar in 1990, and practiced law full time for more than 10 years.

His well-rounded resumé notwithstanding, Arouesty has a special appreciation for service techs, having become a California licensed pool repair contractor and received a water chemistry certification from IPSSA. Not only that, but in 2000 the Pool Industry Expo awarded him the Doug Tanner Award for his lifetime contributions to the pool industry.

As busy as he is, Arouesty still manages to find time for personal endeavors, such as running half-marathons and avocado farming. He and wife Erica (also a lawyer) bought a run-down avocado ranch in Ventura County, fixed it up and, in his spare time, Arouesty is out on a tractor -- or taking continuing education courses to hone his farming skills. Clearly, whatever he does, Arouesty is determined to do well.