How to Have a Successful Career in Claims
By: Allan Robinson, CPCU, Executive Vice President of Field Operation and Sales Management and Chief Claim Officer at Horace Mann
Working in claims gives you broad exposure to the insurance business and provides the opportunity to hone your skills, both in soft skills like customer service and in skills that are more technical. It is where many in the insurance industry get their start.
A quality claims employee is a problem solver, an individual with strong interpersonal skills mixed with a solid financial, math mindset. The claims employee of today needs to be tech-savvy, have an insatiable appetite to learn, and easily adapt to a changing landscape. Keeping up with current communication technology is essential, but also, for long-term success, you need to engage in and develop your face-to-face communications skills. There are going to be in-person moments – and probably during some of the most challenging moments in life for the client. The combination of understanding people and service, along with strong analytics, is the foundation of success.
In other words, success in claims requires you to be an expert in many areas and that can be both exhilarating and a challenge. The need to dig in, expand your knowledge, and broaden your experience is not for everyone. We all start with basic, simple claims, but then move to more complex claims, requiring you to be more analytical, and likely make the service aspect more complex.
In addition, claims can provide a good base from where you branch out. The insurance industry encompasses every discipline – finance, marketing, human resources, public relations, and sales.
You should expect your company to help you plan and implement a career plan. Use the tools your company provides to make sure you know what you want and what will work best for you – and then you can be your best for the company. You may be looking for work-life balance, a good vacation benefit, the ability to have a flexible or alternative work schedule. Communicate your expectations to your manager and ask questions. Your development is a joint responsibility between you and your company, as it benefits both of you. Invest some time in yourself and seek out the tools your company has to help you reach your career goals.
You will also want to seek out a company that knows how important it is to think outside the box, to be agile, and gives you the chance to challenge yourself. Whether you are assisting with an upgrade of systems, adopting new, more efficient ways of operating or learning new elements of the business, you need a company that challenges and stimulates your mind, and finds ways to motivate you to elevate your game. It is important to find a company that knows you make a difference for the customer, gives you credit and recognizes you when you make significant contributions and knows you are one of the reasons the company is successful.
Claims can be a very challenging job, but the feeling you get when you help bring resolution to a customer who has lost their home to fire or been affected by an auto accident, is very rewarding. In claims, you have the opportunity to take care of customers in their biggest moments of need, contribute to the success of the company, and build a life-long, rewarding career for yourself.
About the author:
Mr. Robinson was appointed to his present position of Executive Vice President in March 2018 and assumed responsibility for Field Operations and Sales Management in May 2017. He joined the Company in 2015 as Senior Vice President of Claims. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Robinson served as Vice President of Claims at Hanover Insurance Group, an insurance provider, since 2010, and spent 27 years at the Allstate Corporation holding a variety of roles in their claims organization including Vice President. Mr. Robinson has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry.
For more information on careers with Horace Mann check out their website: https://www.horacemann.com/about-us/careers/employment-opportunities