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I found my insurance calling – Making operations better and the job easier!

Working at Zurich was a great growing and learning experience. One thing about an insurance company is the need to document and follow procedures. Whether as a defense to a potential bad faith action, or in order to continually justify your actions, there are steps that need to be followed. Managing claims is a very paper intensive operation. Documents come and need to be processed. Payments need to be made and supporting documentation needs to be provided. Authorities need to be given, presentations need to be made, and signatures need to be secured. From the beginning I worked to streamline my process and make the job easier and more efficient. Early on I used my own spreadsheets to manage my desk of claims or PowerPoint to help present a claim to secure authority. I quickly studied the claims “system” and learned to use powerful reporting tools to understand how my desk, and I, was performing. I ran my own metrics on new claims and closing ratios. I looked at my reserve actions to see if there were any anomalies or trends to be concerned with. And with this information I began to help others in the department get better reporting on their desks as well.

I was soon put on projects to look at efficiencies within claims and look for ways to improve the process of how things were done. I experimented with different ways of looking at claim files and tried to use macros (pre-written note prompts) to assist claim handlers in making sure they hit all the required steps needed to set up a claims file. Some of my suggestions worked and others didn’t, but I continued to look to improve the process. After managing the Northeast Claim Office for Healthcare, I was promoted to the position of Director of Operational Innovation. Not the best title but was necessary because of various corporate constraints on titles at the time. Nonetheless, I liked it because title itself was a continual call to action – my job was to innovate how we did things. I was responsible for ensuring operational efficiency for the Specialty Claims department, which consisted of over 125 claims professionals.

It was at this point that I had found my calling in the Insurance industry. I loved looking for new ways to make my fellow claims professional’s job better. I helped implement a new paperless environment, I trained fellow senior staff on using reports to manage their individual operations, and I tried to ensure the internal audit process was an educational not punitive experience. I spent time using and developing technology to help the claim professional and worked with the larger home office claims technology unit as the specialty lines subject matter expert for the development of new systems. We were moving and changing and it was great to help people do their jobs better.

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