A Millennial’s Journey Into An Insuretech Career
by Natalie Barrett, ACD Team Lead
Ask a group of twentysomethings about a career in insurance and you’re likely to get wrinkled noses and descriptions of a dress code that includes khakis and a polo. I must admit even I fell into the same camp when, post college, I started as a front desk representative taking basic customer service calls at ACD, a technology and services-based company focused on being number one when it comes to auto claims processing.
How can I help?
I remember helping people through some of the hardest moments in their lives. For instance, when a car accident rocked their world or when a hailstorm damaged their car beyond drivability. Many people were upset and emotional but were grateful to hear my reassuring voice on the other end of the phone explaining how I was going to assist them in their return to normal. It was in those early interactions that my company turned out to be so much more than I thought it was. ACD showed me that being a pioneer in the auto claims industry meant that you had to leverage technology with a human touch to return people to the routine they longed for.
My first promotion
A year after being at the front desk I was promoted to handling my own client accounts and with that, managing the claims they brought. The next year, I studied and completed my Automobile Claims Law Specialist Certification. Then came the first of two pivotal events in my career – I spent a year traveling side-by-side with our VP of Corporate Accounts, Tara Esquivel. Together, we met insurance company executives across the U.S. and showcased how our claims technology, combined with personal interaction, results in a better experience for their policyholders. I gained a new perspective on how my job fits into the bigger insurance picture.
I was full of pride showing a VP of Claims that our two-day cycle time lowered storage and rental costs for their claims department. Yet the real satisfaction was knowing that I played an integral part in giving our clients the speediest claims handling solution I could find. Call it the millennial in me, but completing an insured’s claim in the nick-of-time always felt like more of an accomplishment than the cost-savings gained from the outcome.
The second most crucial time in my career came just a few months ago in February 2020. I attended Vale’s Auto Estimatics class. This cream-of-the-crop, immersive two-week class was a huge “aha moment.” Going to Vale gave me practical experience with knowledgeable instructors and real damaged vehicles that I could see, touch, pull back, and look underneath. Now I understand why a repair facility needs to blend up the roof rails on a quarter panel repair to obtain an undetectable paint finish. More importantly, I learned why pre- and post-scans are becoming ubiquitous for almost all repairs and how that directly correlates to consumer safety (and insurance risk).
Where I am today
Six years after starting at the front desk answering phone calls, I now lead a team of client service specialists (superstars!) that may have helped your son or daughter, your mom, or sister through an interruption to their life. Dealing with a car accident is a stressful event. We know that when you pick up the phone, you want someone on the other end giving you answers and getting you one step closer to your normal routine. We also know that each person’s claim is unique, and no two days are ever the same in the insurance claims world.
Reflecting on my different positions and career changes within this industry, I truly believe this – the empathy and personal touch of an experienced professional guiding you through a stressful time is the backbone of any successful claim.
This advertorial was first published in the May/June 2020 issue of Claims Magazine: http://www.claimsmagdigital.com/claims/may_jun_2020?pg=14#pg14