Chris Moss Online

Work, work, work

…big pile of it and the boss is abroad. 😉

Work has been more than interesting lately. Wow. I’ve actually been a bit excited about it. We recently obtained some work for a syndicate of Lloyd’s of London, The Catlin Group. Catlin has found a niche in writing insurance to an association of commercial warehouses. My group at work has been designated (written into the policies) as the claims managers for all losses in North America.

So, in addition to my usual work, I am now also responsible for absorbing all of the open claims into our workflows. We are receiving files which are, really, just a collection of documents that relate to the same loss. They aren’t in any sort of organization and aren’t even in labeled file folders. It sounds like a pain, and it is, but fortunately the work is really interesting.

There are a lot of things going on with some of these claims, and it was interesting that Catlin just sort of jerked the work away from the old claims managers and handed it to us. I have made a couple of minor goofs already, which really involved my breach of protocol. If you read through that Wikipedia entry on Lloyd’s, you’ll learn that they have a peculiar way of doing business. I am pretty practical by nature (indeed, since I bill by the hour, it would behoove the client to allow me to be practical) but in most cases they place procedure, protocol and systematic routine above practicality. Who is to say which is better, but the bottom line is it will take some getting used to.

One of my claims involves the spontaneous combustion of cocoa. These warehouses aren’t small, and most of the claims are quite large – in the hundreds of thousands or millions. Our company as a whole specializes in handling large, complex claims like aviation claims, marine claims and energy claims. Those major types of claims represent a large portion of the operations of the company that currently employs me, Charles Taylor Consulting. My group is involved in traditional risk management practice and how we got to handling these claims is a round-a-bout story, but I was identified as someone who could take this work on. The claims management side of our business exists because it involves claims that have a high severity but low frequency and are usually very complex. The insurers don’t have a staff of professionals to handle them because of their infrequency. Our company does a lot of other neat things.

Anyway, there are a lot of neat things and I like doing this for a couple of reasons. One, it makes me feel productive to be working my way through the claims, getting up to speed (they often involve interesting stories and histories) and summarizing them in reports and recommending the way forward. In two cases already, I have completely contradicted the course that was recommended by the previous claims manager. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how those stories end. Another reason is that my boss had to leave the country for two weeks, so really everyone just has no choice but to just let me take care of business. And I been TCB’n all week long!

Also, there is some travel coming up. I don’t mind short trips, especially day trips or one-nighters. I haven’t done as much of that as I thought I might in this job. Now I’m getting a bunch at once. Monday and Tuesday, I’ll be in New Orleans (returning to the scene of the crime) On the 7th, I go to Chicago – but just for the day. On the 12th – 14th I’ll be in Kansas City and Chicago. I thought briefly on Friday I might have to go to Newark, but I think that fire has been safely doused. No telling what else will turn up in the next few weeks. One can only wonder how long before a trip to London to meet the underwriters will be required 🙂

Current mood: Satisfied
Current music: Sweet Surrender by Sarah McLachlan

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