Transition: From Claims Adjuster to Claims Manager

June 30, 2014

An adjuster who wishes to transition to a management role should be ready to outline the company’s mission and objectives, said Marty Frappolli, senior director of Knowledge Resources for The Institutes.

“For the claims handler who seeks to transition to claims management, or who is already there, one of the most important things is to learn more about the larger goals of the insurance organization, such as the mission, the vision,” he said.

Clearly articulating the insurer’s mission, how a claims job supports that mission and how a claims department’s efforts are aligned with the larger objectives is invaluable.

He said the big picture point of view can be a key factor for successful transition to claims management.

The transition isn’t necessarily easier when the promotion comes with a new employer, Frappolli said.

“There are real advantages when you are working in an organization that is well-managed from the top down, and you are comfortable with that culture. The one difficulty is that you may find yourself as the manager of people who were once your peers,” Frappolli said. “One day, a week ago you were out drinking beer after work, and now you’re the boss, so perhaps you will need to cope with some envious reactions. That’s not new turf or territory, but it is a hurdle that a lot of new managers face.”

While there are advantages to taking a managerial role in a new company, such as the honeymoon period or potentially implementing new programs or ideas, Frappolli said that it can add an extra burden, if this is a first managerial role, to adjust to a new company culture while also learning how to be a successful manager.

Education remains important in any claim role. An effective leader learns and understands the organization’s mission and how it drives strategy and goals,” Frappolli said.

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