Tips on Education for Adjusters Going into Management

By Denise Johnson | May 6, 2015

As claims personnel move into management roles, it’s important for them to understand the organizational structure of their employer as well as understand and align with the company’s mission, according to Marty Frappolli, senior director of Knowledge Resources for The Institutes.

During a recent podcast interview with Claims Journal, he explained the value of continuing education throughout one’s career and provided a suggested sequence in order to obtain the necessary education.

Frappolli noted that while claims adjusters often receive intense on the job training at the onset of employment, there is often very little training on how to move up the ladder into management roles.

“A claims professional who has moved into management or who aspires to become a claims manager needs education that will expand his or her point of view,” Frappolli said. “As a manager you need to know how to manage others, you need to understand your insurance organization and how your claims group can best align with the larger strategy and mission.”

He suggested a timeline in the sequence of educational goals beginning with understanding insurance coverage basics. First and foremost, knowing policy language is key to understanding coverage, Frappolli said. Then, adjusters can look to internal and external training for claims handling specifics in the particular lines they handle. Lastly, adjusters should consider additional education relating to management training.

Frappolli said that insurers typically don’t offer management training. “I will give kudos to any insurance organization that offers that kind of training in-house.”

He said the role of a manager requires key knowledge of the following:

  • Organizational structure – Have a basic grasp of the company structure.
  • Mission alignment – Understand and embrace the company’s mission.
  • Performance management – Understand that performance reviews are a tool to help align with the mission.
  • Project management – Helps claims team align with the full organization.

Frappolli added that lifelong learning is important, “It’s a mistake to put your framed certification on the wall and think you’re done. People all around us are adapting to change and expanding their skill sets. If we aspire to advance in our jobs – if we aspire to keep the jobs we have, we need to keep learning.’

Speaking from personal experience, he said educational courses offer networking opportunities and that “every course, every seminar, every webinar helps keep me connected to my industry.”

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