Building on the Power of Appreciation
Experiencing a period of rapid growth, Tampa’s Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners recognized that it needed a dedicated claims department, and wanted someone with workers’ comp experience to lead it. Tim Liberty, then a senior claim specialist for Liberty Mutual and a former Marine, fit the bill perfectly.
Liberty came on board in 2015, and began building the new department’s processes and procedures from the ground up. BKS clients appreciated the changes right away.
“Our clients generally don’t have a risk manager, and they definitely don’t have [an internal] claims person, so I’ve been their go-to,” said Liberty, “which has relieved a lot of stress on the CFOs and the HR managers that we deal with.”
But Liberty had a bigger vision in mind for the department. Having worked on the other side of claims, Liberty understood how important it is to have positive working relationships with adjusters. So he took the time to say thank you, beginning with an adjuster who’d helped him lower a client’s loss ratio from 120 to 39 percent, lowering their experience mod and saving the client a significant amount of money.
Liberty sent the adjuster a framed certificate of appreciation, signed by founding partner Lowry Baldwin. It might seem like a small thing, but it meant a lot to the adjuster. Liberty said it’s still hanging on her wall.
“I’ve been in the trenches,” said Liberty.
“I know most people don’t like adjusters because they work for the ‘nasty insurance company’ and they deny claims and all of that. But I understand the role and I wanted to appreciate my adjusters as much as possible.”
Liberty will routinely send small thoughtful gifts and thank-you notes to adjusters who go the extra mile, and he makes sure their supervisors hear about it as well. He sent the chief claims officer of a major carrier an email complimenting the work of an adjuster who’d done an excellent job handing a claim.
“She was kind of taken aback,” he said, “because the chief claims officer normally only gets the angry emails.”
“I’ve been in the trenches. I know most people don’t like adjusters because they work for the ‘nasty insurance company’ and they deny claims and all of that.” — Tim Liberty, senior claims consultant, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners
Carriers appreciate how Liberty and BKS treat their adjusters, and the positive vibe extends to the larger relationship that BKS has with its carriers. BKS has been able to ask for — and get — dedicated adjusters on certain accounts, and acceptance of special claims handling instructions that might go beyond what a carrier will normally agree to.
Because of the bonds that Liberty has forged with adjusters and carriers, he knows he can ask them to go above and beyond in terms of customer service.
“I’m able to get that done because they see what I do with their adjusters and that I recognize them,” said Liberty, and it’s also because BKS — and its clients — are growing at a healthy pace.
“They like BKS. They like doing business with us — I think we do business the right way. They want to keep us happy and grow with us as well. Everybody [is] on the same page and they want to grow together, so it hasn’t been too hard of a sell.” &