2017 Risk All Star: Kevin Moss

The Right Formula for Claims Closure

Kevin Moss jocularly refers to himself as a “recovering adjuster.” But the term is apt, given the way his view of claims has evolved over time. He sees the big picture, he asks questions and listens. He figures out how to turn each unique situation into a win for everyone.

Kevin Moss, Director of Casualty Insurance and Risk, Michelin North America

Moss is the director of Casualty Insurance and Risk for Greenville, S.C.-based Michelin North America Inc., managing risk for 22,000-plus employees across 19 plants. One key area of focus for Moss, since joining the company in 2007, has been reducing the company’s outstanding liability exposure from worker injury claims — some decades old.

In 2014, Moss launched Michelin’s largest comprehensive claim review to date and determined that of the company’s 483 open claims, 186 high-value claims accounted for 83 percent of Michelin’s outstanding liability.

Working closely with partners from claims services provider Gallagher Bassett Services and broker Willis Towers Watson, the team brought in reserve experts and undertook a sizable claims closure project.

The outstanding exposure on the closure project has been reduced to $14,097,290 – a 46 percent reduction in outstanding reserves. Achieving that, said Moss, takes hard work, but the keys to success are quite clear.

First things first: Put in the work on the front end to review all claims and ensure they’re correctly reserved. With that locked down, you can put settlement plans in place for each claim, involving annuity companies where possible.

Moss says he’s not opposed to spending extra money to close a claim, and he credits Michelin’s leadership for allowing him the leeway to do so. Getting that kind of buy-in for a claims closure project, he said, means being able to clearly express the business case and the benefits for the company.

“I want to make sure that the financial people here understand what I’m doing, that my boss understands it.  So I’ve had to learn how to speak finance — I do have an econ degree so that helps.” — Kevin Moss, Director of Casualty Insurance and Risk, Michelin North America

“I want to make sure that the financial people here understand what I’m doing, that my boss understands it,” he said, “so I’ve had to learn how to speak finance — I do have an econ degree so that helps.”

When it’s time to approach claimants, keep in mind that some claims require careful handling.

In Michelin’s case, “most of the older claims are medical,” Moss explained, “and people are scared to monkey with something they’ve been doing since the ’60s.”

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That’s why Moss wasn’t content to just send out letters. He knew that in some cases, his efforts would be better spent going to people’s houses, bringing an annuity expert along, and explaining to people face-to-face what settling the claim would mean.

With many of the claimants advancing in age, Moss would talk to them about creating a transferable annuity, allowing them to give it to a grandchild or other family member to help pay for college.

Above all, Moss is committed to making sure each settlement is fair.

“Not only do we want to make sure we understand what the exposure is,” he said, “we want to make sure we do the right thing by everybody.” &

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Risk All Stars stand out from their peers by overcoming challenges through exceptional problem solving, creativity, perseverance and passion.

See the complete list of 2017 Risk All Stars.

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

2017 Risk All Stars

Immeasurable Value

The 2017 Risk All Stars strengthened their organizations by taking ownership of improved risk management processes and not quitting until they were in place.
By: | September 12, 2017 • 3 min read

Being the only person to hold a particular opinion or point of view within an organization cannot be easy. Do the following sound like familiar stories? Can you picture yourself or one of your risk management colleagues as the hero or heroine? Or better yet, as a Risk & Insurance® Risk All Star?

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One risk manager took a job with a company that was being spun off, and the risk management program, which was built for a much larger company, was not a good fit for the spun-off company.
Rather than sink into inertia, this risk manager took the bull by the horns and began an aggressive company intranet campaign to instill better safety and other risk management practices throughout the organization.

The risk manager, 2017 Risk All Star Michelle Bennett of Cable One, also changed some long-standing brokerage relationships that weren’t a good fit for the risk management and insurance program. In her first year on the job she produced premium savings and in her second year is in the process of introducing ERM company-wide.

Or perhaps this one rings a bell. The news is trickling out that a company is poised to dramatically expand, increasing the workforce three- or four-fold. Having this knowledge with certainty would be a great benefit to a risk manager, who could begin girding safety, workers’ comp and related programs accordingly. But things sometimes don’t work that way, do they? Sometimes the risk manager is one of the last people to know.

The Risk All Star Award recognizes at its core, creativity, perseverance and passion. The 13 winners of this year’s award all displayed those traits in abundance.

In the case of 2017 Risk All Star winner Steve Richards of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the news of an expansion spurred him to action. He completely overhauled the company’s workers’ compensation program and streamlined its claim management system. The results, even with a much higher headcount, were reduced legal costs, better return-to-work experiences for injured workers and a host of other improvements and savings.

The Risk All Star Award recognizes at its core, creativity, perseverance and passion. The 13 winners of this year’s award all displayed those traits in abundance. Sometimes it took years for a particular risk solution, as promoted by a risk manager, to find acceptance.

In other cases a risk manager got so excited about a solution, they never even considered getting turned down. They just kept pushing until they carried the day.

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Butler University’s Zach Finn became obsessive about what he felt was a lackluster effort on the part of the insurance industry to bring in new talent. The former risk manager for the J.M. Smucker Co. settled on the creation of a student-run captive to give his risk management students the experience they would need to get hired right out of college.

The result was a better risk management program for the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and immediate traction in the job market for Finn’s students.

A few of our Risk All Stars told us that the results they are achieving were decades in the making. Only by year-in, year-out dedication to gaining transparency about her co-op’s risks and learning more and more about her various insurance carriers, did Growmark Inc.’s Faith Cring create a stalwart risk management and insurance program that is the envy of the agricultural sector. Now she’s been with some of her insurance carriers more than 20 years — some more than 30 years.

Having the right idea and not having a home for it can be a lonely, frustrating experience. Having the creativity, the passion and perhaps, most importantly, the perseverance to see it through and get great results makes you a Risk All Star. &

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Risk All Stars stand out from their peers by overcoming challenges through exceptional problem solving, creativity, perseverance and passion.

See the complete list of 2017 Risk All Stars.

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected]