This Specialty Insurance President Is Placing Value in Solutions

Appointed president of Ironshore North America Specialty, Matt Dolan places his focus on solutions — not just conventional products.
By: | December 22, 2018 • 2 min read

When Liberty Mutual acquired Ironshore in 2017, it created the Global Risk Solutions division, where the $2.3 billion business of Ironshore North America Specialty (NAS) lives. And it is here, with NAS, where Matt Dolan has assumed the role of president.

“My responsibilities are to make sure we position NAS as advantageously as possible with both brokers and insureds by combining the specialty product capabilities of Ironshore with the broader product offerings of Liberty Mutual,” said Dolan, who brings more than 30 years’ experience to the position, most recently in the role of president of IronHealth.

Dolan’s experience has prepared him for his new role as NAS president: He joined Ironshore in 2008 and created IronHealth. He also led an array of company-wide strategic initiatives, giving him a “unique exposure and experience in what it takes to build a company in a highly competitive market.”

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And specialty is a growing market. Dolan is responsible for the development and distribution of specialty line products across North America, but he said that given the complex and rapidly changing nature of risk, his focus is on solutions — not just conventional products.

“Because we are a business that is deeply committed to the importance and value of specialization, which requires a deep contextual understanding of the market niches we serve, the ability to respond to existing and growing risk requires us to think beyond products and instead has a focus on offering solutions,” he said.

The impact of technology, he added, is one critical risk that needs a deeper look and a solution-oriented approach.

“The challenge with progress is that progress creates new challenges.” There’s a rapid progression of technology that is changing the way a business interfaces with its customers, Dolan explained.

“Sometimes technology acts as the catalyst for expansion and new kinds of risk will present.” &

Autumn Heisler is the digital producer and a staff writer at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.

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That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.

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Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]