The Profession

Tim Liberty of Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

This claims expert says the industry is getting better at using technology and data, but it could come at the expense of customer service.
By: | September 14, 2018

R&I: What was your first job?
I worked at a sporting apparel store at the mall. The CEO was a retired Marine and would watch us through the CCTV at his home. I learned that there is always work to be done. And if not, I learned how to act busy.

R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?
After college I was desperate for work. I interviewed for an adjuster job, because I thought I would be able to drive around in a company car. Turned out it was a desk job managing workers’ comp claims. The rest is history.

Tim Liberty, senior claims consultant, Baldwin Krystyn
Sherman Partners

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?
I think the community does a good job of sharing knowledge through conferences and periodicals. No matter the issue or topic, the best practices have been shared through some avenue.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?
I think there has been more of a focus on technology and data, which is needed, but the community could do a better job at the fundamentals of customer service. One of the biggest pain points I hear from prospects is lack of communication from carriers.

R&I: How have you seen tech and data being used?
Most of the periodicals I receive have at least one or two stories around tech and data, from drones to predictive modeling and AI. Our firm has embraced the importance of data, and I have seen our capabilities grow substantially. Our clients love to be able to see their performance and trends in an easy-to-read format. The challenge for the risk management community is being able to show the info with real-time data.

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R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry since you’ve been in it?
The increase of cyber and social engineering risks. And it now seems like every auto claim becomes litigated.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?
I’m sure it has been said before, but cyber is only going to get worse in frequency and severity, and hackers are going to get more creative in breaching attempts. Everyone who has employees or clients needs coverage, but not everyone buys it.

R&I: What’s the most interesting or complex problem you’ve had to solve in your career? 

Responding to Irma last year. The majority of my experience has been in casualty, so there was a lot of learning on the fly. Working for an agency as a claims advocate, I am essentially stuck in the middle. I don’t have the authority to adjust claims and have to work with adjusters and managers to get them to make decisions that result in the best outcomes for our clients. During Irma, it seemed like everyone was interpreting policies differently, and many couldn’t give us clear answers for weeks after the storm. Our firm understands that this is a relationship business, and we have cultivated relationships over the last 12 years to where we were often successful in getting interpretations that were beneficial to our clients.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?
I was deployed to Iraq and had the opportunity to lead Marines. I am proud that my Marines made it back home.

R&I: How many emails do you get in a day and how many do you answer?
60 to 75 received. Many of these are claim alerts that require no response. I send around 15 to 20.

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?
I have a young child, so I read a lot of books. Snog the Frog is my current favorite. Prior to children, I’d say The Alchemist. Favorite movie is Jaws. Quint’s Indianapolis monologue is hard to beat.

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R&I: What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at?
I’m a pretty simple guy and like a good diner. In St. Petersburg, Metro Diner’s chicken and waffles is the meal that comes to mind. As you can see, I’m kind of a health nut.

R&I: What is your favorite drink?
One of my clients turned me on to a New Fashioned. It’s like an Old Fashioned but better. It is bourbon, amaretto, orange zest and a filthy black cherry.

R&I: What is the most unusual or interesting place you have ever visited?
When I was in Iraq, the towns we patrolled were made up of houses that were either made out of mud or had dirt floors and were pretty run down. But there was one house that had marble counters, a kitchen, a Playstation and a bidet. That was pretty weird to see.

R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?
Combat.

R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is it and why?
The parents who teach children to be critical thinkers, financially responsible, decent human beings. Much of society seems to encourage the opposite values and the parents who overcome those societal obstacles are to be commended.

R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?
I enjoy educating clients on topics they care about in a fun and engaging way. I try to incorporate puns and dad jokes into all my presentations.

R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?
They think I am in meetings all day and drink coffee.

Katie Dwyer is a freelance editor and writer based out of Philadelphia. She can be reached at [email protected]

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]