“Using a structure ensures that money will be there for the claimant and/or their family when they need it…”
We recently had an opportunity to speak with Mitch Neuhaus, Senior VP of Claims at Safety National, about the evolution of the claims industry. Mitch’s perspectives are unique, given his 36+ years of involvement and his current leadership position at Safety National.
Chronovo: How has the claims industry changed in the past 10 years?
Neuhaus: On the WC side the obvious change is medical costs. It continues to be a challenge to reign them in. Across the board it’s data that seems to be the new currency. Everyone wants more of it for predictive modeling, benchmarking, underwriting, claims decisions, etc. It’s challenging to get the data in a useful format and then decide what to do with it.
Chronovo: If you could change one thing about how the property and casualty industry functions, what would it be?
Neuhaus: Carriers chasing premium. There’s an abundance of capacity in the market and some carriers cut rates and premium to increase or maintain their top line. This forces competing carriers to follow suit in order to preserve market share and top-line premium, which leads to unprofitable business and is not good for the industry.
Chronovo: Has a structure ever led to a success in claims that you or your company may not have had otherwise?
Neuhaus: Sure. Obtaining a large cash settlement can be like winning the lottery. We’ve all heard of lottery winners making poor choices with their money and life that ultimately lead to bankruptcy among other problems. Using a structure ensures that money will be there for the claimant and/or their family when they need it for income, medical care, attendant care, tuition among many other costs. It helps them to be a wise steward of their money. This is a win/win proposition for us and the claimant.
Chronovo: What are the most important qualities you aspire to emulate as a claims professional?
Neuhaus: Integrity and teamwork. Integrity is the rudder that guides you, without that you have no direction and without teamwork, nothing gets accomplished. I try to let integrity guide us in all decisions that we make in the department. We also get feedback from our team to see where we can make improvements. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always have the best ideas and am open to considering others’ suggestions to help us all work together better.