In his new book, Average is Over, Ty- ler Cowan maintains that America is dividing itself into two main groups: At the top will be 10 to 15 percent
of achievers, whose self-motivation and
mastery of technology will allow them to
soar into the future. Then there will be,
well, everyone else.
Might the vocation and profession of
Valued Low-Tech Skills?
claims likewise stratify itself into tech-
savvy winners and bumbling losers,
where the keys to success exist largely in
technological fluency and literacy? This
is to say nothing of crucial soft skills in-
surance professionals, particularly those
in claims, must possess to be successful.
What is the optimal combination of soft
and high-tech skills for a workforce un-
dergoing a major transition?
Let’s begin with technology. Is it a given that a claims professional has not only
mastered MS Office but is also savvy in
using spreadsheets and conducting fruitful internet searches? Furthermore, are
skills like these really necessary, so long
as an adjuster possesses knowledge and
skills pertaining to claims-handling and
specific subject matter?
Many still see low-tech skills as pri-
How Soft Skills Complement
mary. Denis Smith, a vice president and
executive adjuster at Cunningham Lind-
sey (Vancouver, B.C.) feels that a strong
insurance knowledge of policy language,
principles and protocols is essential. The
rest are practical tools to help commute
the process to a result. He cautions that,
“without understanding doctrines of
proximate cause, proper policy inter-
pretation/application plus strong people
and communication skills, you just don’t
Michael Spence, a claims training spe-
cialist in the Buffalo, New York area says
Characteristics of Successful Claims Professionals
By Kevin Quinley, CPCU