The awards are presented to insurers for their innovation, integrity, masterful execution and outstanding leadership throughout the industry in North America and South America.
According to the CIOP, these two firms and their CEOs—Jeffrey Bowman of Crawford and Josh Fitzhugh of Union Mutual of Vermont—emerged as compelling lessons in leadership. Both leaders assumed their positions just as the financial crisis of 2008 began to break across the insurance landscape; roiling capital markets, impairing industry surplus and straining carriers and insureds alike, CIOP said.
“While many insurance organizations rightfully pride themselves as having weathered the financial crisis and recent recessionary economies, only a few firms truly emerged from this economic cauldron as significantly improved, strengthened and far more capable enterprises,” said Philip Mondanaro, a spokesperson for the Americas Insurance Awards.
Under Bowman’s leadership Crawford emerged as a particularly nimble, innovative and reinvigorated organization that enables its clients to significantly improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of the strategically essential claim fulfillment process, which CIOP attributes to Crawford’s breadth and depth of claims solutions combined with staff expertise. “While Crawford’s response and performance during the unprecedented 2011 catastrophes was simply profound if not inspiring, we became equally if not more impressed with Crawford’s remarkable quality on managing its large volume of daily claim assignments—consistently helping ensure that the very best outcome is achieved for every client,” Mondanaro said.
Under Fitzhugh’s leadership, Union Mutual of Vermont is becoming more multidimensional and integrated due to the insurer’s newly established customer councils to better capture the voice of the customer and ensure that all changes and organizational betterments pursued by Union Mutual of Vermont are customer centric in their design, development and delivery.
Union Mutual made a significant investment in technology. Through agile development methodologies, Union Mutual and its selected technology solution provider ISCS are rolling out a suite of software solutions including policy administration, claims administration and billing applications. As a result, it can redesign and upgrade the insurer’s products, forms and pricing.
“The systematic, integrated, and accelerated approach to building a truly customer centric organization combined with a revamped product suite, that is being rapidly enabled through powerful new technologies, and supported by a vibrant senior leadership team is truly a remarkable lesson in leadership,” said Mondanaro. “It is equally a lesson in courage and never allowing relatively limited capital as an excuse for not striving for and indeed achieving excellence. Some of the greatest lessons in leadership are occurring among the multitude of smaller insurance firms throughout the Americas.”
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