Beyond the Job Description: Subrogation

Posted by Great West

Beyond the JD Subro

Meet Carolyn, a Subrogation Claims Representative with Great West Casualty Company. 


What do you do at Great West?

As a team member in our corporate subrogation department, my role is to facilitate the recovery of claims payments from an at-fault party on behalf of Great West and our policyholders. This process includes taking the appropriate steps to secure evidence, negotiate with third parties, engage outside counsel, participate in legal proceedings such as mediation or litigation, record and distribute recovery payments, and most importantly, provide our policyholders with assistance and support. My department's goal is to make Great West and our policyholders whole again while settling claims in a timely and equitable manner.


What does your day-to-day work look like?

One of the interesting aspects of my position is that no two days are alike. Our team handles claims nationwide, so each day presents a new claim file to review in a new state, a new inquiry to answer, new evidence to evaluate.


We work very closely with both our internal liability and physical damage departments who aid us in building a case and proving a claim. Because we exercise a high degree of judgment and discretion, it is often necessary for us to enter into direct negotiations with the adverse in an effort to achieve the best possible outcome. I communicate with various insureds daily on the progress of their case and answer any questions they might have about the subrogation process.  


Given Great West specializes in truck insurance, all of our policyholders are in the trucking industry. I believe it is important to acknowledge the significant role that our policyholders have played through the current COVID pandemic. During my interactions with them, I have made it a point to remind them of how appreciated they are and to thank them for their service. They deserve it!


What surprised you about this role when you first started?

Subrogation is one of the smaller departments at Great West. So, I was surprised to learn just how significant of a role subrogation plays in the financial well-being of a company. Our work directly impacts keeping the cost of insurance premiums down for our policyholders. I was also surprised to learn that employee longevity at Great West includes dozens of people who have been employed with the company for 20 plus years. We currently have a member of our subrogation team who has worked at Great West for 39 years! As the “newbie” this was both impressive and very telling to me with respect to how happy people are who work here.   


What's challenging about your job?

Unlike fine wine, the subrogation process does not improve with age. Thus, time is of the essence to successfully resolve claims. To accomplish this, our team frequently collaborates to keep each other informed of state-specific subrogation law updates and to share methods that have been most effective for a timely recovery. Working alongside such a talented and supportive team that I can communicate with provides me with the reassurance and resilience necessary to face any challenge. It’s the people that you surround yourself with every day that truly matters!


What is the best part about working here?

The best part about working at Great West is, indeed, the people, both my colleagues and customers. Each day I get to work alongside an exceptional group of insurance professionals who dynamically enhance my career development and fuel my success. We are a smart-with-heart team that genuinely values and encourages each other, both professionally and personally. The common theme in our department is our desire to help people. Nothing is more rewarding than communicating to a policyholder that we have successfully settled a claim, providing them a sense of relief during a difficult time.   


What's your favorite memory from working here?

It's hard for me to pinpoint an all-time favorite work memory as I have been pretty lucky in the colleague department. I have made lifelong friends at Great West and have shared too many laughs to count. While that experience is hard to sum up in one specific memory, my favorites have my co-workers as a common thread.


What advice would you give to someone who just joined our team?

At Great West you will be engaged, challenged, and immersed in a culture that encourages teamwork, recognizes individual achievement, and rewards excellence. Never be too humble to ask questions and take full advantage of the continuing education and career development opportunities. You will find that the talent here is not only welcoming and approachable, but also knows how to have fun! Through various celebratory, team-building, and company-hosted events, together with volunteer and committee member opportunities, I have had the pleasure of connecting with people in all different departments. This comradery has been key to significantly enhancing my insurance knowledge and ability to refine ideas. Participate in as much as you can!  


Did you ever think you'd be working in insurance?

I have a legal background that includes insurance defense, so I always knew it was a possibility. Parallel to the private practice legal sector, insurance subrogation is focused on servicing customers, defending the interests of injured parties, and the art of negotiation, each of which I enjoy, so this role has been a very gratifying fit for me. One of the best reasons to work in insurance subrogation is that you get the opportunity to help people every day. 


Great West places great emphasis on “The Difference is Service” company motto. I have found that aspect predominantly appealing. To know that I can make a positive difference in someone’s world provides me with the meaningful fulfillment I desire in a career; it is one of the many reasons I feel fortunate to work at Great West!


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This blog post was created by Megan L., Great West Casualty Company HR Communications Specialist.

© Great West Casualty Company 2021. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2021. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.

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