This motorcycle-riding family man has loved insurance claims and litigation since college. Here, as national claims and customer service leader at Westfield Group, he offers his insights and recipe for success for those new and old to the industry.
One Crash at a Time
After being involved in a car accident that proceeded all the way to trial verdict, Bowers was convinced that claims and litigation was for him. However, when he started as a telephone adjuster with The Hartford after college, he realized that not all cases involve Perry Mason-style investigations. Years of working glass claims and deer hits, however, eventually got him to where he wanted to be.
Making Great People
“Our most successful claims people are the ones who can balance empathy with sound decision-making—and who don’t see those two items as mutually exclusive,” says Bowers
Bowers says today’s training environment is still rigorous, but it can skew academic. He says one risk of this school-oriented approach is that it’s difficult to teach the intangibles required for claims, such as handling pressure, delivering great service, and making good decisions on the fly. He supports a hybrid mix of role playing, live experience, and technical training.
“It’s no longer about issuing orders and having order-takers execute them. We have to have leaders who empower, coach, and mentor staff, as well as reward and recognize them,” says Bowers.
Career in Claims
Bowers believes a claims career is perfect for millennials and younger generations for three reasons. First, it’s a career that serves the community, makes a difference, and solves people’s problems. Second, it offers a variety of career paths with many different hats to wear. Lastly, he says it’s a fairly recession-proof industry that offers thousands of insurance and claims-related jobs.
“It’s always interesting to take your family out of familiar contexts and put them in other environments, including ones that involve driving on the other side of the road!” says Bowers, on his recent family vacation to England.