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Getting to Know: Derrick Mullen

Spending 26 years in claims at the same company gives Seneca's Vice President, Home Office Claims a unique perspective on risk, career advancement, and managing a team

September 20, 2022 Photo

Sports to the rescue

Like many in the insurance business, Mullen found the claims industry by fate. Stressed out after graduating college with a masters degree in computer engineering but unable to land a job, Mullen was perusing the sports section of the New York Post when he saw an ad looking for inside claims reps from The Hartford. What began as a temporary pitstop turned into a career he never knew he wanted.                                                          

“I personally think that if your staff believes in you, they will do everything in their power not to let you down.”

Mullen, explaining how great managers should be able to both delegate and roll up their sleeves when needed.          

Lifelong Learning

Mullen cites his love of learning and hunger for knowledge as a reason for his success. He says he sought out books and self-study courses early on in his career, which led to promotions from his bosses, who recognized his talent. This month, Mullen will earn his Certified Claims Professional designation in the School of Casualty at CLM’s Claims College.

“Without a doubt the world is definitely more risky.”

Mullen, citing climate change, social inflation, high cost of living, political climate, and the pandemic as factors impacting the everyday lives of people.

Offering Advice

What is Mullen’s advice to younger generations? Have pride in what you are doing, go the extra mile, and pay your dues. He says young claims professionals should get an idea how other insurance departments work, such as underwriting, actuarial, marketing, support, accounting, and IT, so they understand how one department’s actions can affect the entire company.

“Being able to anticipate and counter can be a thing of beauty if you are prepared.”

Mullen, who says watching game film of his opponents during his years playing college basketball prepped him to do similar research against opposing plaintiffs’ attorneys.

About The Authors
Eric Gilkey

Eric Gilkey is vice president of content at the CLM, and serves as executive editor of CLM magazine, the flagship publication of the CLM.  eric.gilkey@theclm.org

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