Daniel Montgomery has provided leadership for a team of over 200 employees that handled all non-claim handling functions for a major property and casualty insurance carrier’s North America claim department. Dan has also managed several operational and finance functions for the claims department including Third Party Administration Management, Budget and Plan process, MIS Reporting, Recovery, Special Investigation Unit, Quality Assurance, Vendor Management and Technology Optimizatio. Currently, he is the VP of Claims Operations at IAT Insurance Group.
1. In the light of your experience, what are the trends and challenges you’ve witnessed happening with respect to the Claims processing and Management space?
The insurance industry, including claims management, continue to move toward technology solutions to enhance efficiency in process and decision making. The challenge is creating an environment in which the automation that comes with technology enhancements can augment the manual processes that will continue to exist and require higher level judgement.
2. Could you talk about your approach to identifying the right partnership providers from the lot?
We search for partners that have proven insurance product expertise in the lines of business that we write at IAT Insurance Group. We are also looking for partners that have a focus on the customer experience to ensure that the changes we consider making will not only be the right fit for our environment and people but have a positive impact on our clients.
3. Could you elaborate on some interesting and impactful project/initiatives that you’re currently overseeing?
Our Claims, Underwriting, and Operations departments are undergoing a business and technology modernization initiative where I serve as the Claims business owner. As with many companies, IAT was built through acquisitions and still manages multiple inherited system environments. Moving from our legacy system to a single claims management platform will allow our organization to accelerate the transformation that started with the arrival of our Chief Claims Officer, Krista Glenn.
4. What are some of the points of discussion that go on in your leadership panel? What are the strategic points that you go by to steer the company forward?
We continue to work on the technical execution of the claims management process.
There is an emphasis on doing the small things right and placing tools in the hands of our staff to execute these activities. These tools have been delivered through improvement in our legacy system environment and through our engagement of third-party vendor support.
Be intellectually curious about the business you support
5. Can you draw an analogy between your personality traits, hobbies, and how they reflect on your leadership strategy?
I believe that my personality has a direct impact on my leadership style, particularly as it relates to managing through difficult situations. I have been told many times throughout my career that I remain calm and relaxed in the most chaotic of situations, which is a characteristic I carry in my personal life. As a musician for many years, this characteristic provides focus when performing for an audience. When applied to leadership situations, I believe that it helps maintain our team’s temperament and focus.
6. How do you see the evolution of the claims processing and Management arena a few years from now with regard to some of its potential disruptions and transformations?
Claims management will continue to move to the automation of processing activities, whether we are discussing triage through predictive modeling, straight through processing or robotic process automation. In addition, manual information gathering activities will be minimized as we consolidate multiple data sources through blockchain or predictive analytics into easily consumable decision tools. These transformations will provide an opportunity for the manual components of the claims cycle to focus on the strategy of claims resolution instead of processing activities. This creates a challenge for training claims staff to adapt to the new working environment but is consistent with the way that our society currently receives information through the application, like modern search engines, or making decisions like what to watch next on your favorite video streaming provider.
7. What would be the single piece of advice that you could impart to a fellow or aspiring professional in your field, looking to embark on a similar venture or professional journey along the lines of your service and area of expertise?
This single best advice I can give is to be intellectually curious about the business you support. You must seek knowledge beyond the walls of your desk and department to truly understand how your contributions to the organization impact others and how others’ contributions to the organization may impact your desk. This perspective has given me the opportunity to understand and manage many disciplines at one time and is a valuable tool to connect ideas and people across these disciplines.