Spreading the Word on the Claims College
School of Claims Management Dean Vic Marmo gives prospective students an inside look at the curriculum.
By Eric Gilkey
CLM’s Claims College opens its doors for the first time in September. CLM Fellow and Dean of the School of Claims Management Vic Marmo gives prospective students an inside look at the curriculum being offered and how the college will differ from all of the other claims events out there.
How did you get involved with the Claims College?
I have been involved from the onset. As a member of CLM’s advisory board, we discussed the scarcity of quality educational opportunities for claims professionals. When I came into the business many years ago, there was a rigid and elaborate schedule for training that included both classroom and on-the-job training. Over the years, these programs have all but disappeared, leaving the next generation of claims professionals very few avenues to increase their knowledge. With the ever-changing world of claims, this created a void that needed to be addressed. The board made several recommendations, including the Claims College. [Executive Director] Adam Potter grabbed hold of this idea and did a great job developing it. He put together the structure by creating a leadership team and, most importantly, getting buy-in from the chief claims officers of most major carriers.
What sets the School of Claims Management apart from the Claims College’s other three schools?
The School of Claims Management provides a broad view of the essential elements of the profession. It is mainly designed for multi-line claims handlers, but has appeal to the specialized handler who seeks a better understanding of general coverage principles, disposition strategy, investigation, litigation management, and case evaluation. The school fits well with the other three specialty colleges in that we focus on elements that apply to all lines of insurance.
The college opens in three months. What courses or topics are starting to fill out your school’s curriculum?
The college opens with a mock trial that will present an extremely challenging and interesting case scenario that will be used repeatedly throughout the course work. We believe that this kick-off not only will be entertaining but also touch on many of the principles that we will discuss in the course setting. There will be seven classroom sessions that follow the mock trial: coverage (2), investigations (2), evaluations, disposition strategy, and litigation management. We are encouraging active dialogue and class participation in every session.
How has your career prepared you for this role?
I have been in the claims profession for over 25 years, having held positions with a major carrier and self-insured. In my current job as senior director, global claims for Marriott International Inc., I am responsible for the quality of the claims product (we handle over 25,000 claims per year and have more than 200 claims professionals on staff). I also am responsible for the litigation management program, oversight of high cost claims, and cost-reduction initiatives. I have a passion for claims and honestly believe I am part of a great profession.
How does the Claims College differ from other events that address claims management?
Our college is taught totally by claims professionals, whereas others use a mix of lawyers, vendors, and other professionals. Our instructors have been in the same shoes as the students, so we can relate and we know what is useful and beneficial. We have no other motive than to see our profession prosper.
What do you think your “pupils” will ultimately take away from attending your school?
Our students will take away valuable “nuggets” of information along with an exposure to proven techniques and differing approaches. They can network and make contacts that can last for years to come.