CLM Voices: Getting to Know Carol Rehnberg
Fate put Rehnberg in risk management after a career working in claims.
By Eric Gilkey
Fate put Rehnberg in risk management after a career working in claims. See how her eye for detail led to a rewarding profession in which she isn’t afraid to try new approaches to solve lingering problems as risk analyst for Thurston County in Washington.
Struggling to use her art and graphic design degree after finishing college, Rehnberg dropped her resume off at the Farmers Insurance building in Simi Valley, California. A few weeks later, they hired her to handle workers compensation and liability claims, a career and company she would stay with for almost 20 years before eventually moving to Santa Barbara County’s risk department. Recently, she began working for Thurston County in Washington.
“If you know how an incident occurred, then you can turn that around and look forward by asking, ‘How could this have been prevented or mitigated in some way?’”
Up at Night
Rehnberg is keeping her eye on three emerging trends in risk management. First are cyber risks and data breach concerns. Second, she says fears over active shooter situations means putting plans into place to ensure employees know how to respond and stay safe. Lastly, she says the shift in the public perception and attitude about law enforcement is something she is much more mindful of.
“I always take pride in making sure claimants are put back to as close as possible to their pre-accident conditions. There is nothing like the feeling of helping somebody out of a bad situation.”
Wheat and Chaff
Rehnberg says one thing about public entity work is that just about anything can generate a liability claim, including things like trip and falls, road design, land-use issues, personnel issues, and even public health issues. She says many claimants are simply looking for some kind of recourse, so a big part of her job is separating claims that have merit from those that don’t.
Solving Problems with New Ideas
“I enjoy running but suffered injuries from it. When I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, though, it convinced me to try running barefoot. It eliminated my knee and hip pain, so I’m a believer!”