9/15/2017

CLM Voices: Getting to Know Deborah Saunders

See what this CLM advisory board member has to say about her own career successes.

By Taylor Smith

With 25 years of experience in insurance—19 with her current company—Saunders brings a wealth of skills to the claims table. See what this CLM advisory board member has to say about her own career successes.

When Life Gives You Soup

Saunders’ insurance career began with Travelers handling personal lines claims, but she soon switched to commercial lines where she oversaw liability and workers compensation claims. One of her clients, Campbell Soup, hired her to oversee a large inventory work-out project, but it wouldn’t last forever. A small regional cable company named Comcast came calling—not so small anymore.

On Her First Claims-Related Interview

“I really had no idea what the position entailed. But I was absolutely hooked when one of the interviewers asked me, ‘Are you nosy?’” She says curiosity is a prerequisite to success in claims.

Casualty Risks

Saunders says the largest part of her program revolves around casualty claims. It’s easy to see why—the company has 150,000 domestic employees, not to mention a significant international base. She says the company’s commercial fleet ranks in the top three in the U.S., and operations encompass media, technology, and entertainment.

On How Her Experience as a Store Manager for Retail Companies  Helped Her in Claims

“Claims is such an interesting blend of technology skills and people skills. That is why I was attracted to both retail and claims.”

Leading by Example

In addition to being a big believer in staff diversity—half of her employees have a traditional claims background; the other half come from areas like human resources—Saunders is passionate about cultivating the next generation of claims professionals. She says colleges could do more to help explain what a fascinating, rewarding, and promising career in claims offers.

On Life Outside the Office

“I am Philadelphia gal married to a Boston guy, so we have interesting sports perspectives. We just celebrated the 30th anniversary of our first date in Boston. We have three rescue animals; they are an important part of our life.”

 



Taylor Smith is a contributing editor to CLM Magazine and president of CLM Advisors, which provides consulting and talent acquisition services to the claims and litigation management industry. He may be reached at taylor.smith@clmadvisors.org, (224) 212-0134, www.clmadvisors.org.

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