Raise the Roof
A preview of Claims College’s School of Construction
By Eric Gilkey
CLM’s Claims College kicks off another year of education beginning on Sept. 5, 2018, in Baltimore. With 10 schools across a myriad of business lines and education areas—seven of which require three years of attendance in order to earn the Certified Claims Professional (CCP) designation—Claims College is bigger and better than ever. We spoke with Dean Rose Hoyle, construction risk engineer for XL Catlin, to find out what students can expect from this year’s School of Construction curriculum.
You’ve been involved with the School of Construction for several years. How has your participation evolved?
I started teaching at Claims College in 2014 with a course named “On-Site Scheduling and Integration of Trades.” We modified the class in 2015 to “Managing the Construction Project From the Ground Up,” then I was asked to serve on the executive council for the school after that. Beginning in 2017, I took on co-dean duties with Steve Lokus, western regional vice president, casualty claims, for Navigators.
Do you still teach?
Yes, I teach one two-part course called, “Construction Defect From the Ground Up.” In the first part, we discuss how to build a structure from the ground up—starting with digging a hole in the ground and proceeding through the superstructure; mechanical, electrical and plumbing trades; building envelope; and then the finish trades. It’s a little bit like “Construction 101,” in that it’s designed to provide construction insurance professionals with the basics of how buildings are actually built in the field.
The second part is somewhat of a slideshow of construction bloopers. It provides some comedic relief while presenting some construction defects that can occur when things are built incorrectly.
For a student, what’s the difference between going to Claims College versus a typical construction-related conference?
When students register and show up for the first day of classes for Claims College, we stress to them that this is an accreditation program and it’s meant to be challenging. They have required courses on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and then a final written exam on Saturday for levels one and two. For level three, students must pass an oral exam in order to earn the CCP designation. There is a panel of instructors who present a case study, then the students must answer questions and explain how they would handle the case, just as if they were presenting to someone authoritative in their organization to obtain approval to settle the claim.
Tell us more about the curriculum.
Level one is intended to provide the fundamentals; level two drills down into some of the nuances and details of construction claims management; and level three adds in other skills such as negotiation, complex decision making, and presentation skills. In order to pass level three, the student must master the prior courses and apply this knowledge to the case study in order to get their claim settlement approved in the final oral exam.
What do you hope students will take away from their School of Construction experience?
I hope they will develop a greater understanding of their profession and gain confidence in their capabilities. So many students are afraid to ask a question like “What’s the difference between drywall and gypsum board?” because they are afraid to appear as though they don’t understand the subject matter of their claims business. Accreditations are great for increasing people’s competence in their field so they can move to the next level of their careers and, ultimately, be a bigger contributor to the insurance industry.