Getting to Know: Murielle Arn
Learn more about Graebel Companies’ Risk Administrator, who was named the 2015 Claims Management Professional of the Year at CLM’s annual conference.
By Eric Gilkey
On being nominated and winning:
“I was really surprised. You always expect people from the larger carriers and the bigger TPAs to make the list, and here I’m from a privately held business outside of the claims industry and I won. When I spoke to [Executive Director] Adam Potter early at the conference, he stated it was really hard not to tell me when he saw me, but he held that secret pretty well!”
On her work as CLM’s Region Eight Co-Chair:
“I think the one thing we really have accomplished with the Greater Denver Chapter is that our events are very well attended. We understand the importance of having industry people present, so we really focus on catering to fellows’ needs in terms of content. If you focus on the industry people, the attorneys will follow.
“It’s also important to find out what works for your region. That can mean switching from one location to another or trying a breakfast instead of a lunch or dinner. We did a Survey Monkey poll of our current fellows in which we asked them about the kinds of events they are interested in, how they would like to be involved, and what times and locations they would prefer. The results were extremely useful and help keep us on target.”
On what makes great claims professional:
“I think two of the most important qualities for a claims professional are showing empathy and actively listening to your policyholders. If you are not listening, you may miss important details. It is important to understand that claimants often are stressed, they don’t know how the insurance/claims process works, and they are scared. Once you sit down and calmly explain the claims process, they usually cool down and appreciate what you are trying to do to help them. Sometimes, though, no matter what you do or say, it is simply not going to go smoothly and you have to learn not to take it personally. But most of the time, once you listen and show empathy, the process is rewarding.
“I believe Graebel’s philosophy ‘Do it right or make it right,’ can be applied to the claims process, as well. If you mess up, admit to it. Say, ‘I’m sorry. I was supposed to do that but I didn’t. Here is how I’m going to fix it.’”
On growing up as part of the family business:
“I grew up in a small village in the Alps called Château-d’Oex, where my parents owned a motel with a restaurant and a night club. As with most family businesses, I went to work there early on, first by washing dishes, then waiting tables and bartending at the night club. I learned to keep smiling even though I didn’t feel like it all the time.”