An advocate for insurance

Cunningham Lindsey’s Jane Tutoki talks about the recent Sedgwick acquisition and why she’s proud to belong to the insurance industry

An advocate for insurance



Jane Tutoki is passionate about the insurance industry and the opportunities it can offer.

“There are so many good things going on in our industry,” she says, “and I don’t think we brag about it enough. I don’t think this industry is really making all the noise we can about what wonderful places these insurance companies and associated service companies are to work.”

The global CEO of loss adjusting and claims management giant Cunningham Lindsey, Tutoki joined the organization in 2014 from AIG, where she was global head of claims operations. Before that, she held a number of senior roles with Xchanging and Zurich Financial Services. Tutoki began her career as a trial attorney, undertaking defense work for insurance companies.

“I consider myself more of a manager than an attorney,” she says. “I started managing employees while I was still in college. So once I became a litigator and represented insurance companies, it didn’t take long until one of them asked me to come in and manage [the] staff counsel office.

“My path led me into the management of claim departments,” she continues, “but other attorneys I know have gone into underwriting, stayed in staff counsel or moved to the general counsel office. The insurance industry is an excellent place to develop skills within traditional legal careers or less traditional career paths.”

Like many insurance professionals, Tutoki believes the industry has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to self-promotion.

“We need to make more paying internships available to entice talented young students to choose insurance as a career,” she says. “We also need to share our excitement around the careers we’ve had in insurance. It’s a very challenging and lucrative career path, but I don’t think we insurance professionals have been vocal enough in sharing that with prospective employees.”

For her part, Tutoki is grateful to have been able to enjoy an insurance career that has spanned more than three decades in the claims space.

“I’m proud of it, and I would gladly tell anyone else to join me in this career,” she says. “It’s a great industry because you get to help people get back to where they need to be after bad things happen. It’s an honor to be a part of it.”

The claims experience
While the industry has seen many changes during Tutoki’s tenure, she believes the challenges in claims have remained the same, in that most claims experience issues arise from a lack of communication with insureds and a failure to appropriately explain the claims process.

“We do best when we empathize with our clients and set their expectations appropriately,” she says. “When it comes to individuals, many people have not had claims experience and need to be walked through the process in an empathetic and sympathetic manner. Although commercial customers may be more savvy when it comes to claims experience, they too need to have realistic expectations and proactive communication about the status of their claims.”

Reflecting on her time in the industry, Tutoki says there have been many highlights, but the work she’s done to help others achieve their own goals stands out above the rest. “I’m most proud when individuals I have mentored and coached over the years get promoted into executive positions in various parts of the industry,” she says.

Tutoki advises those she mentors to never stop developing their skills, including their proficiency with new technology. “You have to keep pushing those skills and looking for more opportunities to become relevant and valuable to companies,” she says.

The Sedgwick acquisition
In terms of her greatest career challenge, Tutoki cites her current role as CEO of Cunningham Lindsey and, more specifically, her experience leading the company through a financial turnaround.

“We had to transform this business and make some major changes,” she says. “I’m proud of the way my colleagues responded, and we have emerged as a stronger, more profitable company. But it was a challenge that we all managed with a vision, strategic outlook and by doing what was needed for this turnaround journey. All the teams in many different counties worked so hard to get us to this better place, where we were able to be acquired because we were in very good shape.”

That acquisition – the purchase of Cunningham Lindsey by rival global claims giant Sedgwick Claims Management Services for an undisclosed amount – was announced in December and is expected to close early this year.

“This is very exciting for Cunningham Lindsey and its customers,” Tutoki says. “We are two very complementary companies, and we are very excited to better serve our clients with our combined talent base of 21,000 colleagues across the globe.”

As for what the transaction will mean for Cunningham Lindsey’s broker partners and insureds, Tutoki says it will not only give them more scale, but also a more diverse, end-to-end product offering.

“Because Sedgwick has such a large and well established TPA business, and we have such a large footprint and very well developed loss adjusting footprint, along with some ancillary businesses, it’s a wonderful fit between the two,” she says. “There’s really very little overlap of services, so it gives us a lot of green fields and a lot more ways to service our clients in a much deeper and better way. We are excited about the next step in this journey with Sedgwick and Vericlaim to offer a truly global path to transform the way we provide our services together.”



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