ESIS’ Senior Vice President Todd DeStefano leads ESIS Specialty, a boutique division of ESIS that provides industry-leading claim administration and risk management solutions for professional liability, general liability, product liability, property, auto, A&H, and other complex specialty claims. Here are his thoughts about his role at ESIS and ESIS Specialty’s forward-looking and flexible approach to claims management.
How did you get your start in the insurance industry?
During my sophomore year of college, I was a summer intern at the Bergen County Superior Court and assigned to manage the mandatory auto arbitration schedule. While there I met many claim adjusters and one of them had approached me about a job opportunity as an outside field adjuster. Like many recent college graduates starting in the insurance industry back in the late 1980s, I was initially drawn to the job because I got a free company car – I was still driving my 1976 Ford Pinto at the time! I began in the industry as an outside multi-line field adjuster, and throughout my career I have moved to a number of different positions with different insurance companies and TPAs, including underwriting, account management, sales, audit, and corporate development
What separates good specialty claims management from great specialty claims management?
First and foremost, expertise. At ESIS Specialty, we don’t strive to be everything to everyone, just the best to those we serve. We’ve built dedicated teams and centers of excellence with deep expertise in specific lines of business – including medical malpractice, property, A&H, EPL, D&O, and other complex specialty lines. This expertise means our professionals act with autonomy, make decisions swiftly, and are truly trusted advisors, which is what clients are looking for in a TPA.
In addition, while many of the claims we manage are complex, keeping things simple is critical. I always tell my team: follow best practices, overcommunicate, and deliver a great customer experience. Working with that philosophy elevates good claims management to great.
How is ESIS Specialty preparing for the future?
We are always moving forward, challenging the status quo, and identifying areas where we can improve both our operations and our clients’ outcomes. That means leveraging advancing technology to infuse efficiencies into our processes and incorporate data-driven insights into our claims decision-making. We are also continually developing new products and services to address the mounting claims and evolving exposures of our clients.
What brings you the most satisfaction in your job?
Developing talent. ESIS provides excellent opportunities for professional development and it’s incredibly fulfilling to serve in a mentorship role as my colleagues grow in their careers. It’s important that we take good care of our people, show appreciation for their work, and give them opportunities to succeed. If we take care of our people, they take care of our customers.
What is one of the coolest projects you’ve worked on?
Late last year we were selected as the claim administrator for one of the largest mini-storage tenant programs in the United States. Our proposal for this job included the creation of a digital reporting platform that our customer could use instead of reporting claims through a traditional call center. Over the course of several months, working collaboratively with our client on content and design, we built a dedicated client website that offered online claim reporting and document upload. This website has made the filing and payment of claims more effective and more efficient and has shortened historical claim durations significantly while improving the customer experience.
Even better, the technology offers several benefits for our claims team as well. Policy and coverage information is auto-populated into the claim system to quickly verify eligibility and all of the reported claims are routed directly to the claim examiner, which allows them to contact the customer within hours of receiving the loss. We’re so proud to have built a better mousetrap for both our customers and our claims team during this process!
Years in the industry: 30+
Years with ESIS: 6
Hometown: Glen Rock, N.J.
What you don’t leave the house without: My cell phone.
Best advice you ever got: Be the best you can be, be humble and kind, and care about other people.
What you would tell younger employees entering the insurance industry: Insurance is a great career if you are looking for every day to be different.
“At ESIS Specialty, we manage claims, not process them. Everything we do is focused on driving down our clients’ cost of risk and creating greater value.”
ESIS®, Inc., a Chubb company, provides claim and risk management services to a wide variety of commercial clients. ESIS’ innovative best-in-class approach to program design, integration, and achievement of results aligns with the needs and expectations of our clients’ unique risk management needs. With more than 65 years of experience, and offerings in both the U.S. and globally, ESIS provides one of the industry’s broadest selections of risk management solutions covering both pre- and post-loss services. For more information, visit us at www.esis.com and www.chubb.com.