September 2018 Member Spotlight

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 14:31
by Sandy Crayton

Richard Bailey

How long have you been in the industry?

  • I joined the industry in Columbia SC, over 35 years ago as a Claim Trainee for Aetna when they had a Property Casualty division.  I moved 7 times (Chattanooga, Cleveland, St. Louis, Portland ME, New Orleans, Seattle, Philadelphia) before landing in Richmond.

    What is your current position and employer?

  • I currently work for ESIS, the risk management, or TPA,  division, of Chubb as the regional vice president of claims.   I manage several offices in the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast for Workers Compensation claims.

     How long did it take you to obtain your CPCU?

  • When I got my CPCU in 1990, it was usually a 5 year process but I doubled up on several courses and finished it in 3 ½ years.   I had 2 small kids at the time and would lock myself in the master bath to hide from them so I could study.  There was only one curriculum for everyone and the test was handwritten in a ‘blue book’.   10 multi-part essay questions and you had to wait several months for the pass/fail grade.  

     What do you like most about your job?

  • I like the challenge of unpredictable work.  In the Claim arena, every day has a new challenge, a new type of loss, a new legal or medical issue that you’ve not run into before, regardless of how much experience you have.

     Why or how did you start in the insurance industry?

  • Like most people, Insurance was not my intended career.  When I started, there were not a lot of jobs that looked for Geography majors, so when Aetna posted a job for a trainee, investigating accidents, I thought it sounded fun.   Once I interviewed, I was hooked.  Where else could you get a job that paid you to talk to people, investigate accidents, learn about every type of business, become a negotiator, learn medical procedures, understand legal complexities and perform coverage analysis on a daily basis and get a company car too.   It was a dream come true.

     Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of getting the designation?

  • Take notes, study it, learn it.   It is the key to understanding the insurance industry, especially now when it is so specialized.   It’s been 28 years since I got my CPCU and I can still explain rate, exposures, coverages, etc, even though I’ve never been in Underwriting.   CPCU provides a broad base of knowledge, not to mention the credibility in the profession.

     What book did you read last?

  • “Thus to Innocence”, a mystery novel written by Richard Bailey (my son).   I’m a little biased, but it is a superbly written thriller that kept me up till early morning hours just to see how each chapter ended.   (available on Amazon and Kindle)

     What is your favorite restaurant?

  • There is a little BBQ place in Leesville, SC called Shealy’s.   While I’m a fan of many Richmond restaurants, Shealy’s has the best BBQ and fried chicken in the world.

     What college/university did you attend?

  • University of South Carolina.

    Tell us something about yourself outside of your insurance career.

  • I’m a fan of Halloween.  If Richmond had a ‘tacky Halloween tour’, I’d be on it.   I transform my entire yard into a haunted yard, complete with music, lights, fog, fences, iron gates, ghouls, and a variety of characters.   Local churches bring van’s full of kids to trick-or-treat at my house, and Henrico’s finest usually stop by each year for a look.   Folks that have moved out of our neighborhood bring their kids back and I’ve even had a few kids from years ago that have grown and now bring their kids.   I try to bring that kind of fun and creativity to the job as well.




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