Claims at Branch: “There’s a genuine interest in your growth”

Read more from this series:

Read Megan's story
Read Travis' story
Read Dragana's story

“You know the saying, ‘the grass isn’t always greener on the other side?’” Brad smiled, “It is.”

Brad Finkbeiner came to Branch after five years at USAA when he realized, “if I wanted any real career growth—just to be able to better myself—it was time to move on.”

He was attracted to Branch’s mission and cultural roots; particularly leaving a company like USAA with an admirable focus of its own, he was impressed to find that, “with Branch it seemed to be more upfront and built in to the hiring,” and was prioritized because, “if our employees have these values, and can portray them when they're on the call [with] the members, it makes them feel better. And that's what really drew me in.”

People over numbers

Brad sees these values now as more than just a nice-to-have benefit, but as a form of care that extends to members—”[If] you take care of your employees, your members are going to feel that, and not just feel like a number. They're going to feel, 'hey, they actually are here for me. It's not the old insurance that I'm used to.'"

Day-to-day, that people-over-numbers focus means, “you are only handling your own people, which is huge in adjuster world. All you have to worry about is your book of business,” he explained. Because of this consistency, “you develop a relationship with [your members] that is unlike any other relationship that I've developed at any of my prior jobs.”

“A lot of anxiety that would come at prior carriers is diminished here,” Brad went on, “[at Branch,] you're only going to be dealing with your people. You know their names, their birthdays. You almost become a family friend with them by the end of this experience.”

Calling the play

He noted that this sense of trust and autonomy was a core part of the difference at Branch; employees are invited to refine processes and help build the best possible company. “People coming from bigger companies, don't get to ‘call the play’,” he discussed a few of the Branch’s cultural roots, “even if it's more efficient, [at other companies], you are very structured into, ‘this is how this has to go.’... Especially with prior places, asking why can make it look like you're complaining, whereas here, it's always looked at positively as a place of curiosity, which is genuinely where the majority of that comes from.”

Finding growth in greener grass

This curiosity is something Brad cultivated earlier in his career, as he was a part of overhauling a department at USAA. What began as a hesitancy to move beyond his comfort zone, became what he now sees as a strength, in his ability to ask questions and rise to the challenge of something new. He realized, “I’m actually kind of good at this,” and wanted to continue learning and gaining responsibility.

Yet, even after training several of his managers at USAA, it was repeatedly insisted he didn’t have the experience to advance, and he began to feel like he was stuck in his role there. When he came to Branch, on the other hand, he was pleasantly surprised that “you get acknowledged for the different skill sets that you bring,” and instead of just applying for a role, he was actively supported and recommended to apply for other positions. 

“Even though you might not think you're set for a goal, the leadership looks at your experiences and says, ‘this is going to be opening up—you should apply! You have this experience that they're looking for. Go for it.’”

Brad has felt both refreshed and relieved by open conversation around, “‘where do you want to go? How can I help you get there?... We're watching out for you. We want you to grow. If you want to stay an adjuster for 20 years, that’s okay, but if you don't, how can we help you move?’”

The experience has allowed him to consistently grow, learn, and stay excited about his work. He reflected on that common expression he used to hear a lot—”’The grass isn't always greener on the other side.’ That was one thing that was repeated to us at my prior position… but it can be,” he mused.

“There’s still that mindset of waiting for the other [shoe] to drop, but then you realize it's not going to. This is what it is. There's no smoke and mirrors.” Brad came back again to that expression: “The grass can be greener on the other side. If you choose the correct company for you. With Branch, the promises they make to you, they keep.”