Claims at Branch: “This is the goldmine if you love insurance.”

Read more from this series:

Read Megan's story
Read Travis' story
Read Brad's story

“Joining in 2021, we were a team of two,” Dragana Iveljic recounted her experience as one of the foundational employees for Branch’s claims team. “In less than two years we have multiple departments… with really great talent from a bunch of other industry leaders, and all those people put together have been able to brainstorm and come up with really good ideas that really have made a big impact for us.”

When Dragana Iveljic came to Branch, she had spent a couple years in leadership roles at a more established carrier. What ultimately compelled her to make the jump was recognizing “this unique opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself, bigger than claims. I get to help build something that's going to last a really long time, and impact a lot of different people.” 

Now years into developing Branch’s claims department, Dragana reflected, “through my time here, every goal we've ever set has far exceeded my expectations.” She continued, “it's awesome to build something really special. It's really awesome to have an impact, and have a say, and be able to develop processes and do more than just your day-to-day claims stuff. But when you get to do it with the supportive group of people that we work with in claims, and the type of leadership we have at Branch, that makes it all the more special.”

Member-first. Claims-focused.

Being a leader herself, Dragana was able to speak to the how behind how Branch structures claims and what makes it different—a focus on people being one of the driving factors. “Two things that we always go back to are: How is this going to impact our members? And how is this going to impact our claims representatives?” 

Practically, this approach starts with caring well for Branch’s claims reps, which means “having the supportive resources that we need to be able to do our jobs. So we need to have the technical base—we need to be able to provide them with training and resources to do their jobs—but we also have to make sure that as a leadership team, we're managing their workload, and that they have the adequate amount of time to do all those great things that we expect of them.” 

“There's a lot of data and analysis that goes into understanding our current volume, our staffing. Even around holiday time, we're really cognizant of all of that. So we plan ahead; we're really good at thinking about forecasting, and having conversations early on,” Dragana explained the “volume dashboard” system, which is their data-based approach “to try to map out what we expect from an incoming claim standpoint, as well as historical data, and then put that up against what our expectations are for workloads.”

Exceptional service and accountability

The goal of these approaches is not simply to provide a better experience for claims reps, but to provide exceptional care to the members by extension. It’s no surprise that Dragana expressed her confidence in Branch comes largely in knowing “the level of service that we deliver to our customers is exceptional.” She elaborated, “it's not to say we don't make mistakes, but I know that when we do, each one of us picks up the phone and is accountable to those things. At every level here at Branch, we don't let those things just slide.”

Dragana included herself in that accountability principle. Especially as she's watched Branch’s claims department growth from almost day one, she was able to speak to how every member of the team has a voice and contributes to that betterment. She simply explained, adjusters “know it the best, and so for us to turn a blind eye to that [feedback] would be really silly. That helped us grow as a department in the way that we have.”

A tangible example is a claims advocacy group with a rotating group of claims professionals, “where they come together and brainstorm and tell us things that are working well, and things that are not working well. And then based on their feedback, we take action.”

Impact worth celebrating

Ultimately, this different experience of claims work and the elevation of these teams creates a unique culture compared to other carriers—one that Dragana says is a reflection of an altogether different outlook.

She explained, Branch thinks “about [claims] in a different way, where we get to live into the promise we made our customers when they bought a policy with Branch. Not only did we give them this fabulous experience, but we also made sure to protect them in the process. We had a chance to do the job that we signed up to do. Insurance isn't about selling as many policies as you can. It's about being there for people when they need you the most.”

That shifted mindset means claims celebrates their successes on a weekly basis. Great reviews, claims reps who went above and beyond—“we will celebrate literally anything and everything. And that's something that I think is really unique to our department.”

This uniqueness is one of the many aspects Dragana speaks to that made the risk of moving to Branch so worthwhile for her. “When I was coming to Branch, everyone asked me the question, ‘Well, what if it fails?’” she recounted. “And I was like, ‘Well, what if it succeeds and I get to make this impact?’” 

She surely has, and believes that opportunity is available to any hard working member of the Branch team. “This is it,” she asserted. “This is the goldmine. If you love your job in insurance, this is the place to come and really do something special.”