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Claims organizations are innovating and using technology to change business processes and outcomes. (Photo: Shutterstock) Claims organizations are innovating and using technology to change business processes and outcomes. (Photo: Shutterstock)

According to the Grammarist.com, the phrase “caught between a rock and a hard place” came about in the early 1900s in Bisbee, Ariz., where miners, who were seeking better working conditions, pushed the mine owners for improvements. The owners were totally against making any changes — leaving the miners with a very hard decision. Either work in deplorable conditions or be unemployed: a rock and a hard place.

So, what does this have to do with insurance? Over my insurance career, I have had several assignments in claims operations. A number of times, the “rock and a hard place” phrase has struck me as appropriate. I have met only a handful of claims people who lacked the fundamental desire to help people — it is usually part of the DNA of claims workers. Without it, it is an almost impossible job to do! But, despite the desire to help, many claims folks have been stuck between the rocks and hard places of regulatory constraints, inflexible legacy systems, compliance requirements, and a seemingly perpetual cycle of reduced budgets. Until now.

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