Two Books That Will Help Any Person In The Insurance Industry
The two books that any insurance employee should read contains serious dialogue with Drucker and lighter fare by Heller. Many times over the years, I have been asked what book that I would recommend for people working in insurance companies or TPA’s. Many employers have asked the same question.
The first book that I would recommend is for anyone working in a corporate environment. The book is recommended for many MBA curricula. Peter Drucker’s book simply called Principles Of Management is one that every new hire should read as soon as they land the job. A great article on Peter Drucker is here. There are hundreds of copies of this book on sale on Ebay on the cheap.
I have had to read the book three times in my collegiate career. Interestingly, it was like watching an old Hollywood movie again, I found different things in the book each time I read it. Even if you are not or will never be an insurance company worker, the book still applies in almost every business situation.
Apple was one of the main followers of his book. Treating employees as assets still rings true today. I recommend to at least look at the article I linked to in the second paragraph. Drucker was not kind to HR departments. You may want to prep yourself if you have HR responsibilities.
The second book is Catch-22. It is one of the most confusing books to read on the first pass. The movie was even more head-spinning. Joseph Heller is/was a master at showing how two conflicting interests can paralyze or diminish the output of an employee. Ebay once again has the book for $4.
Insurance workers seem to constantly have two differing/conflicting forces competing in their decisions. Every decision has Catch-22 involved in some way or another. All insurance carriers do push for as much production as possible. The time constraints are well known especially in the Workers Comp industry. For instance:
- Adjusters have employers, TPA/Carriers, claimants all competing for their attention. They are in a Catch-22 situation as the employer and TPA/carriers want the file settled for the lowest amount possible while the employee/claimant wants to be paid as much as possible.
- Underwriters wan to help obtain or renew the insured without giving away the farm
- Agents want to provide service for their clients while being constantly pushed for more volume
- Premium auditors are pushed to cover as many audits in the week as possible which can sometimes make a thorough review next to impossible
- Loss Control faces the same time pressures as premium auditors – having to cover many clients in a short amount of time while providing great safety recommendations
There are many other in-the-trenches insurance positions that I have not mentioned overall. The following is a synopsis of Catch-22. Does it sound familiar or am I just dangerously sane?
Catch-22 is like no other novel. It is one of the funniest books ever written, a keystone work in American literature, and even added a new term to the dictionary. At the heart of Catch-22 resides the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war.
His efforts are perfectly understandable because as he furiously scrambles, thousands of people he hasn’t even met are trying to kill him. His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions that he is committed to flying, he is trapped by the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, the hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule from which the book takes its title: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.
Catch-22 is a microcosm of the twentieth-century world as it might look to some one dangerously sane — a masterpiece of our time.
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