This Women in Subro blog series highlights powerhouse women in the industry while discussing leadership, management, and success in subrogation. 

In our interview with Gina Reyes, VP of Claims at Openly Insurance, we recognize that Gina personifies innovation.  Gina has helped this start-up insurance company in its rapid growth by focusing on technology, building her team, and taking on every new challenge with vigor.  Cozen and Openly share a similar approach in that when there is not already a vendor performing a needed service, or not doing it efficiently or to our high standards, we seek out the technology and tools to do it ourselves.

Gina’s role is to remove barriers for the team and help make the team’s jobs easier and more efficient.  She takes a collaborative approach by partnering with vendors, learning from peers, and talking with industry leaders.  It took 6 months to get to a place to take its first claim, and with 2 years in, Openly is still building, growing and improving.   Despite the short time and rapidly moving pieces, Openly was able to take its time in hand-picking its team members, technology, and processes.

Gina has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and international business from Oregon State.  She has worked at the large insurance companies and can attest to their strong resources, but also their weaknesses.  One weakness of a big insurance company that Openly works to avoid is the struggle with change.  Openly is smaller and focusing on simplicity, so change, even if difficult or untimely, is welcomed, sought out, and valued.  Openly has the opportunity to pivot quickly and embrace change.

She has an impressive background with 27 years in claims, including 5 in international claims for multi-line business.  She has managed claims for large regions, the country, and internationally.  When she says she likes new, big challenges, we undoubtedly believe her.  And she does it with the spirit of a former high school cheerleader- confident, bright, and positive.

Q:  How do you describe subrogation to friends and family?

A:  When someone else is responsible for the damage to our customer’s home, we want to hold them accountable, and recover the deductible for the customer.  I tell friends and family that when a pipe breaks in their house, “don’t throw that away- we need it for subro!”

Q: How have you excelled in the industry?

A: I have brought my knowledge and expertise to this company, but I have also been lifted up by a strong network of people.  This network I have built over the years has been extremely helpful.

Q: How do you use technology in your job? 

A: Technology is at the center of the company.  We built our own quoting tool.  As a start-up, Openly started from scratch, which means no bad habits, no old tech (databases, software, claim management system, estimation system, etc.).  We partner with tech start-ups that use AI which can help scan a room, take measurements, value property, estimate damage, etc.  The next step is AI that will write small estimates for repairs on the spot.  We also use corelogic tools which uses weather forensics to track and predict tornado paths, damage to areas, etc.  We are not taking the adjuster out of the mix; the adjusters have an important role in keeping the customer informed and maintaining the personal connection.  We use technology to help the adjusters do their jobs well and efficiently.

Q: What is the hardest part of your job?

A: Staying focused on the priority because there is a new challenge every day.  It is also hard to stop and celebrate what we have done.  We are constantly looking at how much further we want to go, and need to slow down to acknowledge the wins.

Q: How does Openly approach subrogation?

A: Even though we have knowledgeable and resourceful adjusters who can take on subro, we are finally big enough to partner with a subrogation vendor.  Our superstar adjusters can take that hat off and devote more time to their other duties.

Q: What is the relationship between the claims and subrogation departments at Openly?

A: We have a collaborative relationship.  We utilize the experience and expertise of our adjusters to identify claims with subrogation potential and work with our vendor on the recovery.  Subro is always looking for cost efficient and innovative ways to move cases and get recoveries, so we will be using predictive models, data tables, etc. in connection with our claims system to identify subrogation potential earlier.  We will also look to scan a product involved in a loss to search for recalls, history, etc.

Q: How do you define success?

A: A team succeeds.  We succeed together.  If I had to do it on my own, then I didn’t do it successfully.

Q: If you were not where you are today, what would you be doing?

A:  Pyrotechnics- designing firework shows.

Q: How has gender played a role in your career?

A: There are few female Senior Leaders in the industry, especially Claims.  I try to do a lot of mentoring, because I recognize that it wasn’t easy to get where I am as a woman.  It was difficult being the only female at the table, it has slowly improved over the last decade.  I enjoy spending time and helping younger women in the industry build the confidence they need to excel.  My advice to them is to be authentic and unapologetic.

Q: What is something you would like your male counterparts to know about working in the industry?

A: Be cognizant of your unconscious biases.  Be aware and accepting of strong women!

We thank Gina Reyes for this interview and for being a true firework in the industry! 

Stay tuned for the next post highlighting another prominent subro leader.

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