Changing Careers – From the Classroom to Claims

Julie Kadnar

For many Great American employees, like former math teacher Hannah Braun, P&C Corporate Claims, working in insurance wasn't "in the equation" when she began her career. Learn how she went from the classroom to claims.

Describe your background and your career path in insurance.

I attended the University of Louisville and graduated with a degree in mathematics. After graduation, I taught junior high and high school mathematics at a private school in Northern Kentucky. Then, in 2016, I joined Great American in the Corporate Claims Trainee Program. People are often surprised by my somewhat unconventional background, but I believe it has been a great asset to my career so far. My education provided me with valuable critical thinking skills, and my time as a teacher taught me how to communicate and empathize with others.

What is your current role in Corporate Claims?

I am a Senior Claim Representative in the Claim Resolution Services group. As a multi-line claim professional, I handle both litigated and non-litigated claims under a variety of policy forms including Commercial General Liability, Professional Liability, Commercial Auto, Commercial Property and more. I also work with a diverse group of insureds that range from accountants to summer camps and everything in between.

How did you get interested in claims and a career in insurance?

It was not until after I graduated from college that I considered a career in insurance. I decided the traditional career options for someone with a degree in mathematics did not appeal to me. I was seeking a career with opportunities for growth that would challenge me and use both my interpersonal and critical thinking skills. I quickly realized that most insurance careers fit this description. The role of a claims professional was especially appealing to me given the emphasis it places on working with others and problem solving. I was also drawn to the Corporate Claims Trainee Program, which provides a way for individuals from a variety of backgrounds to enter the industry and receive on-the-job training while also networking and gaining perspective into how the Company operates.

What do you like most about working in insurance?

Contrary to what some may think, working in insurance is never boring. I appreciate the variety of work that insurance provides. Some days I am at my desk conducting investigations, interviewing insureds, working with legal counsel or negotiating settlements, and other days I am learning about emerging trends in cyber risk exposures.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in insurance?

My best advice to someone who is considering a career in insurance would be to go for it. The insurance industry is booming with opportunity and innovation right now. Anyone with a strong work ethic, creativity, an openness to learning, and a desire to help others can build a successful career in insurance.