Insurance Immersion: Kelton and Sarah Visit MEMIC!

June 27, 2018

On Tuesday, June 26th, Kelton and I spent our day in Portland, ME at MEMIC, “Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company.” Our host for the day was Aaron Paiton who is an Associate Underwriter for Chalmers, as well as many other agencies. Aaron was very professional from the second we shook his hand. He welcomed us with open arms and was happy to be taking us under his wing for the day to teach us about workers compensation.

We followed him up to the fifth floor where he guided us to a conference room to speak with us about underwriting. We discussed his main goal as an underwriter which is to manage his book of premium and maintain a good relationship with all agencies. He is always making sure his book of premium is profitable. During our conversation with Aaron, Kelton brought up a good question asking what people do in the situation where no one will insure them. Aaron then tells him; MEMIC is the place to call if no one else will insure you!

Following our time spent with Aaron, he brought us to meet with Julia Jordan who works in the claims department. As you can see, MEMIC is a very big building (six floors)! The employees of the claims’ floor were in the process of moving cubicles, because their claims department has recently grown in size! Julia started at MEMIC in their customer service department and has gotten many promotions landing her to where she is now. Julia walked us through their computer system and showed us what a day in her spot looks like.

It was now noon time and we found ourselves heading to The Grill Room to get some lunch with Aaron. He told us one of the most dangerous things about working at MEMIC is the lunch possibilities being endless since their office is located right in downtown Portland. We even took the roundabout way back to the office to enjoy the ocean breeze and sunshine for as long as we could J

To finish our day we spent time with Ken Farley, Premium Audit Manager, and Rod Stanley, Director of Loss Control.

Ken was the first person we met with after lunch. He asked what each of us ate and when I told him my sandwich had avocado on it we then proceeded to bond over how good guacamole is. Ken spoke to us about the five reasons why we audit with those being –

  1. To determine the correct premium
  2. Collect rate making data
  3. Meet regulatory requirements
  4. Determine and detect fraud
  5. Reinforce confidence with insureds (level playing field)

We also learned the three factors that determine payroll, the four areas of a premium audit, and how they actually do an audit. Ken was a super fun guy and I was happy to be able to spend time with him because I did not know much about auditing.

Rob gave us our final presentation of the day about loss control. He told us that if we ever are stuck on what to write, start by "Writing one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know” which is a quote he learned from Ernest Hemingway. He told us if there was one thing we took out of his presentation it was to remember that the experience modifier rating equals “d” (did) over “s” (should).

Kelton and I had a great day at the MEMIC office in Portland. We were happy to have had the privilege of spending our day with them and learn more about workers compensation. Next Tuesday, July 3rd, we will be traveling to South Portland to Job Shadow at Colonial Adjustment.

-Sarah Giggey, Summer Intern

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