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Susan Tukel: Using technology and innovative processes to provide superior customer service

LECMPA is a non-profit member-owned company that serves a critical role for approximately 31,000 workers in the United States. Its job insurance provides wage loss protection to unionized transportation workers in all crafts and industries. LECMPA is the only job insurer regulated by any insurance department. The organization was formed in 1910 and has continued its critical mission into its second century while expanding membership and benefits.

Rake Narang: Has security become a moving target for most companies? What is it that companies are most ill prepared to handle?

Susan Tukel: To a certain extent, with ongoing advances in technology, security is a moving target. There are always new threats out there, and they continue to grow over time. Yet, making sure we have strong security for the claims data we collect, evaluate and store remains of critical importance to the LECMPA and our member base. Despite our small size, the security we provide for members’ personal data is world-class – in line with the levels provided by much larger organizations.

Our secure website and member portal include multiple forms of protection. In order to combat ongoing and ever-increasing threats, we regularly add new security measures. We also perform self-audits each month and full security audits annually. In order to ensure that our workforce is aware of threats, we have been holding comprehensive security training for employees for several years. Each year, we enhance the training further.

Rake Narang: Tell us about your Global Excellence Awards win. What new or upgraded product or service has your company recently introduced to the market?

Susan Tukel: LECMPA received a Gold Award for “Customer Service Team of the Year” in recognition of our success in member service.

We launched innovative processes to drive speedy claims turnaround times that are almost unheard of in our industry. Despite our small staff size, we review the vast majority of claims within seven days after all materials arrive, and claim payments are made weekly. Our customer service team has maintained an average turnaround time of 3 days for the third consecutive year.

While we utilized technology to create leaner, faster ways to process claims and protect data, we continue to respect members’ needs for hands-on service and support. For example, when members call customer service during business hours, they always talk to a live person – either directly or with a call back within a few hours. There are no excessive on-hold wait times or delays. Over the last year, we consistently achieved zero call wait times for members during business hours.

When results allowed it, we upgraded policies for all members, and upgraded longstanding members automatically, at no extra cost. Most recently, in 2016, we improved coverage for our longstanding Group A policyholders, who present our highest underwriting risk.

Rake Narang: How do your customers benefit from your company's solutions? What advice would you give to CSOs?

Susan Tukel: Railroad and transportation workers may experience financial hardship if they are put out of service due to job discipline. Even when they are doing their jobs correctly, other crew members may not be, and discipline results. Unlike in other professions, these workers lose income immediately in any discipline situation, whether they are at fault or not. The LECMPA provides job insurance to cover income lost in these situations so workers do not have to go without pay.

Over the last several months, we’ve improved the policy choices for all members at no additional cost or, in many cases, at reduced cost – an unusual feat for insurance providers. In late 2014, we increased benefits for the 13,000 LECMPA members (roughly half our members) with “Group B” coverage. We expanded their benefits to include accidental death benefits and coverage for up to 365 discipline days. These members carried over seniority, and, in many cases, rates were lowered. In 2016, we also improved benefits for all Group A holders (who present the LECMPA’s highest underwriting risk) and gave members accidental death and more discipline days in the early years, up to 365 total days at full maturity– without raising prices.

Company: LECMPA
4000 Town Center, Suite 1250 Southfield, MI 48075 USA

Founded in: 1910
CEO: Susan Tukel
Public or Private: Private
Head Office in Country: San Francisco, United States
Products and Services: The LECMPA provides job insurance to railroad and transportation workers who suffer wage loss due to work rules that require investigation and disciplinary action even when they are not at fault. The organization offers different benefit programs to meet different needs of its members across the nation.
Company’s Goals: Railroad and transportation workers may experience financial hardship if they are put out of service due to job discipline. Even when they are doing their jobs correctly, other crew members may not be, and discipline results. Unlike the situation in other professions, they lose their income immediately – whether they are at fault or not -- in a discipline situation. LECMPA knows that going without a paycheck due to discipline can be devastating for these workers and their families. Its goal is to evaluate each claim individually and handle all claims promptly so members do not have to worry about going without a paycheck. LECMPA is their home for all job insurance needs.

Since it was founded in 1910, the LECMPA has maintained focus on “transportation workers protecting one another.” LECMPA’s sole business is indemnifying its members for wage loss due to discipline. It’s nearly impossible to work at most union transportation jobs without violating work rules at some point, which can devastate a worker and his or her family. LECMPA knows this, and evaluates each claim individually, based on our unique experience with the transportation industry. We are non-profit, member owned and focused solely on union transportation workers.

Key Words: Railroad, Transportation, Job Insurance, LECMPA

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