Influential women in re/insurance: re/insurers and brokers
OF OF 2017
Company: Hamilton USA
Job title: Senior vice president, chief resolution officer
2015: Senior vice president, chief resolution officer,
2005: Senior vice president, global claims, AIG Property
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
What stands out is when I can take a client’s tragedy and
find a positive resolution. A specific claim that is near to my
heart concerns a stay-at-home wife who lost her husband
in an accident, leaving her with four children. There was
no life insurance and very little in savings, or benefits from
his employer. After many meetings with the wife and her
attorney, I convinced her to protect her money by using an
annuity with guaranteed life benefit so she could stay in her
house, complete college, develop a career, create a college
fund for her four children and build a retirement plan.
Many years later, she tracked me down to thank me for my
honesty. Her trust in her insurance company had enabled
her to provide for her children and helped her to learn to
manage her finances.
What has been the biggest challenge you have encountered?
Handling claims for an insurance company, particularly cases
involving injuries and death, is always challenging. However,
a greater challenge has been to change the perception that
insurers are unfair and don’t want to pay claims when we
pay many more than we decline. I work hard to humanise
insurance, where the policies are complex contracts and our
clients are often dealing with an unfamiliar process during a
stressful time. I’m on a mission to change how people view
their insurance company by leveraging technology to make
Melissa Hill holds an associate degree in advertising. She
also holds a BSc in political science, graduating cum laude.
Hill is a member of the Claims and Litigation Management
Alliance, the Association of Professional Insurance Women
and the International Association of Claims Professionals.
She volunteers for Girls on the Run, and runs the Dallas Half
Marathon on behalf of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, where
her daughter is a lifetime patient.
Her role at Hamilton USA includes improving transaction
efficiency and underwriting results by leveraging cutting-edge
analytical technology. Hill helped to set up the claims
function at Hamilton USA. She has decades of experience in
personal claims and global commercial property and casualty
claims, most recently at AIG where she was senior vice
president, global claims.
Prior to joining AIG, she was employed by Zurich North
America and Liberty Mutual in increasingly senior positions.
A recognised expert in her field, Hill is a highly sought-after
speaker, and has participated in numerous industry events.
Why did you choose to work in this industry?
After my undergraduate degree, I wanted to attend law
school. I took the entrance exams but on application realised
that by being raised by a single mother the cost was out
of our reach. I saw an insurance trainee programme. The
description mentioned helping people and learning about
civil law; so I applied, took several prerequisite tests and was
asked to join the six-month training programme at Safeco
I was instantly intrigued by the complexity of insurance
law and the interactions with people needing support with
getting their lives back to normal. The more I learned, the
more hooked I became and I knew that resolving claims was
“I’m on a mission to change how people
view their insurance company.”
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