More Than a Claim for This Adjuster

By Sean M. Wood

| Photographs By Photo by Kristin Daza

Kristin Daza says she could hear the worry and sadness in the voice on the line.

The member calling had just lost her husband of more than 40 years in an auto accident. The couple had no children so she was suddenly a widow and all alone.

“I felt really bad for her,” says Daza, a work-at-home casualty claims adjuster in Tampa. “I wasn’t sure about her support system.”

The woman, whose husband was a member for more than 60 years, called Daza periodically to check on the claim. “She was lonely, and she had a hard time accepting that her husband was gone,” she says. “So we would talk, and I tried to help her through the process.”

Wearing many hats

Daza would probably tell you she was just doing her job, according to Elizabeth Gulick, vice president of claims operations.

“They wear so many hats as adjusters,” Gulick says. “They’re difference makers. The only reason the member calls them is because they’ve suffered a loss. It could be something simple or it could be the tragic loss of life.”

Gulick says a claims adjuster’s job is to investigate, evaluate, negotiate and settle the claim. But sometimes they have to put members at ease and help them cope with what they’re going through.

“It’s just a matter of picking up on the cues they give you and putting yourself in the member’s shoes,” Daza says. “You have to have the living room conversation, and you have to have a feel for this person.”


Use of the term “member” or “membership” does not convey any eligibility rights for auto and property insurance products, or legal or ownership rights in USAA. Membership eligibility and product restrictions apply and are subject to change.