Getting to Know: Mary Haefer

CapSpecialty's CCO of Property & Casualty is this year's Claims and Litigation Professional of the Year

May 31, 2023 Photo

The Road to Defense

Haefer first discovered insurance after taking several related classes in law school. While she enjoyed them and the professors, she decided to pursue criminal law. Fate intervened after a stint as a federal clerk, however, when she took a private practice job and ended up in the firm’s insurance defense practice. When a friend recommended an in-house position at General Casualty (now QBE), she found herself fully immersed in the world of insurance defense.

“My keys to success have been to work very hard, stay engaged, and not be afraid to speak up and ask questions.”

Haefer, who says this work ethic combined with good mentors were the keys to her success. 

Take It From Me, Kid

What advice would Haefer give to young professionals who are entering into claims and litigation today? She encourages them to be engaged not just in claims, but also in their company of choice and in the industry. She says young professionals should educate themselves on how claims and litigation fit into the big insurance picture and pursue opportunities to learn all aspects of the industry. Doing so, she says, will make them better claims professionals. 

“We were able to prove our plaintiff, a moonlighting male exotic dancer, was enjoying his life just fine post-injury.”

Haefer, recounting one of her more memorable claims involving liquor liability. She says the case taught her the importance of conducting solid investigations. 

Trends in Casualty

Haefer says she continues to see an increase in settlement and verdict values for casualty claims based on social inflation factors such as desensitization to money and safety over profits. She and her team are constantly discussing ways to proactively identify and manage claims that might give rise to inflated values—which lately, she says, seems to include all claims, even minor injuries under the right circumstances.

“I rely on many of the colleagues I’ve met through CLM for support and guidance, and I also find the educational programming to be top-notch.”

Haefer, describing what she loves most about CLM. She has been a Fellow since 2009.



About The Authors
Eric Gilkey

Eric Gilkey is vice president of content at the CLM, and serves as executive editor of CLM magazine, the flagship publication of the CLM.

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