We are all motivated by different factors, and when you’re a young college graduate, looking for your first job, and a recruiter tells you that the job comes with a company car, you might be interested. That’s just what happened to Jonovan Jordan, Director of Personal Lines Claims, when he started his insurance career more than 15 years ago.
Jonovan graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington as a finance major. He thought he had planned for a career in finance or banking. When he attended a career fair at the university in his senior year, he took the time to meet many recruiters. He didn’t know much about insurance, but the recruiter promised him a great training program, lucrative salary and a company car. After turning down several other job offers, Jonovan started his career as a liability claims representative, one of the most challenging positions of his career. The job was intense, included a high workload, and the cases were complex. He gained an understanding of insurance and details about the insurance contract.
Jonovan was eager to learn and grow with the company and soon moved to auto claims. He also hoped to learn a bit more about catastrophe claims. As a native Texan, Jonovan knew a bit about hurricanes. He had never experienced one firsthand but was interested in joining the catastrophe (cat) team. When Hurricane Ike hit in September 2008, Jonovan travelled to Houston where he worked catastrophe auto claims for two months. Although catastrophes are emotional for the customers and communities, Jonovan loved helping policyholders. He and the same group of cat adjustors traveled together and formed a strong bond that lasted well beyond each of the catastrophes they managed. When Jonovan promoted to catastrophe supervisor he added property knowledge to his expertise.
Jonovan loved his job and knew he could build a career at his former company, but after his boss, Scott LeBlanc, left to join Velocity Risk as EVP of Claims, he was thrilled to get a call inviting him to Nashville for an interview. He could sense the passion in everyone he met, including another former co-worker, Rod Harden, Chief Claims Officer at Velocity Risk. He loved the direction and strategy of the company and wanted to be part of building a claims organization from the ground up. As the third employee on the claims team, Jonovan has already made a huge impact, resulting in his recent promotion to director in February 2021.
“Jonovan is a selfless team player who works hard every day to make Velocity Claims perform better,” according to Scott LeBlanc, EVP of Claims. “He is an intelligent leader that constantly finds ways to get our TPAs to meet our high-performance expectations. He was instrumental in leading the effort to reduce PL claim open cycle by over 20% in 2020 compared to 2019. This directly correlates to improved customer service and improved accuracy.”
When Jonovan first joined Velocity in July 2019, he was told that he would learn more in 14 months than he learned in 14 years at his previous company. He couldn’t agree more: “Velocity is a family atmosphere. People work together; there are no silos. Collaboration and teamwork are key. I’ve added reinsurance, underwriting and product to my portfolio of insurance knowledge.”
Jonovan’s understanding of catastrophe expertise also grew when three months into his new role, Hurricane Dorian began to form in the Atlantic. Everyone at Velocity watched the category 5 storm devastate the Bahamas and prepared for the worst as predictions held that Florida would experience some of the same relentless 185 mph winds that ravaged the Bahamas. The team was ready and prepared for the worst. Thankfully, Dorian made a sharp turn north and east and dissipated quickly before doing much damage in the U.S. But the preparation demonstrated a confidence Jonovan did not expect from this small, relatively new company. He was impressed.
Rod Harden, Chief Claims Officer knows that Jonovan is a problem solver. “His natural curiosity enables him to find weak points in a process/plan and then find and implement solutions. The ability to do this very often heads off issues before they become problems. His curiosity is paired with a tenacity to do the hard work and make a big impact. These are a winning combination and why Jonovan is such a great leader and colleague.”
Jonovan epitomizes teamwork as noted by anyone who works with him. He believes his success is due to colleagues he’s known throughout his career. Nicole Lincoln, Director of Personal Lines Claims has worked with Jonovan for more than ten years. “There isn’t another person that I would want to be in the Catastrophe trenches with. He is a great leader and resource of knowledge to all of us.”
Jonovan has been married to his wife Natalie for ten years with two sons, Kason and Kalon. His family and faith are very important to him, and he enjoys watching and playing sports with his boys, especially hunting and fishing.