Nicole Lincoln, Director of Personal Lines Claims, started her insurance career as is typical with many insurance professionals: she fell into it. After attending Avila University, a small college in Missouri, with a basketball scholarship, Nicole wasn’t sure where her bachelor’s and master’s in business would take her. When she heard that a local rental car company was hiring, she applied thinking she’d quickly advance to management. When she found herself washing cars in a skirt and heels, she started looking for a better opportunity.
A friend told her about an insurance opportunity, and soon she was completing total loss claims on automobiles and leaving the car washing to others. She was quickly promoted to supervisor and then to the catastrophe team where she met Rod Harden and Scott LeBlanc, who later moved to Velocity Risk Underwriters to lead the claims department.
Nicole was not looking to leave the job she enjoyed, but when the claims department at Velocity began to grow, Scott knew that she was the right person to move the department forward. Nicole was hired to manage the Personal Lines claims group and create efficiencies in claims handling, reduce litigation and generate better data analytics. Nicole was able to quickly move from auto to home claims and has never looked back.
“During the second half of 2020, Nicole led the effort to move all our Personal Lines All Other Perils (AOP) claims to a new TPA,” stated Scott LeBlanc, Claims COO. “This was a huge project involving many moving parts. Nicole’s dedication, hard-work and leadership enabled us to make this transition both effectively and efficiently. With this transition, we have achieved improved file cycle time and improved expense and indemnity accuracy. She is both a great leader and team player making her a great asset to the Claims Team.”
Nicole loves the autonomy she has at Velocity, where she runs her own business segment. She has the freedom to make decisions and suggestions without the silos that are typical in most large organizations. She knows that mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth. If she sees an underwriting concern while processing a claim, she can discuss her findings directly with underwriting, offering suggestions that lead to better claims results in the future.
Kathy Sogah, Director of Operations, has observed these process improvements with the customer service team: “Nicole is a true partner to operations and the service team. With her dedication and quick communication, Nicole is always helpful in resolving an issue or bringing forward ideas to improve our service.”
Meghan Fountain, Director of Claims, agrees that Nicole leads with conviction: “She has the reputation of speaking up about hard truths and doesn’t shy from tackling tough claims issues that arise. She played an integral part in the planning and implementation of our new claims system. It’s not easy to switch systems and Nicole ran point early on, working with systems through planning and design. We avoided several pitfalls thanks to Nicole’s foresight.”
When Nicole isn’t leading big changes at Velocity, she enjoys spending time with her rescue dogs, Kovi and Piper at Lake of the Ozarks, who love riding in the boat with their mom. When Nicole joined Velocity in 2019, it was as a remote employee. She is grateful to live in the state she loves while staying connected to her team through the many advances in technology.