Robert Simpson’s dedication to the adjusting industry and to the individuals he works with makes him an important part of the Crawford family. Currently serving as the President of Catastrophe Services, Carrier Practice, Robert has proven to be an influential leader and will celebrate 31 years with the company this July.
During his senior year at Centre College, Robert was unsure where his economics and political science degrees would take him. He never dreamed of the insurance industry until he was introduced to a friend’s uncle and at the time Crawford’s head of Human Resources, Gerald Cox.
“We were talking on his back porch about my next steps,” he recalled, “and what started off as me trying to sell myself turned into a conversation about Crawford.”
Robert recognized the passion that Gerald had and realized that the company’s mission aligned with his own values and interests. He applied and was offered a position as an entry-level trainee adjuster. After attending a six-week training session in Atlanta he was assigned to work in Belleville, Illinois.
Since then, Robert has held many leadership roles within Crawford including adjuster in charge, supervisor manager in Kansas and Iowa and Missouri as well as a regional manager based in the Midwest. He most recently served as Senior Vice President, National Claims Operations where he was responsible for Crawford’s daily claims in the US. A leadership change led Robert to Allen, TX where he was initially asked to provide interim support and oversite. This turned into a permanent position in November 2020.
“My career with the company has positioned me well to lead in this new venture and take on the challenges thus far.”
Robert admits that like a lot of people, he couldn’t picture what a job in this industry would be. Outside of the industry, there can be a stigma with insurance companies. He has often heard how people don’t trust their insurance company to accurately take care of their needs. Robert has learned this is not true. He considers it a respectable industry to be a part of and is proud of the work that his team and Crawford produce daily. Robert is passionate about changing people’s perception of the industry and is excited to follow Gerald’s footsteps by introducing others to adjusting. Robert cultivates talent and mentors his team to become tomorrow’s leaders. He has a protective personality that extends to work life.
“Those who work with and for me are like family,” he said. “I become invested in who they are. I appreciate their talents and like to work with them to advance them to the next level of their career.”
Robert describes his leadership style as leading by example. He will not ask someone to do something that he wouldn’t do himself. He views his office like an inverted pyramid with him occupying the smallest portion. He is at the bottom supporting the rest. He is there as a resource, a mentor, and a leader that supports the rest of the organization. Robert doesn’t believe in micromanaging and surrounds himself with professionals whom he trusts. He empowers them to take their own initiative by presenting leadership opportunities and supporting their ideas. He fully trusts his team and encourages them to think creatively.
“I believe the only bad decision is the failure to make a decision.”
Robert is excited to be able to influence a program at such an early stage in Allen. Joining the catastrophe team, he admits that the restore mission can seem a bit dramatic, but now understands that it makes a lot of sense to the policyholder who is suffering a loss. It perfectly describes what Crawford does. He encourages his team to work with this mission and the policyholder as the focus. Robert knows that the individuals on his team are not just talented people, but also good people. People that can empathize, show dedication and meet a policyholder on a personal level. He takes pride in working with them daily.
“We can teach someone how to be a good adjuster,” he said. “We can’t teach someone how to be a good person. We are constantly looking to bring good people into this industry and I’m thankful to be surrounded by so many.”
Outside of work, family is Robert’s top priority. He enjoys spending time outdoors hunting and harvesting crops on a small farm in Illinois. A Kentucky native, Robert is a huge University of Kentucky basketball fan. He is incredibly grateful for his successful career with Crawford and looks forward to what the future holds. He frequently thinks back to how that conversation on a back porch led to him being where he is today. He never could have imagined it and wished that Gerald, who’s since passed, could see what he’s become.
“I’ve given 110% to this company and I don’t regret or second guess it,” he said. “This industry has proven to be very honorable; I’ve had a worthwhile career that has provided for my family, introduced me to some amazing professionals and afforded me the opportunity to make a small difference in a lot of people’s lives.”