Grieving the loss of a loved one is tremendously stressful. The process of filing a life insurance claim only adds another burden to an already difficult time. That’s why Avis Pridgen, a claims adjuster in Lincoln’s Life Operations team in Greensboro, strives to make the process as painless as possible by injecting a personal touch and providing beneficiaries the service they deserve.
An employee in Lincoln’s Claims department for the past 14 years, Pridgen takes pride in treating each beneficiary with respect and helping move things along, so they can devote their time to family matters. Her goal is to deliver the same compassionate assistance she would want someone to provide her own mother, if she were in that situation.
“If it was my mom, I’d want somebody to help her, so she can get it right the first time,” says Pridgen. “These are mostly elderly people and they’re already going through a death situation and we don’t want to add to it by going back and forth asking for additional information.”
A Simple Act of Kindness
While Pridgen recognizes the role of automation in fast-tracking claims, she also understands the value of picking up the phone and making a call, particularly when there is confusion over what documentation is being requested. Earlier this year, she found herself reviewing the file of an elderly woman who had contacted Lincoln’s claims department numerous times following the death of her husband. Reading through the notes of the customer service representatives who had taken her calls, Pridgen could see the woman was growing frustrated.
“I said, ‘I’m just going to call her,’” says Pridgen. “It was something so simple, so basic, but she thought I’d given her the world just by calling and letting her know what was needed.”
The woman was so impressed by Pridgen’s kindness and professionalism, she took the time to send a note to her and her boss, singing her praise. “Your company should recognize how much it means to bereaved people to have an employee like yourself who takes the time to be understanding and helpful,” the woman wrote. Humble to the core, Pridgen speaks fondly of the “sweet lady,” but shies away from the suggestion that she went above and beyond.
“I don’t think I’ve done anything that somebody wouldn’t do for me,” she says. “I’m just doing my job.”
Adjusting to the Times
These past few months, doing her job has looked quite different for Pridgen, since Lincoln’s work-from-home mandate has been in place. Although she’d been offered the opportunity to work remotely in the past, she always declined, preferring to go to the office instead. While she hopes to return to the office when it’s safe to do so, Pridgen feels she has transitioned well to remote work, in large part thanks to Lincoln ensuring she has the necessary equipment to perform her job. She acknowledges that separating work from home can be difficult when they are one and the same. Each day after completing her work duties, Pridgen drives to the local park where she takes her daily walk, effectively beginning her personal time.
With so many people out of work, Pridgen is grateful to still have a job during the pandemic – and thankful to be working for Lincoln. She appreciates Lincoln’s dedication to ensuring employees have a voice and a safe environment in which to do their job, along with its commitment to the communities in which it operates.
“Lincoln shows up. It’s not just during the pandemic or this time of social injustice. Lincoln has always been there,” Pridgen says. “When you have a company that supports not only its employees, but the community as well, it gives you a sense of pride. I love working for Lincoln. I’m proud to be a Lincoln employee.”