“Customers have pretty high expectations of us,” says Richard P. Creedon, president and CEO of Utica Mutual Insurance Co. of New Hartford, N.Y.

Executive Summary

Customers have to like a company in order to do business with it, says Richard Creedon, whose career in claims helped him appreciate the coverage language that frustrates policyholders. Now serving as CEO of Utica Mutual, Creedon focuses on the things customers see and guides employees to focus on the purpose of making customers feel secure.

As the company’s freshman leader—he completed his first year as CEO in February—those expectations have helped both him and the company become better at creating insurance products the customer wants and understands. “That’s helped us become better at insurance,” he said.

Creedon comes from a heavy claims background, having started at Utica Mutual in 1998 as assistant vice president and director of workers compensation claims. He steadily migrated his way up the claims executive ladder and was appointed president and chief operating officer in December 2013, before taking over the reins from J. Douglas Robinson, who remains chairman.

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