September 15, 2021

From the D.A.'s Office to Arch Insurance – Fighting for Justice Through and Through

Arch Communications

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Meet Gia Guzman

I can’t lie — when I was an Assistant District Attorney prosecuting sensitive cases, a career in insurance wasn’t exactly top of mind. I had returned to my home borough to be a part of the fight for victim justice in the Bronx [district attorney’s] DA’s office.  As part of the Domestic Violence and Sex Crimes Bureau, my job was to protect our most vulnerable members of society.

“Stay in the fight, don’t be afraid to delegate and don’t get discouraged. You have what it takes to make a change.”

One look in my baby book would explain why; page after page of my two-year-old self smiling at one protest rally or another. “It’s in our blood,” my dad would say. He was, and is, an activist — always out fighting for a cause, from organizing rent strikes in the Bronx to assisting those defending their basic civil rights. I grew up around community minded people who spent their days trying to make the neighborhood, and the world, a better place. That notion was ingrained in me.

The DA’s office provided a lot of satisfaction with days spent protecting victims and getting offenders off the street and into treatment. But at night, I’d be kept awake by the face of some predator who lied on the stand and walked free, without remorse. Those are the nights I’d get out of bed at 2 a.m. thinking about how I can fit time into my day connecting the victims and survivors to health services, housing and shelters — whatever I could do. It wasn’t justice, but it was something.

But the daily fight takes its toll. When it started making me cynical about humanity, I knew it was time to fight in another arena. A friend told me about an opening at her insurance company. You mean those people who stare at actuarial tables all day? No way, I said. Go on the interview, she said, you’ll be surprised. I did go. I was surprised.

At Arch I found like-minded professionals in the business of making people whole after a loss. There was justice in that. I joined the claims team with a lot to learn, but soon found every facet of my legal training being put to use. I gauged exposures and recommended ways to resolve a claim. I helped assemble the best legal defense for our insureds. I got to weigh in on fair compensation. The result? Tough situations got resolved and people found closure.

As I got better at my job, I got promoted. I also started having a life. Marriage followed. Kids followed — two boys. I was busier than ever but happy. At Arch, folks worked hard but always with an eye toward balancing professional success with personal growth. The company urges all employees to take their talents and put them to work in a meaningful way. When asked to join the Arch Survey Solutions Committee I jumped at the chance.

Survey Solutions is a group tasked with finding what employees need most at work. Our first assignment was to draft a flexible work agreement which created a way Arch personnel could request time to work from home. As part of Arch’s Women’s Path to Progress, we focused on gender diversity initiatives such as better networking and mentoring — something I’m particularly passionate about. I’m truly excited about Arch’s refreshed diversity and inclusion initiatives and have been active in the Black Professionals and Allies Network.

It’s a group effort and I love working with colleagues to make our workplace better and more diverse. I tell young people fresh out of college, none of this is easy — there is no such thing as perfect balance. If I’m working late, which is rare, my kids may not see me that night. But stay in the fight, don’t be afraid to delegate and don’t get discouraged. You have what it takes to make a change. Tomorrow? I try not to think about it. I might run for office. I might be running to a cub scout meeting. You never know what the next day is going to bring. Just bring your best — it all has a way of working out.

Gia C. Guzman

VP, Claims Administration
Arch Insurance | Jersey City, N.J.

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Professional Bio

Gia Cavellini Guzman is the Vice President of Claims Shared Services at Arch Insurance, a position she has held since September 2019. She oversees several groups, including the Operations/Intake/Customer Service team, the Direct Resolution Claims team, Claims Finance/Payments and the Claims Administrators team. Previously, she held the positions of Assistant Vice President in Claims Shared Services and Senior Claims Examiner. Gia joined Arch Insurance in April 2014. Prior to joining Arch, she held positions at Liberty International Underwriters and AIG. Prior to her insurance career, Gia served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Bronx District Attorney’s office. She has a J.D. from Pace University and a B.A. from the State University of New York College at Cortland.

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