Hiawatha Franks

As Director of Small Commercial Programs at The Hartford in Lake Mary, Florida, Hiawatha Franks is regularly working to refine the claim service experience for Small Commercial Program clients. He has held this position since April 2013 when he was promoted from Claims Director, Workers’ Compensation in the same office. In that role he was responsible for managing support unit and six teams of workers’ compensation claim handlers. Prior to his Claims Director role in the same claim center, he worked in the role of a Claims Manager, responsible for managing four teams of claim handlers and nurse case managers.

In his current role with The Hartford, Hiawatha Franks continues to build on nearly two decades of experience in the insurance industry. He got his start in the industry in 1993 when he joined Texas Mutual Insurance Company as a Claims Adjuster and Proceedings Analyst. Five years later, he transitioned to the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) as Workers' Compensation Claims Manager. He was promoted to TASB’s Claims Director in 2000 and spent the next five years overseeing a staff of approximately 50 claims professionals and six direct reports. In this role, he was responsible for more than 6,500 workers' compensation claims. He also managed claims under the third-party administration, loss-sensitive/large-deductible, and guaranteed cost coverage provisions.

Hiawatha Franks had many key accomplishments with TASB, including a track record of consistently closing accounts through claims sales during finalist presentations. He also revised departmental best practices, attaining a 20% increase in net recoveries by restructuring the subrogation protocol, and implemented a fraud prevention and awareness program.

In 2005, Hiawatha Franks joined The Hartford's Houston office, where he served as a Claim Manager until 2007. He managed three units of workers compensation claim handlers, as well as two hearing representatives. He was directly accountable for the operational results of his teams and shared responsibility for the performance of a claim center with more than 100 employees. During these two years, he aggressively addressed performance issues and significantly expanded a claims unit that handled accounts with over $400K in premium. He also played an important role on a nationwide team tasked with restructuring the workers' compensation claims business model.

Hiawatha Franks earned his Bache