REVIEW: Chantal M. Roberts — Once Upon a Claim (BOOK)

Colin Jordan
3 min readMay 13, 2024

It’s rare for a specialist in a certain field to be able to shape and communicate a narrative that’s widely accessible. Sometimes they stick to the script too much, as a result a sense of intellectual exclusiveness pervading the text. Sometimes they try to overcompensate, in the process insulting the reader’s intelligence, and proving detrimental to effectively showcasing the profundity of the material. In the case of Chantal M. Roberts CPCU, AIC, RPA, there is every reason for something to horribly wrong.

While Ms. Roberts hits it out of the park, creating a witty, precise, and superbly realized work, a book of nursery rhymes to better understand insurance claims handling is a bit of a stretch. What saves the day is the fact the house style doesn’t undermine communicating key strategies and concepts from Roberts’ expertise, it helps clarify things — even if putting a bit too fine a point on them at times. Plus, the rhymes themselves are at times age-appropriate for the book’s target audience, if too appropriate! That’s what makes it fun.

Take the title for instance, Once Upon a Claim: Fairy Tales to Protect Your Ass(ets). Roberts knows the pain and potential pitfalls navigating the world of insurance, so the sardonic undertones to the humor at play add a humanistic trait to what otherwise could increase the hypothetical migraine(s) navigating this terrain.

“This book is for the insured homeowner dealing with property damage, a business owner facing liability claims, or simply someone looking to better understand the insurance industry,” she writes. “But be careful, dear readers, as there are many different insurers, each with their own policies and ways of doing things.


Just like the seven dwarfs who each has his own unique personality and quirks, seven different insurers could interject seven different opinions, rules, and methods into insurance policies and claims. Therefore, readers should be aware that the author must speak in general terms. Just as Goldilocks has to choose between three different bowls of porridge, each with their own temperature and texture, the author must provide information that is applicable to a broad range of insurance policies and claims-handling practices — neither too broad nor too narrow.”

She also states, “Please remember that while this book provides valuable insights into the world of insurance claims handling, various insurers may interpret and handle claims differently. The information provided in this book should be used as a general guide, and readers should always refer to their own policy documents and consult with their insurer or legal advisor for specific advice.”

In the spirit of this, Roberts wisely divides the book into five, topical categories. “The first section of the book discusses insurance policies in general, providing readers with a broad overview of the insurance world… The second section of the book focuses on property policies…This section delves into the details of property damage claims and how to navigate the complex world of property insurance. The third section of the book reviews liability or casualty insurance…

This section provides insights into the world of liability claims. The fourth section of the book concerns auto losses…This section covers everything from fender benders to total losses and provides readers with the knowledge needed to navigate the world of auto insurance claims…Finally, the last section of the book examines miscellaneous things that affect all claims. This section covers a variety of topics, including the claims process, fraud, and settlement negotiations.”

Colin Jordan



Colin Jordan

Graduate: McNeese State University, Avid Beekeeper, Deep Sea Diver & Fisherman, Horrible Golfer