Companies to Watch - January 2012
Company: ProFormance Group Inc.
CEO: Tammie Norn
Year Founded: 2008
# of employees: 28
Public or Private: Private
After 17 years in the insurance industry, specializing in accident benefit and bodily injury claims, Tammie Norn saw an opportunity to create a company to meet a niche in the market. Changes to Ontario’s Insurance Act meant there were a flood of AB claims, and insurers were overwhelmed.
“There was a real void in Ontario for accident benefit claims services,” says Norn, CEO of ProFormance Group Inc. “And there was no company that just specialized in AB. I started ProFormance Adjusting Solutions to handle accident benefit files, bodily injury investigations, and mediations for insurers that didn’t have the capacity to handle the claims internally.”
Reason to Watch
The company has expanded rapidly within three years. The demand for specialized adjusting services was initially so great that Norn found herself turning clients away. Within just 24 months, she went from being an independent to overseeing a team of 20 specialized adjusters.
“For those small-to-mid-size brokers without their own internal claims departments, we can offer that service so they can compete on a level playing field with any other broker in the country, or even internationally.”
In August 2011, ProFormance Group expanded to include a division called ProFormance Specialty Claims, offering broker clients the ability to outsource claims adjusting in commercial auto, casualty, E&O and D&O. Headed by John Seyler, the division uses an innovative business model.
“We have relationships across Canada with long-established companies, regional adjusting firms that have developed a local niche of business,” explains Seyler, president of ProFormance Specialty Claims. “Some of the clients we appeal to have exposures in various geographic areas, but we thought, ‘Do we need bricks and mortar in Vancouver? No.’”
Instead, using the firm’s networks through the Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association (CIAA), the division is able to subcontract claims’ services to a number of independent adjusters across the country.
“They work for their own firms,” says Seyler. “Our job is to make sure their quality and skill set is going to meet the expectations of our clients.”
Norn says the business side of the business has always been the biggest challenge.
“In the initial stages, there were times I was pulling my hair out,” laughs Norn. “It was the little things. The claims were the claims and the clients were the clients. The work part was the easy part. The challenge was setting up the office, couriers, the telephones, all the things you take for granted when you work for someone else.”
Within a few months, Norn hired an experienced office manager to handle the day-to-day operations. After some hurdles finding the right staff, Norn believes she has a solid team of specialists in place.
ProFormance Specialty has recently launched a broker advocacy program, which allows clients to track loss data and provides them with a claims’ management system they can use as their own.
“Often times the information fed to the broker by an existing third party administrator may be inaccurate or incomplete in regards to the frequency or severity of the claims or losses that have been reported,” says Norn. “We stand by our promise that brokers will have accurate and consistent data, so they always know where they’re at in regards to their claims. This, in turn, will allow them to provide better customer service because they’re not going to be surprised when it comes time for renewal.”
The firm’s official corporate charity is the Jennifer Ashley Children’s Charity. ProFormance also supports the Women’s Insurance Cancer Crusade, Relay for Life, The Starlight Children’s Foundation, and Movember. In December, the team was actively involved in radio station Q107’s 13 Days of Christmas, which raised money for the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness.
1101 Kingston Road, Suite 280, Pickering, ON L1V 1B5
Toll Free: 877-539-3111
2 Robert Speck Parkway, Suite 750, Mississauga, ON L4Z 1H8
Copyright 2012 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the January 2012 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.