Companies to Watch - June 2011
Company: Policy Billing Services Inc.
President and CEO: Stuart G. Bruce
Year Founded: 2010
No. of Employees: 6
Public or Private: Private
Policy Billing Service Inc. (Policy Bill) was established in April 2010 as a response to demand from independent commercial brokers. The executives behind the start-up company surveyed brokers nationwide, and found that 90% of respondents planned to start a premium finance subsidiary, but their biggest challenge was managing it. “Policy Bill aims to take care of the ins and outs of processing premium finance contracts, while brokers can sit back and enjoy the returns,” says president and CEO, Stuart G. Bruce.
Reason to Watch
Up to now, brokers have had two choices when it comes to client payments: direct billing (handing over a client’s banking information to the insurance carrier) or agency billing (requires a brokerage to handle payment plans). Policy Bill’s services provide brokers with a third alternative, a professionally managed premium finance subsidiary. Brokers simply enter the client’s billing information into their broker management system (BMS), and within a few keystrokes are granted a one-page premium finance contract they can then send to their clients.
A new company with a brand new staff and president can bring fresh ideas to the table, according to Bruce. “We have had an incredible reception from brokers,” he says. “They are excited about our model and process.”
Bruce expects the company to experience major growth, partnering with 100 brokerages and 1,100 individual users by year-end.
The rapid success of Policy Bill drove management to look at other ventures. The company recently launched Equity Premium Finance (Equity PF), a premium finance company backed by a group of Canadian investors. Brokerages that are Policy Bill clients and are hesitant to establish their own premium finance subsidiary can set up a free account with Equity PF to “watch” their premium finance volumes. “Equity PF serves as a reference point for brokerages, and if they’re comfortable with their business growth they can then set up their own subsidiary,” says Bruce.
Attracting great people is an ongoing concern for Bruce. “We have been lucky enough to attract some of the brightest in the industry. But as we grow, finding great people that share our values will be a constant challenge and one of the most important parts of my job.”
Most recently, David Caringi joined as vice president of business development, and Raffaela Gomes took on the role of vice president operations. Caringi’s experience working with brokers coupled with Gomes’ experience working in premium finance are a recipe for success, adds Bruce.
Next up, Policy Bill tackles the online world. The company plans to launch a new module in fall 2011 that would plug into a broker’s website. Brokerages that allow customers to create a policy online can partner with Policy Bill so their customers can also create a payment plan online. The technology will automatically create a “payplan” so the broker doesn’t have to manually enter information into their BMS.
Later this year the company will also launch Policy Bill – My Portfolio. This mobile application provides brokers and their CFO’s access to live performance metrics of their premium finance subsidiary.
Policy Bill supported the Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade’s (WICC) Annual Gala Dinner in April 2011 by contributing a piece of art, “Blue Sky, White Snow” by Gary McLaughlin to the silent auction. Bruce says as the company grows, it will continue to support causes such as WICC, as well as other charities.
Headquarters: 220 King St West, Suite 200, Toronto, Ont. M5H 1K6
Telephone: 416-597-8290; 1-866-504-4771
Copyright 2011 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the June 2011 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.