Articulate January 2019

HUB International Grows Expertise but Maintains Local Feel

Written By: by Tracy Wright, Photography by Steffanie Crockett and Allison Durham

Family-owned and operated, Scarborough Insurance has been committed to meeting the personal and commercial insurance needs of the Gainesville community since 1961. In May of 2017, Scarborough Insurance joined HUB International, thereby coupling their local commitment to customer service with the resources of the sixth largest insurance brokerage in the world. Today, HUB Gainesville prides itself on continuing to be a local firm but with the ability to offer a much wider range of services and market leverage to benefit its customers.

HUB’s experienced staff of brokers in Gainesville are here to help personal and business customers with all lines of insurance as well as employee benefits, risk management, benefits compliance, claims management and surety bonding. They tailor commercial insurance packages and employee benefits programs for all sizes of businesses. HUB’s staff are independent agents, so they are able to shop the insurance marketplace and negotiate terms to find the best fit for the customer. Further, since joining HUB International, they now represent an even larger number of insurance carriers and can present more options to their customers.

Brian Scarborough emceeing at the annual Tyler’s Hope event.

“As a part of HUB, our insurance carrier relationships are much larger in terms of gross premiums written. In our business, now more than ever, scale matters. As a part of HUB, we can leverage that scale in terms of underwriting and pricing decisions as well as sway with claims management,” said Brian Scarborough, Area Executive Vice President.

Scarborough can point to many examples of how the resources of HUB International has transformed their experience for their customers. Recently, a longtime customer had an unusual workers’ compensation claim. “Prior to being part of HUB, we would have been swimming upstream and relying solely on the insurance company adjuster to net a positive result,” Scarborough said. “I was able to contact our workers’ compensation specialist who, prior to joining HUB enjoyed a 20-year career as a workers’ compensation adjuster for a national carrier, and leverage his experience to reach an optimal and quick resolution to benefit the client. This cost our customer nothing additional, and I felt great being able to deliver that kind of expertise in a situation where it was sorely needed.

“The best part of joining HUB is that the customer experience hasn’t changed, but the value of what we can do for our clients has increased tenfold,” Scarborough said. “We have retained the feel of a local, family-owned business, but we have gained a team of national experts whom we can rely on to help our clients.”

Scarborough said HUB employs an entire division of experts who consult with their customers about identifying and addressing their risks and who are incredibly well-versed in regulations related to state and federal guidelines.

“Prior to HUB, I didn’t have a staff member with 20-plus years’ experience as an employment attorney to help our clients through complex employee benefits compliance issues,” he said. “I didn’t have a large claim manager whose job is solely to push through with adjusters to reach optimal results for our customers. We were very good insurance agents before, but now we’re very good agents with a slew of experts on our team to help compliment all we were already doing for our customers. That matters to our customers because their claims close faster, their coverage is better, and their cost of insurance drops in the long run.”

HUB Gainesville is now better equipped to deal with highly specialized cases of all kinds. As local clients’ businesses expand beyond our area, HUB has the resources to assist them on a global scale.

“Having a network of hundreds of offices and specialists has its privileges,” Scarborough said. “If I have a client with a unique exposure out of Florida or the U.S., odds are that we have a specialist within HUB who can help us identify the risks, and insurance products to address those risks. Prior to HUB, I’d have to scramble to try and figure out, as an example, coverage markets in Canada or what the local employment laws are in Oregon. Now I have colleagues to provide that information at my disposal.”

Despite the global network of expertise, HUB Gainesville still maintains its small-town feel and approach to clients. HUB Gainesville also remains invested in the local community and makes “HUB Gives” a part of their organizational culture, donating time, funds and passion to local charities like the Alachua County Public Schools Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County, Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure, Peaceful Paths, PALS, and Bread of the Mighty Food Bank, just to name a few. Recently, Brian Scarborough led the campaign to adopt a Half-Cent Sales Tax to improve the infrastructure of all of Alachua County public schools.

“When we were considering the merger with HUB, culture was an incredibly important component,” Scarborough said. “Knowing that they were committed to affording their employees time to volunteer and donating company funds to local causes confirmed that we were joining a company very similar to Scarborough Insurance in terms of charitable giving and community improvement.”

Another major consideration in the merger was making sure that their employees and customers would not be disrupted.

“Every employee who was with us on the day we joined HUB is still with us and, in fact, we’ve added more,” Scarborough said. “Our clients can still walk into our business, walk in the door and see the local agent they have had for years. My father and I continue to work in the business and, in fact, our company has grown at a much faster rate than we were prior to joining HUB. I can confidently say that we are better and more valuable to our customers today than we were prior to joining HUB.” 

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