Posted on 20 May 09
This week we are spotlighting long-time PB.com Storefront, Program Brokerage Corporation (PBC). Founded in 1993, PBC was established to provide its expertise in niche programs to brokers and agents throughout the tri-state New York area. In 1999, PBC set up a general wholesaler division to offer all other coverages outside of its Program niches, including cover for construction, tough products, auto-driven risks and E&S classes of business. In 2001 PBC became a wholesale subsidiary of Hub International. In 2002, it began offering Environmental Liability nationally and by 2003, PBC had also expanded into Professional Liability nationwide. Headquartered in Manhattan, today PBC has nearly 100 employees throughout four locations, and writes $300 million in premium volume. Its main programs include Residential Real Estate, Restaurants and Pest Control Operators.
We spoke with Gary Shapiro, Senior Vice President, about PBC and the continued growth the company has had throughout the years. “The hallmark of our success has always been our commitment to building relationships with small- to mid-sized agents and brokers who depend on wholesalers for access to markets” says Gary. “Consistency and delivery of a strong product is key for us, regardless of the market.”
When discussing the overall economy and how PBC has weathered the general downturn most businesses are experiencing, Gary says it’s all about communication. “We have established more face time with our clients, our agents and brokers. We send out e-mail blasts weekly to our database locally in the tri-state area [and on a regular basis nationally through PB.com], providing a snapshot of our programs. We don’t want people to forget about what we offer and the value we provide in terms of our experience and expertise.”
Education is another key factor. “We help our brokers sell,” explains Gary. “We review why an insured should choose one policy over another.”
Staying positive also helps in generating confidence. “It’s very easy to let the troubling economy get you down,” says Gary. “A positive attitude speaks volumes. People want to do business with you when they know you have faith in your product, people, carriers, and service. This creates opportunities which in turn establish relationships.”
PBC’s main Program business includes: Pest Control and Landscaping, Umbrella – Residential and Commercial Buildings, Professional Liability and Environmental Liability.
“We have the broadest Pest Control policy on the market,” says Gary. “We’ve been writing this niche longer than anyone else; in fact, we wrote the first Pest Control policy.” PBC also pioneered purchasing group insurance buying.
“We are not about stripping down coverages in order to save money. We want to do the right thing by our clients, and by offering the broadest policy available at competitive rates, we are doing just that.”
Stability is also PBC’s strength. “We have been around longer than most in the areas we specialize in. There is reassurance in this,” says Gary.
PBC has staff specifically dedicated to the Professional and Environmental Liability sectors. “These individuals do nothing else but underwrite and service these programs,” says Gary. “We serve as an extension - an underwriting and risk management resource for our agents/brokers. We’ll get on the phone with potential clients and attend meetings to help a broker get an account. Our philosophy is to go above and beyond to help our distribution grow.”
PBC finds PB.com resourceful in reaching its target and writing several good lines of business. “We are happy with the results we are getting from ProgramBusiness,” says Gary. “They do a professional job.” PBC also reaches agents and brokers by advertising in insurance trade publications.
To find out more about PBC, please visit the company’s Storefront and its website at: www.programbrokerage.com. You can also contact Gary at: 516.496.1346, or email at: GShapiro@programbrokerage.com.