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2010 Best Insurance Broker: Vantreo Insurance Brokerage

Author: Beth Galleto
May, 2010 Issue

Surprisingly, Santa Rosa-based Vantreo Insurance Brokerage’s primary objective is not to sell the most insurance, according to Lynne Wallace, president and a principal in the firm. “I think the goal is always to provide solutions. Insurance is a part, but it’s not the whole answer. We’ve set up a system that provides unique, creative and powerful solutions for both individuals and organizations,” she says.

When Wallace and Tim Chanter purchased a majority of the Matsen Insurance Brokers book of business in 2007, they gave it a name that expressed their vision. It starts with “van,” referring to the advantage of working with those in the “vanguard.” The “treo” refers to the critical relationship between the three players in any insurance experience: the insurance company, the broker and the client. Their method of operation is to work as a team for the benefit of all three.

One of Vantreo’s successful processes is the risk audit—a process of uncovering unidentified risk and providing critical but often unanticipated solutions. It addresses company culture as well as risk exposures and compliance issues. Wallace says, “For every culture, we look for the ‘WIN’—‘what is normal’—for that organization. Then we begin to ask questions. Is the WIN what they want or just how things have always been done?” The examination includes compliance and all insurance lines and can be done at any time, not just when it’s time to renew a policy.

She gives the example of two restaurants. One never has a workers’ compensation claim; the other has one after another. Both restaurants want to reduce costs, but the approach to accomplish this will be very different. The risk audit process addresses this. “Many times, we’ve been able to save businesses well into five or six figures,” Wallace says.

Part of the vision is specialization in particular industries: construction, real estate, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, agriculture (including wineries) and professional services. The firm has been endorsed by several industry trade associations for offering members exclusive products and services.

They’ve assembled the best insurers to deal with these risks. “As a large regional insurance brokerage, we have effective working relationships with numerous outstanding insurance carriers. Therefore, we’re able to provide our clients with insurance solutions that may or may not involve multiple carriers, but that we know are in their best interests,” says Tim Chanter, Vantreo’s executive vice president and a principal in the firm. The result is a collection of companies that are uniquely qualified to insure each industry.

Vantreo can also provide a business owner with insurance solutions related to property, casualty, general and professional liability, workers’ compensation, employee benefits, auto and homeowners, life insurance, annuities and long-term care. CompZone is a proprietary system designed to lower workers’ comp premiums and keep them low by resolving open claims, uncovering errors and overcharges, and helping businesses align their people and achieve set goals.

Another part of Vantreo’s vision is shared information and education. A unique, value-added service is its website, which gives clients access to the staff and all their personal insurance information 24/7. Vantreo also offers workshops and training to clients, designed to help them improve their corporate culture and create risk-free environments. The Learning Center, located inside Vantreo’s office, will accommodate 35 people and has state-of-the-art communications systems. The room is used not only by Vantreo, but is also available to clients and can be used by company advisers for their own client and staff meetings.

“We want to help them run their business successfully. We’re more effective because we want them to succeed,” says Chanter. It’s all part of the Vantreo vision.



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