Revolutionizing Subrogation Through Innovation and Partnership

“Branch was founded behind a simple idea: insurance has lost its way.”

That’s the story of Branch insurance, a company founded in 2017 with a vision to restore the original purpose of insurance ‑ to be a force for communal good. Branch now serves customers in about 37 states and is growing quickly.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, their innovative business model combines data and technology to make the insurance buying process easier and more affordable for all. They eliminate the friction and frustration of applying online for bundled home and auto insurance – a process that often takes up to an hour of time. Instead, Branch simply asks for a name and address.

Using the power of existing data, Branch can provide a quote in seconds – while still giving people the ability to customize their coverage.

“We wanted to make the Branch claims experiences equally frictionless,” said Charlie Wendland, Branch VP and Head of Claims. “When customers make a claim and pay their deductible, they want to know how quickly they can get it back. And that’s where Fleet Response comes in.”

Seeking Better Solutions for Subrogation

When Branch started up, they were building a new business from scratch. As claims began coming in, they saw the need to improve their outsourced subrogation process. Wendland began the search for an experienced, proven partner.

“Years ago, I had worked at Progressive with Roger Cervenka, now the VP of Client Services at Fleet Response.  He’s one of the most competent claims people I’ve had the pleasure to work with – so if he was involved, I knew it was a good operation. We made the decision to partner with Fleet Response and results have taken off.”

Proof is in the numbers. Wendland reports that Branch subrogation collections in the period from 2022 to 2023 increased exponentially.  “Granted, we’re a growing company and built from nothing. When we made the switch to Fleet Response, we had a giant backlog of claims for them to manage. They did a very nice job in pursuing our recoveries.”

Good Data, Great Transparency

In subrogation, data is king. One of the measures Branch tracks is “collectible vs. collected.” They send files to Fleet Response and expect them to collect money on their behalf, knowing they can’t get 100% back but expecting collections to come in at a decent clip.

“Fleet Response shares data on how quickly we’re getting paid compared to when we sent the first demand out,” says Wendland. “That subrogation cycle time is an important measure, showing you how quickly money is coming in the door. For a company our size, or really any company, that’s critically important since it impacts a company’s profitability.”

In addition to collections, Branch also relies on Fleet Response to handle arbitration, helping them to track their wins and losses. Again – they found it made all the difference to work with a company with proven expertise.  

Explaining the ‘Why’ Behind the Data

Wendland is quick to point out that good data needs good insights to go with it. “Yes, Fleet Response is great for providing data – but what they’re able to do for us is contextualize it, so it’s not just numbers. They’re very good at explaining the ‘why’ behind all the data they’re showing us.”

That’s the difference between a vendor and a partner – and why Branch considers Fleet Response an extension of their company.

“Some vendor relationships are purely transactional, but others become really invested in our success. Fleet Response is in the latter group. They care about our company. I have no problem picking up the phone and calling them with any kind of idea and they’ll find a way to make it happen. And we’ve thrown a lot at them! They’re always receptive and responsive.”

Custom Solutions – With No cookie Cutters

Branch has developed their own processes – and they want vendors who understand and work with that.

“For example, we have a very specific process for how we want arbitrations to be filed and the timeliness around that,” explains Wendland. “It was out of the norm for Fleet Response, but they put solutions into place just for us. They gave us a program custom-designed for Branch.”

Megan Aloisi is Director of Subrogation for Fleet Response and describes this customer-focused philosophy.

“Branch is an excellent example of how we grow relationships. The conversation is always ‘How else can we help? What other pain points are you’re having?’  We provide data to Branch with a fingertip click, where they can see real time subrogation results on the Fleet Response VISIBILITY portal dashboard. It’s a true partnership, where we meet regularly, share feedback, and constantly look for ways to improve their process and results.”

Constant Contact Matters

The team at Branch likes to have regular check-ins with vendors, especially being small fish in a bigger pond. Fleet Response team members meet with Branch on a monthly basis, along with quarterly and annual business reviews.

In addition, Wendland is on the Fleet Response Client Advisory Board. This roundtable generates critical feedback on larger topics driving the industry, from data and impact to driver safety and autonomous vehicles – all with a goal to meet challenges coming down the pike and highlight Fleet Response ideas and solutions.

Wendland expresses great confidence in Fleet Response and their impact on Branch. “Partnering with them has been one of the best decisions we’ve made in building our claims operation.”

Fleet Response is tackling pain points in the insurance industry – with a proven record of success in subrogation. But don’t take our word for it! Give us the opportunity to work on your subrogation claims and improve your reimbursement for losses. Learn more about Fleet Response subrogation management services.