22 Feb Clients to Reap Rewards: Fleet Response’s New Partnership with Paragon Subrogation
When insurance carriers outsource subrogation, they want a vendor capable of efficiently sharing claim files and getting dollars back – as quickly as possible.
But achieving success in the subrogation business is not easy. Sometimes it takes more than a hardline dollars and cents approach. Sometimes – it takes a family.
THE PARAGON FORMULA TO SUCCESS
Paragon Subrogation Services has earned a valuable reputation as subrogation and arbitration leaders in the carrier-to-carrier insurance world. The family-owned business in Chatsworth, California was founded in 1995 by President and CEO Ani Naccachian and her husband, Vice President and CFO Ray Naccachian. Paragon provides multi-line subrogation and arbitration outsourcing services to self-insured entities and insurance carriers.
Ani began her career in a high school internship with an insurance carrier, attended college and then worked in the industry for 15 years learning the subrogation business. Together with her husband Ray, they saw an opportunity to improve on the process and start their own company.
Paragon has achieved great success in a challenging niche industry. They’ve done it by nurturing key client relationships, keeping loyal employees, developing expertise in the subrogation process, being passionate about customer service, and creating a culture that embraces clients and about 70 employees as part of the family.
A PERFECT MATCH
Paragon’s excellence has not gone unnoticed in their industry. As Ani and Ray began to approach retirement age and seek a suitable buyer, they caught the attention of Fleet Response, a specialized third-party administrator managing auto physical damage claims for self-insured entities, including many Fortune 500 companies.
Like Paragon, Fleet Response is a family-owned business. It was founded in 1986 by Ron Mawaka, Sr. in Cleveland, Ohio, as Rental Concepts Inc. and now run by his son, Scott Mawaka, the president, and CEO. The company focuses on providing value to customers, and operates on the founding principles of innovation, professionalism, accountability, and effectiveness.
After a “courtship process” of getting to know one another, it became clear this was a perfect match. The two businesses made it official on December 4th, 2021, announcing that Fleet Response had acquired Paragon.
THE GROWING ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN SUBROGATION
Many subrogation specialists like Paragon are homegrown startups, but as technology developed rapidly in the past decade, greater sophistication in IT operations and data management have become more critical to a vendor’s ability to recover claim dollars.
“Fleet Response has invested heavily in IT,” says Jeff Fender, the company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Sometimes I joke that we are an IT company that manages claims on the side. We provide our customers with cutting edge technology and reporting, with unprecedented access to claim activity and data.”
Combine Fleet Response technology with Paragon’s industry relationships and expertise in subrogation and arbitration – and you create a powerhouse team.
“Fleet Response has best in class technology with real time reporting and robust data security,” Jeff explains. “And both of our companies have really strong customer service. So, the partnership with Paragon brings some amazing benefits to the customer.”
But he says Fleet Response is firm about protecting and continuing what has made Paragon so successful. “We acquired Paragon, but we are not changing who they are or what they do. We are keeping the Paragon name and their people and processes – we are simply making them even better in a partnership that benefits the end-users.”
VISIBILITY: THE FLEET RESPONSE EDGE
In the subrogation process, Fleet Response provides an extra level of data security, along with direct client access throughout the claims process with their online VISIBILITY tool – including up-to-date key performance indicators.
Fleet Response’s expertise and depth in technology attracted the Paragon owners. “A couple of our clients are already excited about this,” says Ray. “We knew what our weaknesses were and realized Fleet Response fills in all those holes. Number one is their technology used to advance a claim and keep in touch with the clients. There’s also a big increase in data security and the scale of information exchange.”
Client engagement will also be strengthened. Joining forces with the Fleet Response family and adding additional staff means each Paragon client will have a dedicated representative to manage their account and meet their needs. Ultimately, that means working a file more completely and increasing recoveries for customers.
TWO OF A KIND: HOME GROWN AND FAMILY-OWNED
Ray and Ani made it clear from the beginning: Paragon was not a business they wanted to sell and just walk away from. As part of the process, they communicated with clients and employees alike to assure them the transition would go well. All employees will remain, nothing essential will change, and the level of service will actually increase.
For Fleet Response, this is the company’s first acquisition, and it feels like a natural fit. “It’s been very exciting for us,” says Jeff. “Both companies have a tremendous concern for our employees and customers. We are both relationship-focused companies with very similar philosophies.”
The family culture at Fleet Response attracted Ray and Ani right off the bat. “As soon as Scott Mawaka came out to meet us and told his story about buying the business from his father, with his management team an integral part of the company, and customer service being so important – it was the same formula as ours but on a bigger scale,” says Ray. “This company is like our baby. We have four daughters, and it feels like marrying off another one. You nurture a company, make it grow, mold it, and hand it off to someone you trust to care of it just as well as you did, or even better.”
As a small business owner, Ani describes the feeling of finishing well. “Ray said to me, ‘Ani, when you come back to this office in five years you will be so proud.’ I know I will be. Together with Fleet Response, we are going to do some really great things, as a national leader in the subrogation industry.”
Jeff respects what the couple has achieved with Paragon and shares their vision for an even stronger company. “Ani and Ray are a true American success story,” he says. “They would only sell to a company that takes great care of their customers and their employees. In every way, Fleet Response and Paragon are a really good match.”
To discuss your organizations subrogation efforts and to schedule a demo of Fleet Response VISIBILITY. Contact Jeff Fender, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Fleet Response, firstname.lastname@example.org.