Who is This Adjuster From Out of Town?

So the wind blew the roof off your house. You called someone and got it tarped, and the ceiling stopped leaking. You called your insurance agent, and they started a claim for you.

Now your phone is ringing, and it’s an area code you don’t recognize. You answer it. A man says he’s the adjuster for your claim.

What exactly is going on? Why is somebody from another state saying he’s going to adjust your claim? Is it a trick? Is he just pretending, so he can get inside your house and steal things?

No, it’s probably alright. Here’s what’s going on.

When a severe storm hits an area, it generally damages more than just one or two properties. Thousands of people often receive damage at the same time- shingles blown off the roof, homes scraped or crushed by falling trees, basements filling with water when the sump pump is without power.

Insurers keep enough claims adjusters on staff to handle the normal flow of day-to-day claims, but it doesn’t make sense for them to keep enough adjusters to handle the thousands of sudden claims that come from storms. All those extra adjusters would just be idle during the months between storms. So insurers contract the handling of the claims to “independent adjusters”.

Some independent adjusters, or IAs, stay in one place and serve many different insurers, covering for their staff adjusters’ vacations, or filling geographical gaps where an insurer might not have a staff adjuster, or providing special expertise.

Other IAs travel around the country, and now we’re getting to the answer to the question. Just like utility companies send linesmen from state to state, many IAs travel around the same way. They’ll serve an area for several months after a damaging hailstorm or windstorm- inspecting buildings, writing reports, helping insurers handle the enormous, sudden influx of claims. And then when most of the policyholders in the area have been helped, and the number of incoming claims is close to normal again, then the IA will head off to the next storm-damaged area to do it again.

So. Who is this adjuster from out of town? Chances are, he’s an independent adjuster who goes wherever he’s needed the most.

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ASU Announces New Chief Operating Officer

The ASU Group is pleased to announce that Brad Rutgers has joined the company as Chief Operating Officer, a new position within ASU.  He will report directly to Debra Claeys, ASU’s CEO. In this new role, he will work closely with Claeys on all aspects of company operations. His focus will be on executing the company’s business plans.

Brad was Director of Risk Management at ASU from 2006 through 2010. Most recently, he was Group Fund Risk Manager and Director of Risk Management for RPS Regency Group Administrators. Past roles include Director of Loss & Claims Management and Corporate Risk Manager for Acrisure, LLC.

“We are very excited to have Brad return to ASU and join our executive team as the company continues to grow. Brad’s industry experience and proven track record in administration will not only benefit ASU, but will also bring value to our clients.” said Debra Claeys, CEO.

Brad has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. He holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Western Michigan University and a B.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin. In addition, he is a Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA), Licensed Insurance Counselor (LIC), Senior Claim Law Associate (SCLA) and holds both a Michigan Property and Casualty Producer License and Resident Insurance Adjuster License.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to re-join The ASU Group. Having been gone for the past seven years, I have a renewed appreciation for The ASU Group’s reputation and talented group of employees, and I am eager to help the company grow and continue to succeed.” said Rutgers

The ASU Group is celebrating its’ 65th year in business and its’ 35th year as an Employee-owned company.  It provides Third-party Administration,  Claims Management, Medical Cost Containment, Risk Management and other insurance services to insurance companies, self-insureds, property and casualty organizations and individuals throughout Michigan and several Midwest states.  It has recently added Adaptive Insurances Solutions Agency to its roster of services.

ASU Group Celebrates 65th Anniversary in Claims Management

ASU Group is celebrating a milestone year in 2017! Founded in 1952, the company celebrates it’s 65th anniversary as a Claims Management and Insurance Services company and it’s 35th year as an Employee-Owned company.

Originally called Michigan Claim Service, the company founders, Richard Young, John Fles, Thomas Kelly and Charles Shotwell, provided independent claims adjusting services for insurance companies in lower Michigan. In 1989, the company adopted the DBA The ASU Group to reflect the growth and diverse services for the insurance and risk industry.

Today, ASU provides Risk Management, Third Party Claims Administration, Medical Review, and Case Management Services, as well as Adjusting Services to insurance companies, corporations, municipalities, government entities and self-insured organizations throughout Michigan and Wisconsin as well as several Midwest states and Catastrophe Adjusting nationwide.

We thank our dedicated clients for their support over the years. With their continuous feedback, we will continue to improve our partnership with them by investing in  innovative solutions to their claims management needs by consistently delivering on our promises of improving customer value.

We also thank our employee-owners, our most valuable asset. Their personal sense of ownership generates extra effort, dedication and a collaborative team spirit that delivers significant value to our clients.

President and Chief Executive Officer Debra Claeys says, ”There have been many changes in 65 years.  But after all this time some things remain the same. ASU is committed to the future and the long-term success of our clients, our employees and our company. “

About ASU Group:
The ASU Group is a client-focused provider of insurance services and claims management. By building on our experience, we deliver solid technical resources, cost containment practices, efficient and accessible computer systems and the seamless administration of your programs. For more information on ASU, visit www.asugroup.com.

Contact information: 

Theresa Cooper

For Immediate Release

ASU Adds New Board Member

The ASU Group, a claims management and insurance services company, has added a new member to its’ Board of Directors effective December 13, 2016 – Annette E. Flood.

“We are excited to have Ann join our Board,” said Debra Claeys, CEO and President of the ASU Group. “She has achieved extraordinary success in her career as an industry executive and her unique mix of experience will be a tremendous asset as we continue to grow and service our clients.”

Annette E. Flood is the former Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services and Insurance Commissioner for the state of Michigan. She has also served as Chief Operating Officer for AP Capital/American Physicians Assurance Corporation and MEEMIC Insurance Company. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and of Wayne State University Law School where she obtained her Juris Doctorate. She is currently a principal of Clinton Flood Insurance Consulting, LLC, which provides consulting services for insurance companies and related entities.

The ASU Group has been serving the insurance industry since 1952. The employee-owned company provides claims management and insurance services including independent claims adjusting, national catastrophe adjusting, case management, medical bill review and third party administration to insurance companies, corporations, municipalities, government entities and self-insured organizations throughout Michigan and Wisconsin as well as several Midwest states.

ASU Group Completes SOC1 Audit

MICHIGAN, OKEMOS – Jan. 4, 2016 – ASU Group, a claims management and insurance services company, understands the importance of compliance with rigorous operating standards.

As part of its ongoing commitment to meeting and maintaining these standards, ASU Group has successfully completed a Service Organization Control 1 (SOC1SM ) examination resulting in a CPA’s report stating that management of ASU Group maintained effective controls over their claims processing system. The engagement was performed by BDO LLP.

“We are pleased that our SOC 1SM report has shown that we have the appropriate controls in place to mitigate risks related to our claims processing system.” said Debra Claeys, President and CEO. “It also reinforces ASU’s commitment to take the steps necessary to comprehensively support our clients’ compliance requirements.”

A SOC 1 SM report is designed to meet the needs of existing or potential customers who need assurance about the effectiveness of controls at a service organization that are relevant to  the security, availability, or processing integrity of the system used by the service organization to process customers’ information, or the confidentiality or privacy of that information.

ASU Wins National 2015 Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest!

ASU Group has been selected by The ESOP Association as its 2015 Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest Winner.  The winner poster was unveiled at the Association’s 38th Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

ASU’s status as an ESOP organization not only benefits our employee owners, but also benefits our clients.  By its very nature, our ESOP allows each employee to be self-motivated and to think and act like an owner.  Each employee has a stake in the success of our clients and in the future success of the company. “

ASU Announces Madison Office Move

ASU’s Madison office has moved to a new location as of March 2, 2015. The larger space will support our continued growth in the Madison area.

The new office is located at 2801 Crossroads Drive, Suite 2200, Madison, WI 53718

Their new local number is 608-210-5673.

Their toll free number 877-229-0009 remains the same.


ASU Adds New Board Member

The ASU Group, a claims management and insurance services company, has added a new member to its’ Board of Directors effective December 11, 2014 – Cory L. Gergar.

“Cory has extensive experience in financial management and continuous improvement processes and we are delighted that he is joining ASU Group’s board of directors,” said Debra Claeys, CEO and President of the ASU Group.

Cory L. Gergar, CPA serves as Chief Financial Officer at JRB Enterprises / Duro-Last Roofing, Inc. in Saginaw, Michigan. Previously he was Chief Financial Officer/ Corporate Controller with several Automotive Industry suppliers.  He is a graduate of Michigan State University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and of Walsh College in Troy, where he earned his Master of Science in Finance.

ASU Board of Directors Election Results 2015

The Board of Directors of the ASU Group met on December 11, 2014. The following people were elected as officers and ESOP Committee members for 2015:

The 2015 Board of Directors is as follows:

  • Tara O’Connor LaRose
  • Kim Pavlik
  • David Hop
  • Cory Gergar – newly elected
  • Debra Claeys

The following individuals were elected as officers of the corporation for 2015:

  • Debra Claeys, President
  • Sarah Hartman, Treasurer
  • Sarah Hartman, Secretary
  • Tara O’Connor LaRose, Chairman
  • David Hop, Vice Chairman

The Board appointed the following to the ESOP Fiduciary Committee:

  • Debra Claeys – Chair
  • Audrey Pike
  • Chad Johnson

The Board elected the following as ESOP Trustees:

  • Sarah Hartman – Chair
  • Michael Brown

The following individuals were appointed to the ESOP Advisory Committee:

  • Theresa Cooper – Chair
  • Julie Somes
  • Kristine Spangler

ASU Celebrates ESOP Month

ASU Group is celebrating National ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) Month this October by honoring their Employee-Owners with special events, including ESOP contests with prizes.

Says Debra Claeys, CEO “We are extremely grateful to our Employee-Owners for the important role each of them plays in the success of the company. Their hard work, commitment and motivation to provide great service to our clients is what makes ASU special.”

There are approximately 10,000 ESOPs in place in the U.S., covering 10.3 million employees (approximately 10% of the private sector workforce).  ASU ‘s ESOP was formed in 1981 and the company became 100% Employee-Owned in 1996.

Employee Ownership Month is an opportunity for ESOP companies across the nation to educate employee owners and the public about the undeniable benefits of employee ownership for employees, their companies, the communities they are a part of, and the nation. For more information about Employee Ownership Month, please visit: http://www.esopassociation.org/advocate/employee-ownership-month.