“We’re not the enemy.” NBIS’ New AVP of Claims Rick Sforzo Talks His Experience, Being a Helpful Advocate, and the Claims Experience in a Tricky Insurance Climate

“We’re not the enemy.” NBIS’ New AVP of Claims Rick Sforzo Talks His Experience, Being a Helpful Advocate, and the Claims Experience in a Tricky Insurance Climate

NBIS recently welcomed a new member to its Claims team – Assistant Vice President Rick Sforzo.

Sforzo comes to NBIS with over thirty years of experience in claims, most recently with Maxum Specialty Insurance, where he served as Chief Claims Officer and managed the Commercial Property, Professional, General Liability, and Commercial Auto Divisions.

Sforzo was drawn to NBIS for the unique market space it occupies. 

“NBIS is a niche company that truly provides exceptional service and differentiates itself,” he said. “My background, with its focus on agent relationships and additional experience in underwriting and safety, complements the mission of NBIS well. 

As AVP of Claims, Sforzo feels he’ll have the opportunity to make an impact on all areas of NBIS’ business.

Claims professionals get to interact with every person involved in the process, from the insurance agent to the insured to claimants and the underwriters and financial officers,” he explained. “It’s really one of the most important aspects of the insurance business.”

Sforzo noted that insurance has changed in the years since he got his start as a claims adjuster for Liberty Mutual in 1987. 

“It used to be such that the claims department and representative from the insurance company were seen as counselors— helpful advocates in the event of a claim,” he said. “You would show up at an incident site and people would be glad to see you because you could write checks and help them.

“Now, the industry has unfortunately become more adversarial. People regard insurance companies differently and so my job has evolved. We have to take care to manage the financial side more carefully since costs are rising—both for the insured and for us. This changed atmosphere and rising cost profile present new challenges. But there are also still some companies, like NBIS, for whom that high level of customer-orientation and service are still crucial. We aren’t the enemy—in fact, quite the opposite.

Though Sforzo has spent time managing a variety of claims divisions, he has significant expertise in transportation claims. The transportation industry is undergoing a lot of changes, not the least of which is a slate of CSA reform regulations that, coupled with the ongoing ELD mandate rollout, is sure to present a significant challenge to all segments of transportation, claims included. 

“One of the most effective ways to make the claims process as smooth as possible is to do a lot of the work before a claim is even filed by working with insureds to let them know what’s changing and the possible risks,” Sforzo pointed out.  “Another key piece of easing the difficult claims process is choosing an insurance provider who knows the nuances of your business and industry.”

Sforzo believes that the NBIS team’s proven track record of laying out the finer points of the connection between new laws, new technology, and the claims process is a formidable differentiator.

“It’s a great way to approach risk management and insurance solutions—from a place of proactivity.”