Golsan Scruggs: Bringing innovation to insurance buying

With an office in Battle Ground, local insurance & risk management firm growing 15 percent annually

Golsan Scruggs

There aren’t many transactional experiences quite like buying insurance. After all, you’re purchasing something that you hope you don’t need to use. And, as is the case with health insurance, you’re paying roughly the same amount for a product as someone who may use a lot more of it.

Golsan Scruggs, an insurance and risk management company with offices in Battle Ground and Portland, has a different approach.

“Where we are different from other firms is we really lead with risk management,” said Pete Scruggs, principal at Golsan Scruggs. “What we found is that since all of our work is with employers, we can do things ahead of the game to reduce the risk profile of that [employer] group that will allow them to qualify for better pricing.”

Scruggs is referring to the company’s benefitSMART process, which allows employers to lower the total cost of offering health insurance to their employees by improving their overall health risk profile. The process also drives down costs by implementing stable and predictable partial self-funding of claims through the group purchasing power of the Golsan Scruggs coalition, and by implementing data-driven strategies to reduce spend on prescription drugs and hospital charges.

“[Prices for products] like Humira that can run up to $50,000 per year are a challenge for all employers offering health insurance,” said Scruggs. “Employer renewals are [affected] by as much as 5 percent due to the impact of drugs such as Humira and Enbrel. Humira is advertised incessantly in print and TV for conditions as wide ranging as knee pain, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. We have special programs to reduce the cost of drugs like these, which have a dramatic impact on the finances of both employees and employers.”

Recently, Golsan Scruggs was awarded the Association for Insurance Leadership’s 2017 Innovation Award for its benefitSMART process. The award recognizes those whose work “in support of improving the value and performance of employee benefits” has significantly advanced the industry.

From Portland to Battle Ground

With six employees in Battle Ground and 11 in Southwest Portland, Golsan Scruggs can easily serve business clients throughout all of the Portland-Vancouver metro area.

Scruggs, who heads up the firm’s Battle Ground office, said the Southwest Washington location has been a great compliment to the Portland space.

“Battle Ground is just a great community to live in,” he said. “Our clients are from all over – half are in Portland and half are here. We all live here, so it has been a great place and we don’t have to fight the commute.

“Business is very strong overall in Southwest Washington with construction and new housing leading the charge,” Scruggs added. “We are growing 15 percent annually with a good mix of construction, manufacturing, service and not-for-profit clients.”

When asked about future plans, Scruggs said continued growth at the company should allow the firm to double its clientele and staff within the next five years.

Editor’s note: Golsan Scruggs is a member of the Vancouver Business Journal’s Strategic Partnership Program. To learn more about the program, contact Barb Maynard at 360.448.6018.

Golsan Scruggs
1710 W. Main St., Suite 113, Battle Ground
17 employees (firm-wide)