A Legacy of Solutions
PMG Benefits Consulting continues providing personalized insurance solutions in East Tennessee and beyond under the Higginbotham name
In the dynamic world of insurance, PMG Benefits Consulting has carved a niche for itself by blending decades of industry expertise with a commitment to personalized service. Now, PMG is changing its name to Higginbotham to reflect the full scope of services they can deliver since joining the firm in 2021.
Founded more than 25 years ago by Debbie Perry, PMG started as a response to some gaps Debbie identified in the services provided by brokers and agents. Drawing from her extensive experience working with carriers like Provident and Humana, Debbie set out to create an agency that not only understood the intricacies of insurance but also
prioritized the unique needs of clients.
A Journey Rooted in Expertise
Debbie’s journey in the insurance business began on the carrier side, where she honed her skills and witnessed the evolving landscape of insurance services. After identifying a need for more comprehensive and client-centric offerings, she took the leap and founded PMG.
Joined by Ryan Grose three years into the venture, the duo, along with their dedicated team, has been at the forefront of providing a range of insurance services. Ryan, with a quarter-century of experience in the industry, brings a valuable perspective to the team. His introduction to PMG was not just a career move but a shared vision to build something special. Together, they navigated the intricacies of self-funding and expanded their services to meet the diverse needs of their clients in Tennessee and beyond. Today, PMG works with employees in nearly every state in the country.
A Partnership with Purpose
In a strategic move to enhance their capabilities while retaining the essence of a boutique agency, PMG forged a partnership with Higginbotham, one of the largest independent insurance firms in the nation. This collaboration, rooted in shared values, allowed PMG to tap into the extensive resources of Higginbotham while preserving the close-knit, client-focused approach that defines their identity.
Higginbotham, celebrating its 75th year this year, brought additional depth to PMG’s offerings. The partnership opened doors to a broader spectrum of services, including property and casualty, HR consulting, and comprehensive financial services.
At the heart of PMG’s success lies a commitment to understanding clients on a personal level. “We are an extension of our clients’ human resources department,” says Debbie. “It’s not unusual for them to have just one person doing payroll as well as benefits and so it’s difficult to have a depth of experience in employee benefits on top of that. We provide that expertise and help folks understand so they can make a choice that’s right for them.”
Ryan emphasizes their role as employee benefits consultants, focusing exclusively on this area to ensure they can be the best at what they do. The team takes pride in demystifying insurance for clients, not just as a transaction but as a valuable investment in the well-being of employees.
“For most companies, benefits are their second largest expense after payroll,” Ryan explains, “so it’s critical that they work with a broker with the knowledge and experience to find the right solutions that will maximize the return on their benefits investment.”
Anchored by a remarkable team, including longtime employee Lindsay Serfass, who has been an integral part of the journey for a decade, PMG maintains a family-like atmosphere. Lindsay, Debbie’s daughter, adds another dimension to the legacy, representing the continuity and commitment to service excellence. And with an average of 15 to 20 years of experience, the company’s Account Management team provides the day-to-day service and support to clients and their employees.
Transitioning into Higginbotham
As PMG transitions to the Higginbotham name, the core values and identity remain unchanged. The shift signifies not only a growth in resources but a testament to the strength of their client relationships. The transition, carefully navigated to preserve the local touch, positions the team as a stalwart in the insurance landscape.
As their team continues its legacy, the integration with Higginbotham amplifies their capabilities, offering clients a holistic suite of services. Whether educating clients about benefits, advocating for them, or ensuring a smooth renewal process, the team remains dedicated to doing what is right for the employer and, by extension, their employees.
“We spend a lot of time with the people in HR and the owners and or the executives, making sure that they get the right plan that balances what they can afford, and what the employees can afford, but also coverage,” says Debbie. “Employees often don’t understand how much money goes into providing those benefits for them. When we show him what the total premium is for the employer, that really is eye opening to them. We hear, ‘Wow, that’s a bigger deal than I thought.’”
620 Mabry Hood Road NW Suite #201