Charlotte Santa Cruz
Charlotte Santa Cruz, founder and CEO of the Santa Cruz Insurance Group LLC in Bay St. Louis, Miss., about an hour’s drive outside New Orleans, specializes in the voluntary employee benefit space and is known for her relentless commitment to customers and former customers alike. Her and her 35 employees cover a spectrum of plans involving health, dental, vision, life and disability as well as various other voluntary benefits for more than 150 companies.
Her firm is known for providing extensive HR, billing and claims support on the back end, where most firms rely on carriers to provide this post-enrollment service because it’s not cost effective to do that additional work. Knowing that contacting the carrier for service rarely solves a client’s service issues, Santa Cruz provides this unique service at no cost to clients other than compensation received from products sold.
In 1994, she founded Advanced Business Systems, which handled electronic billing for health insurance claims and underwent an official name change to Santa Cruz Insurance Group LLC in 2002 after adding insurance products to her portfolio.
Leading up to Hurricane Katrina, she was managing enrollment services for 500 to 1,000 employees. Since then, despite losing her home and business in the storm and scrambling to work from temporary locations, she has managed, enrolled or advised 54,000 additional employees in their benefit decisions with the help of her team.
In addition, production went from mid-six figures to roughly $3 million in annual new sales about three to four years after a crippling accident that nearly claimed her life in April 2006. This production surge doubled revenues as well, climbing steadily every year since about 2008 and making Santa Cruz one of the nation’s top producing enrollment firms over the past decade.