May 20, 2014 by As told to Laura Kupcis
Canadian Sports Insurance Brokers (CSIB) has come full circle. Back in 2000, I was actively involved in writing sports liability and accident insurance while running my own brokerage. At that time, spring and summer hockey leagues were starting to gain momentum. We saw a tremendous amount of interest from hockey teams who were looking to play in the off-season and required liability and accident insurance. Given that we were writing a lot of sport and cultural business at the time in Saskatchewan, launching the company and branding a sports brokerage was a logical step. In 2007, I sold CSIB to a local brokerage in Regina. Fast-forward a few years to late 2013. While working as the general manager at HAL Insurance, the opportunity to buy CSIB back was presented to me. HAL was looking for a way to diversify revenue streams and explore alternative niche markets, so CSIB was an ideal step for the company. It was an opportunity we could build on.
CSIB is now a division of HAL Insurance, focusing on sports culture, lifestyle events, special events and anything in that realm. From our head office in Regina, two brokers handle the sports business and we are bringing in a third broker this June to specialize in sports, culture and recreation insurance.
We are a nation that likes our sports, so the need for liability coverage isn’t going away. That’s where we fit in. Our main focus right now is hockey insurance. We provide a liability and accident insurance program for spring and summer hockey, including hockey camps and recreational leagues. But that doesn’t mean we provide hockey coverage exclusively. We have requests from professional soccer coaches wanting coverage for clinics, requests for coverage for horse races, and also for festivals. CSIB provides the liability insurance for the largest country music festival in Saskatchewan, every year. Sporting, cultural and recreational risks require special review and risk management. We provide the proper liability policy to cover the gaps that otherwise might not be covered.
Since taking over the book of business we have built an e-commerce site and focused on the technology side. We rebranded, revamped our logos and redesigned the website. We spent a long time working on our online presence because we knew there would be so much Internet-driven traffic. To meet the needs of parents and coaches looking for hockey insurance, and to automate the process, we have an online store where customers can purchase coverage. We are actively looking to expand our online presence and add additional products as the year rolls along.
Part of the challenge of buying the business back has been to recoup some of the lost market share. In just a short time operating CSIB, however, we’ve been able to expand our market share drastically. Our focus going forward is to actively sponsor different types of sporting events, and to continue to get our name out there.
Copyright 2014 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the April 2014 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine
This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.