Canadian Underwriter

Customer Education

August 27, 2013  

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Randy Bushey General Manager at Knox Insurance

What once started as a sister company to a real estate operation in the 1950s has now blossomed into an insurance brokerage with about 40 employees, servicing clients throughout Northeastern Ontario. Knox Insurance has always been focused on standing out from competition, and putting clients first, says Randy Bushey, general manager at Knox.

“The insurance brokerage space is homogenous and there are a lot of brokers doing a lot of the same thing. We’re trying to find ways to make ourselves different.”

When the Ontario government announced reforms to the auto insurance system, the company knew it would greatly change the way the product would be sold in the province. Bushey decided the best way to stand out was to combine education and technology to provide superior client service.

Utilizing the WWW
It all started in the summer of 2009, when Bushey began a blog on the company website ( to discuss hot topics including risk management and global catastrophes. The aim was to stretch people’s perception of risk and how it relates to insurance, says Bushey.

Next came an online contest, “Accidents Waiting to Happen.” Site visitors were asked to submit a photo of how they recognized risk in their daily lives, and were offered the chance to win a $500 Travelocity Gift Card, or several cash prizes of $50. The contest was sponsored in part by Aviva and Lombard.

The contest drove traffic to the website, bumping the number of unique visitors to 1,500 in less than two months–a huge feat for any brokerage website, according to Bushey.

“Some people submitted multiple entries, and this created a lot of traction and activity,” says Bushey. “We realized how important it was to have this huge communication tool at our fingertips.”

As the Ontario insurance reforms loomed closer, Knox Insurance revamped its website to include a section dedicated to the changes.

“We’ve got to communicate to our clients what they are potentially losing and we’ve got to inform them of the technical information in a rational way,” adds Bushey.

The website now hosts several YouTube videos where Bushey walks the customer through the changes to their auto insurance policies. The topics covered include: introduction to auto reform; income replacement; medical, rehabilitation and attendant care; caregiver, housekeeping and home maintenance; dependent care; death and funeral; indexation; and tort deductible.

“The usage of videos to explain the auto reform is fairly unique,” says Bushey. “Our staff is going to direct people to the website where they can view it at their leisure, digest the information, and then contact our brokers for additional advice.”

The website is also set to include checklists, charts and documents explaining the changes. This is all in addition to sending out mailers, and informing clients verbally.

“When people shop for insurance it can be a complex and confusing process,” he adds. “They want someone who understands it well and can simplify the process. They want a single point of contact and I think we’ve been successful at all these things.”

© Copyright 2010 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the September 2010 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.