Canadian Underwriter

The Rebel who Embraced Insurance

March 23, 2018   by Greg Meckbach, Associate Editor

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Adam Hare, chief operating officer of the digital division of a family brokerage, never planned to make a career of insurance. Now he has a passion for making P&C insurance “sexy” for customers.

It may seem counterintuitive, but despite having founded an organization that provides insurance quotes online, Adam Hare advises traditional brokers not to fret too much about the latest and greatest technology.

“Don’t feel that if you are not a digital lead or expert in [the information technology] field, your business is failing,” says Hare, chief operating officer of Insurance Jack, a division of property and casualty insurance brokerage Petley-Hare Limited. “Double down and focus on the things you are great at.”

Adam Hare, chief operating officer, Insurance Jack

Working from Oshawa, Ontario, Hare founded Insurance Jack, which he describes as a tech incubator within the family business. Petley-Hare also has offices in Pickering and Bowmanville.

Insurance Jack lets consumers get auto and home insurance quotes online.

“I feel like we are really running a technology company that happens to sell insurance,” Hare said this past November during a panel discussion at InsurTechTO. “It’s not an insurance brokerage that is dabbling in technology.”
Hare told Canadian Underwriter recently that Insurance Jack was established as a separate division of Petley-Hare. It would have been too disruptive to “throw a lot of tech” into the existing traditional brokerage and to try new technologies — such as customer relationship management or lead management — for three to six months at a time, he added.

“If you get 30 employees trained up on something and then three months later say, ‘Nah, we don’t really like this and toss it,’ it’s not something that people [in traditional brokerages] were really used to doing,” Hare notes. “We said from Day 1 that anyone being hired into [Insurance Jack] has to know that mindset.”

Petley-Hare now has a total of 50 employees, five of whom work for Insurance Jack.The son of current president Dave Hare (a former professional musician who took over the firm in 1976) and grandson of Jim Hare (who bought the brokerage in 1963,) Adam Hare originally had no ambition to get into the family business.

Read the full article in the Digital Edition of the March 2018 Canadian Underwriter.

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