Canadian Underwriter

How this commercial brokerage addresses skills shortages

October 14, 2018   by Greg Meckbach

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Brokerage owners in some regions are struggling to find staff who know commercial lines.

“There are very few people (in Saskatchewan) who understand commercial insurance deeply,” said David Reidy, president and CEO of Regina-based commercial brokerage Henderson Insurance Inc.

To recruit commercial brokers, Henderson “ends up pulling from different industry segments,” Reidy said in a recent interview. “We pull account executives from different sales jobs and different relationship jobs and things like that, and we try to teach them insurance. The amount of time that takes is very very significant.”

Reidy hopes this will change once Henderson becomes a partner of Navacord Nov. 1. Toronto-based Navacord –founded in 2014 by Jones DesLauriers Insurance Management Inc. and Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers – announced Oct. 9 that Henderson is Navacord’s first brokerage partner in Saskatchewan.

Training programs for staff are among the benefits that Navacord provides to its brokerage partners, Reidy said, suggesting the partnership with Navacord should help Henderson attract staff from within the insurance industry.

“We are not opposed by any means to talking to people within our own industry,” Reidy said.

When recruiting producers from outside insurance, Henderson will look within financial services and banking.

“It’s a tough road for these people to come in and learn our industry,” Reidy said.

In addition to Regina, Henderson also has an office in Moose Jaw. The brokerage’s target markets include agricultural, commercial auto, manufacturing and construction.

Existing Navacord broker partners in Western Canada include Vancouver-based Wylie-Crump, which places surety bonds and insurance for the construction industry.

Navacord’s partners in Calgary include Toole Peet, a brokerage that places home, auto and commercial insurance and risk consulting firm Iridium Risk Services. Lloyd Sadd also has a Calgary office.

The terms of Navacord’s partnership with Henderson were not made public. Navacord lets its broker partners retain ownership of their firms but Navacord provides some services such as human resources and information technology.

Toronto area P&C broker partners of Navacord include Partners Indemnity and Paisley Manor Insurance Group.

Navacord also includes surety bond provider Petrela, Winter & Associates, which has offices in Toronto, London, Ont. and Laval, Que.

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