According to Insurance Business Canada, outstanding service, performance, and innovation in the insurance sector are what set IBC Awards Finalists apart. Chris Davis, Director of Events of Key Media International, publisher of Insurance Business magazine, goes one step further, describing finalists as “the best of the best.”
“Success stories like theirs are the lifeblood of insurance in Canada,” Davis is quoted as saying. So it is no surprise that South Western Insurance Group Limited is both pleased and proud to have achieved this awards honour for the second time in three years. The company is on point to be recognized as MGA of the Year, but President & CEO John Barclay declares it is great to be nominated regardless of whether or not a win is forthcoming.
“The really interesting thing about this award is that it is driven by insurance brokers. It is extremely gratifying to know that our clients have such a favourable view of SWG, especially considering the excellent company we keep in terms of our industry peers.”
Barclay credits his firm’s accomplishment to several factors, the most prominent of which is a recent marketing switch from company-focused messaging, to what he calls “product-specific stories.”
“Our broker communications have essentially narrowed and become more focused on what we can do inside specific segments or industries. That in turn has given our brokers better clarity into what we can do to help them.”
The company has also invested heavily in its people and its technology. But Barclay still believes that a large part of South Western Insurance Group Limited’s success hinges on the fact that, having been around for so long, the firm has developed quite a broad spectrum of capability.
“We have effectively moved from presenting ourselves as SWG the generalists, to SWG the specialists who also do general lines well. And I think that has been an important pivot for us in terms of how we communicate with our broker channel.”
Going forward, Barclay says his company will continue to push out specialty segment capability, with the intention of expanding capacity. But the next big change on the horizon is about making a greater effort to work with brokers in the way that they want to be worked with.
“We want to deliver an increasing level of clarity to our broker channel, so we are really doubling down on our investment in technology to improve service levels in areas like quote turnarounds and policy wordings. We also want to continue to move toward communicating with brokers in ways that suit them, rather than with a methodology that was built around how we needed to do business.”
At the end of the day, Barclay believes that South Western Insurance Group Limited’s nomination as a 2018 IBC Awards Finalist is a really good reflection on the quality of his team and the work that they do. “I think it is perhaps an indication that we are moving in the right direction, and that all the hard work is worthwhile. So we will continue to do the hard work.”