VANCOUVER ISLAND – Waypoint Insurance Services Ltd. has got Vancouver Island covered.
With 15 locations from Victoria to Port Hardy and 3 locations on the mainland, their offices operate in communities as big as Vancouver and as small as Gold River.
The company offers a full range of insurance services including auto, home, life, business, travel, marine, and farm with a local flare and passion for customer care.
Waypoint Insurance Services can trace its roots back to before Canadian Confederation.
The Campbell River branch, which was formed in 1863 as BC Land and Insurance, was one of several small independent brokerages that joined to form the organization in the late 1980s.
“Each of these brokers had similar values and focused, community-oriented approach to the industry,” says Melanie Davies, Director of Sales and Marketing at Waypoint.
“They banded together to build buying power and offer better rates and products to their clients and communities.”
The group formalized into Vancouver Island Insurance Centres in 1991, coming under a single umbrella, but each office continued to operate as a somewhat independent unit.
“About four years ago, Tony Hayes came on board as CEO, and from day one, he worked to create greater unity in our company,” says Davies. “We were also getting ready to open our first off-Island branch, so we needed to rebrand.”
The company’s leadership worked both internally and externally with stakeholders to get a clear picture of what the organization is and what it represents.
“We tried a lot of different names, but we weren’t able to come up with a really good fit,” says Davies. “Then we sent the situation to our employees, and within a couple of days, we had about five pages of name suggestions.”
It was Danielle Simpson, the sole employee at the one-person Quadra Island office, who put forward the name Waypoint.
“When we saw it, we knew that was our name,” says Davies. “A waypoint is a navigational marker and a stopping place on a journey. That’s who we are for our clients. We take care of them and send them on the rest of their journey.”
Many of Waypoint’s branches are indispensable pieces of their community, so the company goes to great lengths to ensure these branches can continue to serve their clients for years to come.
With branches in Port Hardy, Gold River, and Quadra Island, Waypoint leverages the resources in their bigger centres to help support the workload of their smaller locations.
“In some of them, including Port Hardy and Gold River, we are actually the community’s only driver licensing division,” says Davies. “At their core, these small communities are key to us. We’re able to keep those locations open because they continue to support us.”
Taking care of these communities is foundational to the mission of Waypoint Insurance Services.
“We are all about community,” says Davies. “We hold communities together with our services, but also through our support of local organizations and charities.”
Waypoint employees are encouraged to volunteer in their communities, and the branches work together to support Rotary, Chambers, and local sports teams.
“We also pick a target non-profit that fits the majority of our communities’ needs,” says Davies. “Right now, we’re supporting Wheels for Wellness, a non-profit that drives people from their homes to Victoria for medical appointments when they don’t have the resources to make the trip.”
In the future, Waypoint is looking at continued expansion across BC. “We continue to look for brokerages in like-minded communities that are a good fit for our company,” says Davies.
The organization is also looking to expand their digital offerings, and is on the verge of launching some new digital initiatives.
“We’re starting a bit slow, because we want our online services to reflect the relationship model we have in our branches,” she says.
“We’re now starting the process of testing a couple of products that will come to market in the next few months. We’ll roll them out slowly so ourselves and our staff have a good opportunity to learn these new systems.”