VICTORIA – Independent brokerage Westland Insurance has grown to become one of the largest brokerages in Canada, period.
Their presence on Vancouver Island is extensive, with branches in Greater Victoria – Vic West, Uptown in Saanich, Belmont Market in Langford, Colwood Corner, and north of the Malahat, in Mill Bay, Duncan, Chemainus, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino.
Commercial Sales Executive Brad Quissy has been with Westland Insurance for 18 years. He works in their Vic West Commercial Lines office, but travels up and down Vancouver Island.
“We have a variety of great products, ranging from our Commercial Lines team, who specialize in business insurance solutions for both small and large companies to our personal lines (home, condominium, automobile and travel,” he notes. “We also have a claims advocacy team, that supports an extra level of claims service to our clients.”
While business owners may know they need insurance, do they know the right insurance for their company – especially in today’s computerized world?
“Everyone has a chance of being infiltrated or attacked, especially since Covid reared its ugly head and people were working from home,” he observes. “That opened the door for more cyber attacks, and as a result, clients who said they didn’t need it then, now say they do.
Quissy gives an example where in a regular office environment, a worker could turn to a colleague and ask about a suspicious email. That safeguard isn’t available for an isolated, at-home worker.
“Maybe my kid just asked me for some cereal and I pressed the tab accidentally and the bad guys suddenly have their bug in my system,” he states. “The challenge is that some businesses think they’re too small. But frankly, if you’re a criminal, it is much harder to go after a major bank, so smaller companies offer the path of least resistance.
“Cyber insurance is something that every business needs now,” he says. “Because Westland is fairly large, we have a team that specializes in cyber insurance, and we have sources to rely on to better explain situations to our clients.”
Westland also offers director’s liability insurance, which essential for non-profit groups and organizations.
“I like to call it ‘decision makers insurance’, and we have both for-profit and not-for- profit coverage,” Quissy says. “My parents are both directors for a not-for-profit organization and I had to explain to them that they were not being prudent if the group doesn’t get coverage because they’re putting their assets and personal liability in play, if something were to go wrong. You’re doing good work, but you still need the coverage.”
Quissy adds trust has been a key to Westland’s growth.
“We look into our client’s best interests. We’re not going to steer them into making a decision, but we give them the information so they can make the best decision for them.”
By Mark MacDonald