by Angus MacCaull

One of the benefits of a brokerage of our size and strength is its access to multiple markets. Aviva. Intact. Economical. Portgage and ICPEI. The list goes on. But when you have so many markets to offer, how do you keep tabs on them all? Are 14 gage oil tanks good for 15 years with Intact, or is it Aviva? The company manuals come in different formats and some of them you can’t search with a key word. How can you be quick and confident with so much information and so many details?

The solution for Zach Armstrong in Elmsdale is a new internal broker manual. He started working on it last May. Georgie Fleck in Pictou has been his co-lead on the project, with Tracey LaTulippe in Glace Bay and Terry Gillis in Whycocomagh acting as advisors. Others from around the province who have been involved include Sara Dotten, Sharon MacFarlane, Leigh Anne Thompson, Diana MacKinnon, Anne Martin, Stacia Peters, Tasha Crossley, Cindy Smith and Nicole Hebb.

At the moment, the project is focusing on home insurance. Basically what happens is that someone takes on researching an aspect of coverage through reading the company manuals carefully and consulting with underwriters, then reports back. Once all the data is on hand in one place and reviewed, the goal is to create a simple help software that will answer any question about all of our markets within four clicks.

The project was originally developed for new brokers, but Zach and Georgie are finding that they themselves are referring to it almost daily. It contains straight forward facts along with some of the “unwritten rules” for various markets. It gets updated as updates come in from the companies. Once the help software is in place, there will be formal reviews periodically.

No one will be required to use the internal manual when it’s finished, but everyone who’s looked at it so far has liked it. It’s a huge timesaver and sometimes an eyeopener. There are a lot more markets for log homes now, for example, than there were ten years ago. People are growing as brokers just by working on the project as they discover more about the thousands of little facts that make up our industry.

Brokers can tend to become comfortable with certain markets over time—and with good reason. You want to be rock solid about what you’re offering, so that when a claim comes through you’ve done your due diligence in advance. The new internal broker manual may help brokers branch out and explore unfamiliar markets because it will allow them a quick way to access relevant information and compare it with their existing knowledge.

The manual should be available later this year.


Zach Armstrong reviewing the internal broker manual
Zach reviewing the internal broker manual