Canadian Business Awards 2020

CORPORATE VISION / Canadian Business Awards 2020 9 , Dec19024 Best Commercial Insurance Wholesale Broker – Quebec With Gary Hirst at the helmas CEO and President, CHES Solutions Specialisees is leading the way in the QuebecMGA space. CHES Solutions Specialisees. is a specialist Quebec Managing General Agent and is supported by in excess of 150 retail brokers, and has offered in excess of 150 different product types. The firm was established in 2018, and part of the CHES Special Risk Group of companies, in response to retail insurance broker demand to a hardening market place, and is also a fully accredited Lloyd’s cover holder. President and CEO, Gary Hirst, talks us through CHES Solutions Specialisees mission and the steps the firm takes to ensure it is achieved. “Our Team in Quebec at CHES Solutions Specialisees offers the standard market insurer, by way of binding contract, ease of entry and exit to a marketplace populated by highly profitable and sought- after SME businesses, which the insurer, because of their structure and expense ratios are often unable to access,” he explains. “Furthermore, CHES Solutions Specialisees is able to offer their Partnering Insurer detailed risk portfolio information, as well as a unique distribution channel, through which to pass off a substantial amount of administrative costs onto the MGA, thus improving the expense ratios of the Insurer and producing a greater return to Insurer shareholders. This is all whilst accessing pricing that is substantially higher than is available in the traditional standard marketplace, and the French language skill of Policy wordings and transactions, all in French.” Gary replaced founder, Douglas Everett, as President and CEO in 2018 and has extensive Canadian and international insurance experience gained in over 30 years of Lloyd’s of London market brokering and the establishment of and management of an MGA in Canada. It has been a tumultuous couple of years for CHES Special Risks Inc., and indeed other establishments working within the sector due to 2018/19 experiencing dramatic changes in the domestic market, seeing a hardening in the market in certain segments which has resulted in substantial increases in underwriting terms and conditions. Gary embellishes on these key developments which he is prudently keeping his eye on. “Domestic markets are re-positioning themselves, especially in Quebec which is pushing large amounts of non-renewed business coming into the marketplace due to remarketing by brokers, and our Team at CHES Solutions Specialisees is available to help.” As well as benefitting from the hardening market, CHES Solutions Specialisees also benefits from its differentiation within the sector, which clearly marks it out from competitors. “We excel in our underwriting turnaround time,” Gary explains. “Each incoming insurance submission is answered on the same day, either with a quote or a request for additional information if the submission is lacking in key areas. We track this with an email tracking system that monitors response times to emails. We have also surveyed our brokers asking for feedback on our service and ways in which we can improve, which have subsequently been implemented. “In addition to this, we also understand that a good claims’ experience retains the renewal of that client by the retail broker, who then appreciates the efforts we go to in paying a claim. We have three offices in Canada, one of which is in Quebec, and operates as CHES Solutions Spécialisées, all our policies are written in plain French which makes policy interpretation by adjusters and claims’ teams easy to understand, reducing the time taken to come to an agreement on policy wording applications thus speeding up the end pay- out. It also reduces complaints and ensures ‘fair treatment of customers’.” This customer service excellence has earned the firm the rightful title of Best Commercial Insurance Wholesale Broker in Quebec, as awarded by Corporate Vision. This accolade, coupled with the fact that Gary has also been nominated as one of 100 Global Executives of Influence, ensures that the future is bright for CHES Special risks Inc. and CHES Solutions Specialisees. “We are delighted with these achievements,” enthuses Gary. “Furthermore, we achieved a five-star MGA award this year, which is now five years of consecutive achievement in this field, and we continue to expand our company by opening of new offices in London, England and Chicago, USA. “Ultimately, we will continue to strive under the pressure put upon us to lead from the front and to innovate moving forward.”