The Quebec insurance market just got a new entrant as the MGA and wholesale broker CHES Special Risk announced its move into the province last week. The CHES Solutions Spécialisées offices will be led by Gabriel Morneau, director and senior underwriter, and are opening for business in Montreal, a part of the expansion that was critical to ensure its success.
“I always felt that having an office in the region that you want to operate is a far better way of attracting better quality business because you’re usually front of mind for the retail brokers – so that’s the reason why we looked to open up operations and offices in various towns and cities,” explained Gary Hirst, CHES Special Risk president. “It gives us a better risk selection.”
The MGA leadership had been working on the expansion for five months, and plans began to solidify as the right team was sourced, discussions with various insurer partners were had to extend its offerings into Quebec, and licensing was secured. Now, the only the challenge that Hirst foresees is delivering on service expectations for the province’s brokers.
“A new entrant is always exciting for the brokers, but in order to deliver that expectation, we’re just initially rolling out three classes of insurance, being construction, liability, and jeweller’s block,” he told Insurance Business. “That way we are going to be able to deliver the service, get the quotes and policies issued, and of course, concentrate on claims service,” after which the company will re-evaluate whether to extend other classes of business in Quebec.
This is not the only or the last, expansion that CHES Special Risk has in the works.
“Firstly, we’re always on the lookout for good quality professional individuals that want an exciting career in insurance, but we do have plans to extend out to British Columbia and Alberta in the first quarter of next year, again with the premise that having a local operation does actually allow you to give better quality service,” said Hirst.