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Western's business insurance provides expertise and value to Canadian business owners

Jonathan Hoey has been a leader in the insurance industry for almost 20 years. I am head of National Insurance Operations, and I am based in Vancouver. I use my diverse set of skills in underwriting, sales, portfolio management and product development to find the right insurance for Canadian businesses.

I have two small children and a geriatric cat. I enjoy spending time with my family, and I also play and coach hockey.

Q: How is business insurance calculated to match the current value and operations of your business?

A: Having the correct amount and type of insurance is very important to protect the value of your assets as well as the ongoing future of your organization. We have a proven track record of developing solutions that add value to customers. We look at the opportunities, the threats, and the risks that businesses face, and we work closely with our insurance partners to develop products that are tailored to meet their unique needs.

Q: Tell us what underwriting means.

An insurance broker plays a key role in working with business to ensure underwriters within insurance companies have the information required to understand and price the account appropriately. The more an underwriter understands the nature of the business’s operations and their risk profile, the more they can marry the coverage to the unique needs of the client and ultimately mitigate the impact to the business, if a loss were to occur.

There are many factors that influence how a policy is underwritten and ultimately what the customer will pay from a premium perspective. These include the industry in which they operate, their experience within that industry, their revenues, where the business is located, and other factors.

Q: Bonded and Insured is included in many business advertisements. What does this mean?

A: The term, bonded and insured, is important for business owners and their relationship with their clients because it provides an extra layer of trust for the customer. Their customers know they will be protected financially from losses if the business fails to meet its contractual obligations. So, a bond is an added level of insurance that guarantees payment if certain conditions aren't met within a contract that a business has signed.

There is a difference between a company being bonded and a company being insured, and that's an important distinction to make. The main difference is insurance is designed to protect the business from third-party losses, while bonds are designed to protect the person the company is working for. Ideally, a business would be both bonded and insured because it instills consumer confidence that the job will be completed as intended, while it also provides the needed protection against liability that results from either property damage or bodily injury.

Having your employees bonded is critical and in some cases is required under contract. This protects the business owner and the client if something is damaged or stolen.

Q: Do insurance programs exist for certain categories of business, for example hotels or restaurants? What are the principals such programs are built on?

We understand small to medium-sized business as well as large business in industries such as hospitality, retail, agriculture, and professional associations. To succeed in this space, you need to be specialists and we have a history of being experts in this arena for over 25 years. We understand the competitive environment.

At Western, we're committed to finding the right solution for your business’s unique needs. We have experts across the country that will help you find the right insurance solution, whether you visit us at a branch, call us or reach us online.

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