New MGA planning to expand across Canada

A NEW CANADIAN managing general agency, O2 Insurance Services Inc., has been granted Lloyd’s broker status allowing it to deal directly and write business with market syndicates, its chief operating officer told Thompson’s.

Karen McGee, who is also senior vp of the Vancouver-based MGA, said the company is already writing business but is taking a “slow launch” approach. It will eventually offer a host of specialty coverages in all provinces except Quebec.

“I want to make sure we have good infrastructure in place and we can service the broker as they start bringing us business,” Ms. McGee said. “We want to make sure we can maintain strong service levels and relationships.”

The menu of products and services O2 will offer is the result of conversations with brokers.

“We have received feedback from where their challenges and struggles are and where they need capacity,” she said. “And we have gone out and sought solutions that can help them.”

She said O2 will focus on five areas. First and foremost are wholesaling options.

“As a Lloyd’s broker we can do wholesaling and help other coverholders in Canada deal with compliance or renegotiating contracts . . . and support their ongoing facilities.”

O2 will also offer lifestyle products and it is finalizing details on a cyber product — which will be either part of a package or a stand-alone product.

Its fourth focus area is standard small and medium- sized business contracts.

“That will allow us to fill those gaps where the other domestic (insurers) aren’t interested in writing risks,” Ms. McGee said.

And O2’s fifth service area will be a medical marijuana insurance product with three areas of focus: residential grow operations, commercial grow operations and auxiliary businesses. “There is already an existing need and that is certainly going to grow as the government makes changes within legislation — demand is just going to be higher,” Ms. McGee said.