Canadian franchises are increasing in both size and scale, with sectors such as home health care, automotive products, food service and real estate remaining poised for exponential growth. In fact, the Canadian Franchise Association recently declared in its 2015 market outlook that this boom “shows no signs of slowing down.”
The benchmark of a successful franchise chain, however, lies in consistency. While many entrepreneurs are aware of the need to adopt identical standards for brand image, store experience and operational procedures, it is equally critical that they homogenize insurance policies as well.
“There’s an immense peace of mind captured when you can put all of your outlets on a standardized program with superior coverage to address their needs,” said Rick Swanarchuk, Vice President, Broker Distribution, Marketing and Regional Operations, Wynward Insurance Group.
Swanarchuk points out that franchise-wide insurance coverage can extend through all geographic regions of Canada, which allows franchisors to feel secure knowing that each of their locations are equally and uniformly protected.
“In the event of a loss, you’re not awake at night losing sleep over the possibility that someone is experiencing a shortfall because they’ve elected to purchase an insurance program on their own accord. That consistency and knowledge that everyone has the same coverage, whether they’re in Newfoundland or British Columbia, is really significant,” he said.
This coverage offers an array of additional benefits to franchise owners as well.
“Not only does the franchisor have peace of mind, but franchisees also get the benefits of participating in a consolidated insurance program,” said Ken Bolt, National Manager, Underwriting Operations, Wynward Insurance Group.
Franchise-wide policies are also critical because damage caused to one location can reverberate nationwide.
“If there is a loss and one store’s windows are suddenly covered with boards because its insurance coverage was inadequate, it can really have a negative impact on the whole chain,” Bolt said.
Moreover, under the Wynward approach, if a franchise decides to update product offerings or alter internal protocols, the business owner can adjust all corresponding policies at once.
“If the franchisor determines that they need to make changes within their business unit, whether that’s a new product, service or a need to conform with new legislation, we can be that one-stop shop,” said Bolt. “That way, the franchisor or corporate store is not forcing their franchisees to the market to try and negotiate with insurers individually.”