Insurance and its value to the community

Insurance exec talks about insurance being a net good and the importance of brokers

Insurance and its value to the community

Diversity & Inclusion

By Gabriel Olano

The public’s perception of the insurance industry has always been mixed. While the industry has helped individuals and businesses recover from losses, some insurance companies’ and professionals’ unethical acts have also smeared the industry’s reputation.

Jon Winsbury, executive vice president of the international division at Gallagher Bassett, was featured in an IB Talk podcast and talked about how, despite its mistakes, the insurance industry has been a force for good in society.

Winsbury, who has been at Gallagher Bassett for more than 20 years, said that insurance’s positive impact was what made him stay in the industry for so long, even if it wasn’t the career he envisioned in the first place.

“What kept me there … was a sense that we were really doing good things for the community,” Winsbury said. “Even though insurance companies cop a lot of flak, the stats tell a different story. The fact that we put roofs back on homes, cars back on the road, and help people get back to work when they’re injured; the statistics clearly tell a story that the insurance industry, in general, provides a really valuable service to our community.”

While Winsbury admitted that the industry does make mistakes, he said that what kept him in insurance was the knowledge that “we’re actually doing good things in bad times for our neighbours.”

According to Winsbury, the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for all employers to engage a broker or an insurer.

“I think if you own a business and if you want to run that business effectively, you go and engage a bookkeeper or a qualified accountant,” he said. “Why would it be any different for a significant cost on your P&L called insurance? Any business owner should be engaging their local insurance broker to assist them to get the best deal because [insurance] can be complex and you don’t want to get tripped up. If you run a plumbing business, no one expects you to be an insurance expert.”

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