CHES Special Risk: Everything you need to know
Offices: Three (Toronto, Ottawa, and Quebec)
CHES Special Risk was founded in the midst of a hardening marketplace, with specialties in the entertainment and hospitality sectors. While originally, the managing general agent/wholesale broker was backed by Canadian insurers, it later became a Lloyd’s approved coverholder in 2009.
Today, CHES Special Risk offers products in over 200 different classes, including property and general liability, construction, high-end homeowners, landlord, transportation and cargo, and many more.
CHES Special Risk in the news
June 2018: CHES Special Risk unveils new suite of active assailant products
August 2018: CHES Special Risk expands footprint in Quebec
July 2019: Apollo Insurance partners with CHES Special Risk
Key people as of 2019
Gary Hirst – President and CEO, CHES Special Risk
Hirst’s insurance career dates back to the early 1980s, when he started working at a Lloyd’s broker, running policy endorsements into the market. He eventually climbed the ladder to become a director, a role that led to his participation in the management buy-out and subsequent floatation of the broker on to the London Stock Exchange.
At this time, Hirst decided to set out on his own with three other partners, and launched a boutique Lloyd’s brokerage in 1998 that then expanded into North America with the founding of two Lloyd’s coverholder MGAs – one in Canada and one in the US. In 2011, he moved to Canada to run the company’s North American interests, though it was sold in 2012.
Hirst joined CHES Special Risk two years later and has overseen the MGA’s growth in the marketplace as well as its various accomplishments, such as its many Insurance Business recognitions. Hirst is also a founding member of the Canadian Managing General Agents, a national association that represents more than 140 commercial insurance MGAs in the Canadian marketplace.
CHES Special Risk is always looking at new products that can benefits brokers and in turn, their insureds. In June 2018, the MGA launched a whole suite of offerings that included the active assailant insurance package, terrorism insurance package, threat of terrorism package, and loss of attraction cover, a standalone product for large clients such as stadiums, and shopping malls to address a threat of an incident that would force an event venue to close for investigations, which could lead to loss of revenue for businesses.
The MGA’s broker-focused sentiment came through during its expansion in Quebec in 2018. Speaking about the hiring of Gabriel Morneau as director and senior underwriter for CHES Solutions Spécialisées, Hirst said, “His strong experience in developing new and innovative products will be invaluable to CHES Solutions Spécialisées as we continue to provide our broker clients with one of the most expansive product offerings in the industry, especially at this time where there is market movement and uncertainty.”