Taurien Daley (pictured) was on the cusp of becoming a police officer when insurance came calling. After getting an education in a related field, he completed the required testing, including a psych evaluation, and all he had left to do was apply for a job with the Toronto Police Services. Then, he learned that a friend was taking a licencing test to join his family brokerage, and because Daley knew a bit about the industry and had been interested in insurance in college, he borrowed his friend’s textbook, studied it, and passed the RIBO exam on his first attempt.
Soon, he was working at Frith Insurance Brokers in Newmarket, ON, on the personal lines side as a full-fledged producer. After about a year, Daley decided it was time to branch out and see what else the industry could offer him. He joined Lyon & Butler Insurance Brokers as an account executive focusing on commercial lines, which is when his career took off.
“I discovered a passion for [the business] because it was so diverse, and it expanded my horizons,” said Daley. “Sales has always been a big part of my life with any business that I’ve been a part of in the past, and the commercial aspect of it magnified that.”
Getting into commercial lines has opened up many different avenues of business for Daley, and he’s always learning about a new industry and its insurance needs. “Every day is different,” he noted, “and it’s required a lot of hands-on attention.”He’s also been able to grow a successful book of business in the commercial space and establish himself as a key competitor in the Toronto area. He’s had practice getting his foot in the door at various businesses and overcoming hurdles by achieving major milestones, like acquiring a larger account or providing guidance for a complex risk.
“All it takes is not being afraid of the rejection,” said Daley, “and developing certain sales skills and being able to communicate with people effectively.”
Three years ago, the broker broadened his horizons further by joining the Insurance Brokers of the Toronto Region (IBTR) because he wanted to contribute to the insurance industry. Today, he’s the community outreach committee chair. This involvement allows him to communicate with brokers outside of his office as well as inside his office to get a better understanding of what’s happening in the industry.
“If you’re just talking to people within your office, sometimes you get that tunnel vision where you only see what’s happening in front of you,” said Daley, adding that this experience has also benefited his clients. “It allows me to bring that back to my customers and educate them on what’s happening in the industry – why it’s good for them to be with a broker, what the benefits are, and how we can help them as opposed to going with a direct writer.”
The work of brokers like Daley has become even more important during the coronavirus pandemic. Already before the crisis hit, pockets of the insurance marketplace were experiencing a hardening market, and COVID-19 has further changed the landscape.Nonetheless, Daley is up for the challenge. After all, he says, “Dealing with different challenges every day has always been what’s kept me in the game and coronavirus is no different. It just means that we’ve had to switch gears and adapt to this new normal.”
Since the coronavirus has struck, the team at Lyon & Butler has had a ton of communication with existing customers as they help them through this difficult period.
“Businesses are struggling,” said Daley.“People are short on money, their hands are tied, they don’t know if their businesses are going to survive, and, as a broker, you can step in to say, ‘What can I do to help and how can we advocate for you with the insurance companies so that we can help you through this time?’”