Since the COVID-19 pandemic first gripped the world just over a year ago, the impact of uncertainty on people’s lives has taken on amplified importance. And for one group of companies, the crisis represents an opportunity to expand on a proud tradition of helping Canadians deal with the risks they face over their lifetime.
“For over 115 years here at CAA, we've been helping Canadians really stay mobile, safe, and protected,” said Dwayne Williams, director, at CAA Club Group (CCG). “The CAA Club Group of Companies is comprised of two automobile clubs, CAA South Central Ontario and CAA Manitoba, which provide roadside assistance, travel, insurance services, and member savings for over 2.3 million members.”
Also under the CCG umbrella is the CAA Insurance Company, a national property and casualty insurance provider; the Orion Travel Insurance Company; and Echelon Insurance, a national specialty insurer.
While CAA Club Group historically established itself as a trusted advocate for road safety, it has reimagined its mandate over the past few years to include different types of insurance. More recently, it went one step further with the introduction of the CAA Club Group Advisory Services.
“The pandemic has really given us an opportunity for us to be there for Ontarians in a more comprehensive and personal way. Despite the market declining here in Canada for life insurance sales, our health and life insurance inquiries and sales have actually grown,” Williams said. “All things considered, it's really just the perfect time for us to be more involved overall in the customer journey.”
As an advocacy-based organization, CAA Club Group is not aiming to sell or push products. Though it offers CAA life and health insurance through Manulife or online, the new service includes an array of options, with qualified experts available to help consumers go through what could be a confusing due diligence and selection process, with a view to providing unbiased advice.
“If anybody wants to get a review of their insurance needs, know what options they have to mitigate the risks they face, or if they just have any questions about insurance, we can provide no-obligation assistance absolutely free,” Williams said. “It’s open to all consumers, though members of the CAA Club Group can potentially enjoy a variety of discounts and benefits.”
In providing insurance advice, CCG’s focus is on risk mitigation through financial protection. From a product perspective, its suite of life and health insurance offerings include solutions for critical illness, disability, whole life, and term life insurance.
As Williams explained, the CAA Club Group Advisory Services is powered by a team of life-licensed insurance advisors. Apart from their professional experience and expertise in multiple areas, the group is linguistically equipped to help walk consumers through the insurance conversation, with individual members representing various languages including English, French, Hindi, and Tamil Urdu.
“We have to be there for our members and that's about more than just being able to pick up the phone,” he said. “We've got to be able to meet them on their terms, and where they feel comfortable, wherever we can.”
To help give consumers true freedom of choice, CAA Club Group puts no pressure on its sales agents to sell, as they are salaried employees who don’t rely solely on commissions. At the same time, it makes sure to partner with strong, reputable Canadian insurers with years, decades, or even centuries of providing quality services and products behind them. It’s that foundation of trust that the group aims to continue providing Canadians with much-needed guidance as they navigate the twists and turns of life.
“This is not about a one-time conversation that will help us to get to know each other and understand what your needs are today; whether you’re going through new parenthood, getting a new job, or looking at homeownership, our advisors are here to help you,” Williams said. “We are absolutely committed to that, as we've been for the past 100 years in terms of advocating for Ontarians.”