Transparency and candour are key to building trust in this tough market.
We are putting a spotlight on our broker-facing sales team in 2020, highlighting team members’ individual backgrounds, experience, and learnings in their respective roles. In the tough environment our industry is facing, our regional sales teams are leading the charge with preparing brokers to weather the current storm and come out on top.
Our first spotlight is on Brenden Walsh, Director of Sales and Distribution, Pacific Region.
Having spent the entirety of his career working in insurance, and nearly the past seven with RSA Canada, it is safe to say that insurance is a passion for Brenden Walsh. After starting in RSA’s Toronto office in a national sales role in December 2013, Brenden saw an opportunity to move back to Vancouver, where he had earned both his undergraduate and MBA degrees. As an avid golfer, the inviting aesthetic of Vancouver (and fewer snowfalls than Toronto, no doubt) was an undeniable call to merge his professional and personal passions. Combined with his love for travel, which the coastal city-status of Vancouver only enhances, relocating was an easy choice. Since his move, Brenden has progressed to the role of Director of Sales and Distribution, Pacific Region.
Through his tenure at RSA, Brenden has faced some of the greatest challenges and learning experiences of his career, all while evolving his practice in order to best serve the 500+ broker offices he works with throughout the province.
The challenge of the hard market
The past two years have thrown Brenden – and the industry at large – some of the biggest challenges of his career. The advent of the current hard market cycle, brought on by the increasing frequency of extreme weather incidents, rising costs of claims, and dwindling investment returns, among other factors, has been felt by Brenden’s broker partners across BC.
Brenden is a strong advocate for the role of education in preparing brokers to deal with the tough market and ensuring they are well-equipped to anticipate and address client questions and provide valuable counsel regarding clients’ policies.
The human side of insurance
In fact, this is Brenden’s favourite aspect of working at RSA – the investment made to develop employees and broker partners alike, so that they are prepared to serve clients regardless of the incidents they might face.
“Often our first interaction directly with our clients occurs when they make a claim, which in many cases can be one of the worst days of their lives. It is imperative that we provide a level of service – and empathy – commensurate with the trust they have placed in us” says Walsh. “My biggest piece of advice to brokers is to have open, honest conversations with clients, and establish relationships based on trust and transparency. The more transparent we can be with our clients, the greater the level of loyalty we can expect in return.”
Trust as the anchor
Building long lasting relationships has been the cornerstone of Brenden’s work over the past 4 years with brokers, and he believes strongly that this is what has set RSA apart from other potentially less expensive carriers in the market.
“On the day of a claim, you don’t want to learn the hard way that with insurance, like many other things in life, you really do get what you pay for. It’s important to ensure that clients are well informed and counselled to make the best coverage choices for their unique needs and no one can help you navigate the complicated world of insurance better than your insurance broker.”
This underscores the strong investment that RSA has always made in working closely with the broker channel, to ensure brokers provide the level of service that clients deserve, especially in a fast-changing market dynamic.