Cowan offers one of the largest, most comprehensive, and well-recognized pleasure craft insurance programs in Canada. As the Business Development Manager, Western Canada at Cowan Insurance Brokers, Toby Struewing helps brokers to insure a wide variety of watercraft for their clients. Recently, Toby joined us to share his insurance background spanning more than two decades, what brought him to Cowan, and provides his insights on the boat insurance industry.
How did you get started with Cowan?
I started 21 years ago as a branch manager in Cowan Insurance Group’s Woodstock Ontario office. After running this location for about four years, I switched to Commercial Insurance sales at our head office in Cambridge, Ontario. In 2015, I accepted a Business Development role in Western Canada with our Broker Advantage program, which introduced me to our watercraft program. I’ve been based in British Columbia, heading the boat insurance program there for the last six years.
Can you tell me more about your role in the pleasure craft program?
I maintain strong relationships with our broker partners in Western Canada, meeting brokers and providing them with the best insurance products for their clients.
Through Broker Services, watercraft insurance is one of our more popular products, particularly since the West Coast has easy access to the water. Our watercraft program primarily deals with pleasure craft, which includes day boats, cruisers, and sailboats.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
In my current role, I enjoy helping brokers find the best coverage options for their clients. I also love my role because it has allowed me to move to the West Coast, which is an area of Canada I really enjoy.
Before becoming involved in the marine program here in Western Canada, I had never imagined that I’d own a boat myself. Through working with marine brokers and seeing their passion for the industry, I became intrigued by the possibility of owning a boat, and I eventually ended up buying one. I’ve now been a boat owner for two years.
How do you keep up with the changes in the industry?
As a boat owner myself now, I have a more personal perspective on many of our brokers’ clients’ challenges, which keeps me abreast of industry changes. When it comes to the coverages that Cowan offers, I always keep the products, the marketplace, and the risks in mind whether I am interacting with brokers or retail customers; I make it my job to understand industry changes.
What excites you about the future of the insurance industry?
I am excited to do business again in person, post-pandemic. The world has been a very different place for the past year. For the first 20 years of my career, meeting in-person with brokers was simple, and the pandemic has required us to shift the way we meet and interact. While I’m happy that I’ve been able to work effectively with brokers in a virtual environment over the last year, I look forward to the days when we can meet in person again.
Learn more about Cowan Insurance Group’s Pleasure craft Insurance for British Columbia-based broker partners.