Travel Insurance? It’s in my DNA.

My first real post so I will start at the beginning: Why do we do what we do?

My father grew up on a farm in Southern Ontario, Canada. His family had immigrated to Canada between 1805 and 1810 from Pennsylvania, USA, like a lot of Canadians at the time who were refugees from revolution, searching for cheap land or finding a safe place for their religion. My mother’s family immigrated to Canada in the 1920s from Finland, escaping an ideology that they disagreed with, and my grandfather having no choice since he was on the wrong side of a civil war.

My parents grew up in the Depression, one much worse than what we see today, with little or no social assistance, no social medical care and millions of people out of work, some starving. They met in a community hall in Northern Ontario and started a family in the early 40s, trying to make ends meet any way they could. My father worked in logging camps, mines and farming. He was a machinist, foreman and worked constantly to feed and house his family. In the mid 40s, they moved to Southern Ontario with 3 children and lived on my grandparents’ farm. This allowed my father and mother to re-educate themselves, go to school and ultimately change their direction in life.

1946 in Guelph, Ontario: They started marketing health and life insurance products. They understood the disadvantages of being a new immigrant in Canada, of having little money and how hard it was to raise a family. By 1949, they had salespeople working with them who spoke most European languages and they had developed a focus on helping new immigrants find housing, transportation, community support and, yes, health insurance at a time when there was no social medical system. They saw a niche and underserved clients, they saw that helping people—especially new Canadians—the way their family had needed help and providing those families assistance services and a necessary health care insurance product that they could afford would not only create a good business, but would provide them peace of mind. They created a company that was multicultural before this became the norm in Canada.

I entered the world a long time after and in a different environment from my siblings. I grew up in the 60s and 70s in the city (Toronto), not the farm. I grew up at a time when the world was changing. People questioned the status quo, political structures, corporations and the meaning of life. I travelled with my parents and saw the world from a different vantage point. We lived for a time in Jamaica, and everywhere we went, we had people from different cultures, religions and with different languages living with and visiting us on a regular basis. I also grew up in this business at the side of my parents; I built toys out of office supplies, I learned how to navigate the streets of downtown Toronto on my own after being dropped off at the office after school, and learned how to communicate with people from all over the world.

So it was natural that I ended up here. In a business that reflects what I was taught, what I learned, and what I now believe. It’s in my DNA.

We have a business that is global, diverse and inclusive. We have products and services that help others when they are away from home and away from their support network. We are consumer focused, we are a voice for the consumer, and we are aware of the needs of clients and recommend what is available and suitable for them.

Today, we are part of the fabric of the new Canada, one focused on the world, and we are growing. With offices in other countries, we use our expertise, knowledge and understanding to benefit others and provide a high level of customer care.

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