Traci Boland – Ontario West Insurance Brokers

A Short but Winding Road

If you can believe it, Traci Boland started ‘working’ in Insurance with her father when she was in elementary school! At the ripe old age of 11 her daily schedule included school, violin lessons, homework, a bit of light filing, and then skating lessons.

Even with this very early introduction to the industry, it took Traci a while to find her way back to insurance permanently. First, she went to school for police foundations however, after graduation she realized that the career was not for her. Then she moved onto coaching professional synchronized figure skating, working in Canada, Finland, and even leading Team USA in Cleveland!

World Domination Through Insurance

Traci returned to home to London to fill in as receptionist at the brokerage and made the decision to obtain her RIBO license. When she attended her first Young Brokers Convention she was sold. Her new life plan became ‘world domination in insurance’ (her words!). Starting out, Traci worked her way through all the positions within the company. This approach provided her with valuable technical insight as well as empathy and understanding for her team.

She took a similar approach to industry involvement, working through every available volunteer position within IBAO before becoming President and Chair in 2017. The focus of her tenure was harnessing the power of technology to improve the Brokers tool kit and allow them to deliver information to their clients via their preferred channel be it web portal, app or other means.

An ‘AHA’ Moment

Last year Traci and her partner Jamie Marshall made the decision to recalibrate OWIB’s internal compass. Instead of paying on new business, they flipped the script and began to pay based on retention. The change not only drove staff to focus on enhancing the experience for existing clients, it also meant a lighter workload and increased compensation.

Traci and Jamie also deeply value their people and actively work to remove obstacles for their staff. Sometimes that means providing access to new technology and sometimes it means taking time to talk about anything but insurance. In the Summer OWIB launched ‘Thoughtful Tuesdays’, 30 minutes each week for the team to expand their horizons. These sessions have welcomed special guests such as Life Coach Allison Graham, comedian James Cunningham, and Olympian Elizabeth Manley.

People Behind the Decisions 

What Traci and her staff value most about their relationship with Nova Mutual are the people. When the staff at OWIB recommend Nova to their clients, the Claims team is often the main selling point. Where the industry seems to be ever more focused on claim handling processes, Nova’s focus remains squarely on the client. Nova Claims works with OWIB to find a mutually satisfying solution, making every effort to avoid disrupting the client’s life.

The Nova Underwriting team also shares this approach, working with OWIB to find the right solution for each individual scenario. The client’s risks are underwritten by a real person who can give feedback and insight into their decisions.

Because at the end of the day, as Traci believes, insurance is all about people.

Written by Emily Gibson, Brand Ambassador