AA Munro's support for volunteer firefighters helps preserve rural communities in Nova Scotia
This charitable mindset is catching on throughout insurance brokerages across Canada. Brokers realize that charity is vital to building strong communities where they operate. For some rural brokers, it’s the key to survival.
“We were built from 22 small brokerages across Nova Scotia. To us, maintaining the rural way of life is crucial because it’s our home … it’s also where we do business. We’re a community-based brokerage and take pride in strengthening our local communities and their culture,” says Wayne Ezekiel, president of AA Munro.
Even AA Munro’s Scottish name denotes deep ties within the communities it serves. Nova Scotia literally translates as “New Scotland” in Latin. To entrench these historic ties, Ezekiel is a proud and active member of the Antigonish Highland Society. “Community is built and maintained around culture. Our brokerage’s Scottish heritage is woven into the fabric of what Nova Scotia is as a province,” says Ezekiel.
But sharing a common ancestry isn’t enough to ensure success in the competitive P&C marketplace. “We have close ties and personal relationships within our communities that differentiate us from direct writers. Those relationships are often forged through community work,” says Ezekiel.
As an example, AA Munro has created a positive footprint across Nova Scotia through its direct support of the province’s volunteer firefighters. “Firefighters are our industry’s silent partners and their work is often undervalued. Our support of the firefighters has grown into a fruitful relationship for us and the community,” says Ezekiel.
Last year, AA Munro broker Tilda Raney got together with the New Glasgow Fire Department to launch a smoke detector program for local elementary schools. The program gives Grade Two students a smoke detector to install in their bedrooms and educates children about the care, maintenance and life span of the detectors.
“It’s about creating safety awareness at an early age. It shows the community that we stand behind our mission to protect the material well-being of Canadians. It also proves we care about protecting lives. If our program saves one person, it’s all worth it,” says Raney.
The return on AA Munro’s charitable investments is to know that their rural economies are strong and families are protected. Gratitude from the community is just icing on the cake for the brokers.
“I often have people come into the office to express how thankful they are for our support. We’re involved with local hospitals, food banks, countless charity groups and we were proud to help the Undercurrent Youth Centre win the Aviva Community Fund last year. Along the way, we’ve made some wonderful connections and enriched our local communities,” says Ezekiel. “From both a community and business perspective, charity is important to all of us.”
Copyright 2013 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the September 2013 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine