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Young & Haggis – Celebrates 60 Years

Young & Haggis – Celebrates 60 Years

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John Haggis and Barry Haggis

“We owe a debt of gratitude to our mom. She was the unsung hero for a long time,” says John Haggis, partner at Young & Haggis. “Chris and Rob were great as relationship people, but Barb was great behind the scenes figuring out how we do this the right way and keeping things on the rails.”

Integrity and work ethic were baked into the corporate ethos from the beginning and as the company grew organically and through acquisition, the team continued to provide exceptional service to clients. It slowly expanded from personal insurance into commercial, life and disability coverage and the management team sought out experienced and knowledgeable brokers in the business to build a strong team of like-minded professionals to help it grow.

It grew by two more when Barry’s and John’s professional paths circled back to the family business in 2011 and 2017 respectively. When Rob retired in 2018 and Barb and Chris followed suit in 2021, Barry and John and their dedicated in-office team of 15 were ready to carry Young & Haggis into the future.

In a future that’s largely digital, Young & Haggis strikes a delicate balance. The firm remains up to date technologically and can accommodate a client’s preferred communication method, whether that’s through the app, text, email or by phone, but it will not compromise service for convenience. The Young & Haggis team is wary of insure-tech products that eliminate the service element and instead keeps human eyes monitoring and managing accounts. “When a client phones the office, they will never hear, “Your call is important to us” and then sit on hold for 30 minutes,” says John.

Young & Haggis is proud to remain a completely independent family-owned brokerage that puts relationships and customer needs first in this rapidly changing landscape.
“With the rate consolidation and amalgamation are going, I can count on two hands the brokers left that are fully independent and not part of a cluster or larger group,” says Barry, who is also the past-president of the Alberta Insurance Brokers Association.

They are fiercely proud to be one of the last independents standing and they strive to provide better service at every turn. Young & Haggis’ brokers aren’t incentivized by volume sales, and instead of pushing to add new accounts they focus on serving existing ones, getting to know clients well to provide the best possible experience.

“I would put the customer service reps in our office up against any,” says Barry.

Clients know they have a dedicated broker assigned to their account so there is always a knowledgeable point of contact who will assist with their insurance including any issues they may have with claims. In an environment of call centres and impersonal batch emails, this matters. Their old-school relationship-driven approach attracts word-of-mouth referrals and has allowed them to provide a different kind of elevated personalized service to an increasingly discerning client base.

“Our focus is on that individual with assets that need proper attention and higher liability requirements from an insurance perspective,” says John. “We are very comfortable in that high value space right now.”

They partner with high value markets CHUBB and Aviva Ovation and have long term relationships with Wawanesa Insurance, Intact Insurance, Peacehills and Aviva, along with a number of managing general agents that provide specialty products.

Over the past 60 years, Young & Haggis Insurance Services has evolved with the industry and become a highly respected boutique insurance broker. Jack Young would be proud to see his company thriving with grandsons Barry and John Haggis at the helm.

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