What's ahead for Sovereign in 2023 and beyond with Colette Taylor, Dave McKeen, and Matthew Campbell
A New Year is always a good time to look inward. But Sovereign Insurance is going strong into 2023 with a decidedly external focus.
“The strategic period that we ended last year was internally focused – and it needed to be as we strengthened our business infrastructure,” explains Dave McKeen, Vice President, Commercial Solutions, Underwriting and Risk Engineering.
As part of Sovereign’s evolution, he explains, the company bolstered its talent development process, developed a new product suite, and invested in new technology to support its latest offering. “Now, with much of that work under our belt, our new four-year strategy is about looking externally and deploying our new capabilities into the market,” says Dave.
All of these transformative developments have a key goal in mind: to be a stronger partner for Sovereign’s brokers, managing general agent (MGA) partners, and end clients. “The pace of business has sped up for them and there is greater need for an insurance company that brings more than just a piece of paper and a promise to the table,” says Dave. “They need a partner that brings expertise to help navigate issues and solve problems in the industries and client bases they serve.”
Fittingly, Sovereign named this approach “partners in resilience” – and this was before today’s economic volatility and geopolitical unrest was front and centre. But these uncertain times make Sovereign’s focus on the ever-changing needs of partners and clients more relevant and important than ever.
“We are focused on understanding the issues their businesses are facing, so that we are able to effectively navigate their changing insurance needs and be in a true partnership with them along the way,” says Colette Taylor, Chief Operating Officer. “By building greater sophistication into our business, we can build a tripartite relationship and work together on the risk-management needs of our end clients.”
Ahead of the new strategy, Sovereign divested its surety business in Canada in September 2022. “Over the past couple of years, we have worked to strongly position Sovereign as a niche commercial and specialty insurer,” says Colette. “We made the decision to focus on our core property and casualty products, and the divestiture of our surety business will allow us to put all our resources into the space we’re in.”
While the new product suite isn’t on the market yet, Dave provides a hint of what brokers and clients can expect when it launches later this year. “It’s an integrated series of products that provide holistic, flexible solutions aimed at specific industries, such as construction, manufacturing, warehousing and others,” he says. “We have approached this offering from the lens of the client, with a suite of products relevant to their needs and tailored to their industry.”
To deliver its latest product suite, Sovereign is implementing a leading-edge policy administration system. The new system will enable Sovereign to tailor its products to end clients more consistently and accurately.
Central to supporting these exciting initiatives is Sovereign’s strong financial foundation. Sovereign is a wholly owned subsidiary of Co-operators General Insurance company, which (as of 2021) has $9 billion in assets and a net income of $512.4 million. Sovereign is also proud to carry an “A” (Excellent) rating from AM Best, a global credit agency specializing in the insurance industry.
“We continue to grow and have solid financial results, and we now have a platform to grow even more in our specific areas,” says Matthew Campbell, Vice President of Finance, Operations & Claims. “As a niche player, operating within our appetite for risk is very important, and it allows us the financial outcome that we want to support our purpose as an organization.”
As Sovereign continues to grow its business and support its clients, the company hasn’t lost sight of supporting the community. A key focus for Sovereign is its community impact work focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). While Sovereign doesn't proclaim to be experts in DEI, the organization is committed to learning, changing, and making a significant impact within the insurance industry. So far, they've focused on topics like mental health, Indigenous reconciliation, and 2SLGBTQ+ allyship. In addition to making monetary donations, Sovereign is learning how it can provide more support to various individuals and groups.
“We want to be very authentic in our community impact work,” says Colette. “We are not experts in these areas, but we are on a journey of learning and we have invited our partners to be on that journey with us. We are going to continue to shed light on areas where we could all be learning more.”