“I think a lot of people think we’re
small, but we’re not. We’ve bonded
projects up to $130 million.”
– Scott Donald
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Donald knows the company well, having
been an employee for 32 years now. And he
knows the industry well – in 2021, he’ll celebrate
his 40th year in the surety industry.
But in addition to its longevity, Western
Surety is also notable for something else.
“We’re the only surety-only – also
known as a monoline surety company – in
Canada. (There is the) misinterpretation
that we might provide other insurance
products, but we don’t,” said Donald.
The focus on being a surety-only company
seems to be key to their survival.
The focus has been that way since its
beginning. This is a company that lived
through The Great Depression, and saw
great success in the post-war boom years.
Donald says that it was 1950 when the
company’s name changed to Western
Surety, perhaps reflecting its influence and
work beyond the borders of its birth province.
The company does much of its work
in Western Canada, but in addition to its
Regina location also has offices in Toronto
(Mississauga) and Halifax (Dartmouth).
The company has a crew of just over two
dozen employees across the country.
“We have about 280 insurance brokers
we deal with right now, but back in the day,
there were (just) a few of them. Some acted
as MGAs, which were managing general
agents,” said Donald. These MGAs were
the source of Western Surety’s connection
to Eastern Canada.
“That exposed us to the Atlantic provinces
and to Ontario while there was only
one office here (in Regina). I’m sure at
the outset (Western Surety’s business) was
predominantly the west, but it certainly
evolved to beyond that well before I got
here,” said Donald.
“Alberta’s been our largest premium
producer for at least 30 to 40 years,” said
40 Think BIG | Quarter 3 2019 | saskheavy.ca