When we started Surex, it was a brick-and-mortar insurance brokerage in the small town of Magrath in Southern Alberta. We both have experience living and working in small towns, and we knew that we both wanted to stay there. However, we also had greater visions for expanding our business beyond Magrath and making an impact on our industry. We set out to build Surex as an online insurance provider (think Travelocity, but for insurance.) Today, Surex.com is Canada’s fastest growing online insurance provider.
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Alberta’s introduction of a cap on the cost of liability-only vehicle insurance has insurance companies mitigating their financial risk by increasing other rates and pricing some drivers out of coverage.
“The government meant well,” explained Lance Miller, CEO of Surex Insurance. “They’re trying to protect Albertans from high increasing costs in insurance. The problem was the stance they took has created an environment that is endangering Albertans.”
As Featured in Alberta Venture:
Takeaway: This fast-growing insurance company stepped up to compete with the big guys by embracing small-town values and technological innovation.
Since we launched Surex in 2012, a rural Alberta brokerage whose book has grown from $600K to $62M in just six years, digital technology has always been at the centre of our story.
The ability to compare and customize multiple quotes in minutes, use e-signatures for client transactions, and get instant proof of insurance, all enabled by our Brix BMS software – these are the kinds of digital innovations that have driven our growth to date.
Artificial intelligence could help a brokerage figure out how likely a prospective client is to actually buy insurance.
At least that’s what officials with Surex are hoping.
Magrath, Alta. - based Surex places home, auto and commercial lines and says it can deliver 10 quotes online in 10 minutes or less.
If a person gives Surex information to generate a home or auto quote, the brokerage defines that person as a lead, said Matt Alston, co-founder and chief operating officer of Surex.
The insurance industry says some Albertans could end up without car insurance and some companies may pull out of the province because of the NDP government’s cap on premium increases.
But the province says it’s working to protect consumers while also ensuring a healthy insurance industry.
Last December, Finance Minister Joe Ceci issued an order limiting cumulative auto rate hikes to five per cent, citing concerns over the effect of hefty rate increases on Albertans, with the policy set to be in place until the end of November.