Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
April 30, 2001
Insurance program sets sizzling pace
Alta-NWT agents sold record $130M last year
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
RED DEER — The insurance program for the Knights of Columbus in the Alberta-Northwest Territories jurisdiction continues to set a sizzling pace.
Two years ago, the K of C insurance agents here became the first in Canada to ever sell more than $100 million of insurance in one year. Last year, they boosted that record to $131 million.
And in the year that will draw to a close at the end of June, general agent Marc Bouchard has his eyes set on $140 million worth of sales.
"We had a phenomenal year last year," says Bouchard. "Now we're hoping to show that last year wasn't a fluke."
Among the 158 general agencies across the continent, Alberta-NWT was ranked third based on its quota as well as first for both sales and premiums.
As well, for the second year in a row, an Alberta agent, this time Dan Dean of Edmonton, was the top selling agent in the entire order with $22 million of sales.
And despite all that, Bouchard said he still doesn't have enough insurance agents. Currently, there are 13, but with well over 13,000 Knights in the jurisdiction, there should be at least 16 agents.
"There's very strong support for Knights of Columbus insurance here in Alberta," says Bouchard. "The economy's strong. And we've got good guys working for us. The business is there if you want to go out and get it."
He expects membership in the Alberta Knights to continue growing and, with that, insurance sales should also remain strong.
Bouchard says he's also pleased to see new blood, and the resulting enthusiasm, at the top of the order. As well as Carl Anderson becoming the new supreme knight, Thomas Smith Jr. has become the top man for the insurance part of the Knights.
Bouchard himself has been named as one of six members of a new order-wide advisory committee on insurance to the supreme office.
The Knights of Columbus began in 1882 as essentially an insurance organization. Father Michael McGivney was concerned about the high death rate among Catholics who were the poorest-paid segment of the American working class at the time.
In the early days, to become a knight, you had to buy life insurance so that you would be supporting the widows and orphans of deceased members.
Smith recently told the general agents, "There's a direct correlation between volume of insurance sold and the charge to protect widows and children." Years down the road, the $131 million of insurance sold last year will return to K of C families as insurance benefits.
A total of $630 million of K of C insurance is now in force in Alberta. "That's a lot of money we're going to pump back into the economy," says Bouchard.
The Knights in Canada are now planning to offer a long-term care plan that would help pay the costs of those who require home care or nursing home care, he said.
"In the U.S., it's a very big deal," he said. "In Canada, it's just taking off" and the Knights want to be one of the first insurance agencies to offer that type of policy.
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