Aiming for the small and medium enterprise (SME) market, Lloyd’s syndicate launches in Toronto

Since its start in 2016, Probitas 1492 has been writing in Canada. However, Lloyd’s syndicate decided to step up its presence in the local market.

With the goal of increasing its presence in what Robbin Botnick describes as a “unique marketplace,” Probitas has chosen Robbin Botnick to spearhead the launch of its Toronto service firm.

Probitas aims to serve small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada. The company offers a range of insurance and reinsurance products, including property, construction, general liability, and financial lines.

“We’re going to play to our strengths in underwriting,” Botnick stated.

“We are committed to sustaining the lines of business and segments that Probitas has been effectively writing about in Canada for a while now, while also placing an emphasis on the local geography.”

Chance to access a “unique marketplace”
A large portion of Canada’s GDP comes from small and medium-sized businesses, which is one reason why the country is a desirable market to do business in. A local touch is necessary to tap into that place successfully.

There is a constant potential to promote small and mid-market organizations, and small company enterprises continue to dominate Canada’s marketplace, according to Botnick.

While Probitas will assist brokers of all sizes in Canada’s major cities, we will also give special attention to those in more remote areas who may not have the resources they need in the modern day.

“The development of the business will be supported by having people on the ground who truly understand the geography in local communities.”

Botnick, who has a wealth of expertise about Lloyd’s industry and has worked as a broker and an MGA, said that Probitas is looking to cooperate with brokers that are creative in finding solutions for their clients.

As Botnick put it, “where it makes sense,” the company will prioritize its underwriting of cross-line and multi-line enterprises, and it will consider smaller businesses that would not normally enter London directly.
“We are targeting brokers in Canada who are enthusiastic about supporting continuous product innovation and development, as the country’s insurance market is primarily a package market.”

Probitas’ obstacles to expansion in Canada: competition, national cats, and macro pressures
Botnick did, however, concede that expanding the underwriting business in Canada was not without its own of difficulties.

A number of macroeconomic factors are anticipated to remain in place this year, including reduced consumer expenditure, inflation, and elevated interest rates. The insurance market in Canada was hit hard last year by the possibility of extreme weather and natural disasters.

According to Botnick, high levels of competition in the mid-market and SME space provide a challenge, but it’s not a major worry.

According to Botnick, “there are lots of MGAs, Lloyd’s coverholders, and new entrants,” adding that the company benefits from the support and alignment provided by its London team through data analytics insights.

The fact remains, nevertheless, that there are 23,000 insurance brokers and agents across Canada. There’s a lot of room to network with those brokers and form alliances.

Recruiting top people for the multinational company is a challenge that Botnick is eager to take on.

It’s fiercely competitive, particularly in the major cities. She went on to say that underwriters will be interested in working with a highly entrepreneurial firm that is well-supported yet manages to operate like a startup, even if Probitas is a well-known and large corporation. “We have a once in a lifetime chance to entice the proper individuals with this.”

Probitas, with headquarters in London, specializes in covering and providing capacity for primary and excess policies, as well as having in-house claims experience, with an emphasis on international high-growth markets.

In an effort to better serve its local broker partners and expand into strategically important geographies, Probitas has decided to launch a service firm in Canada.

After becoming Lloyd’s first syndicate to join their Mexico representative office in 2018, it began to expand its influence in Latin America. Additionally, it has established distribution and underwriting platforms in Australia, Manchester (UK regional), and Brussels (EEA).

“We understand that the Canadian market is distinct, and our goal is to assist brokers in the commercial SME and mid-market sectors regardless of their size,” she stated.