Branching Out - AJG in Warragul

1 Jul 2016

Warragul is based in West Gippsland, Victoria, just over 100km east of Melbourne. It is predominantly an agricultural and dairy farming area - and also home to an Arthur J. Gallagher branch. We caught up with Branch Manager Sharon Cannon to talk piloting, lawn mower racing and inoculating chickens!

Size of team: 8

Specialties: We have a lot of farm, civil package, motor trade and SME business clients, and do a fair amount of personal lines business. We also specialise in age care and run successful schemes for taxis and for motorhome and caravan owners.

What’s the most unusual thing your team has been asked to insure?

My colleague, Lynda McCarthy, seems to attract the weird and wonderful.  She has been asked to insure lawn mower racing, a farmer who has a riding school along with a small side business inoculating chickens. Finding insurance for that has been quite challenging!

On another occasion we were required to arrange insurance for a helicopter to remove rubbish from a much loved part of the high country Mt Hotham. The request was made while the helicopter was in the air above the field waiting to begin work! Thanks to our good relationship with the insurer we were able to arrange the cover in 15 minutes and get the job done.

What’s the best aspect of working at your branch?

Our clients. A lot of them have been doing business with us for more than 20 years. They’re very loyal and a pleasure to work with. Most brokers will tell you that making a real difference to clients when they need it most is the best part of the job, and we’d be no different. We look at ourselves as not just being a broker, but a trusted adviser and a business partner.

You’re currently studying to get your own Private Pilot’s Licence. Will this benefit the business?

I hope so! I have achieved my Recreational Pilot Licence, but that only allows me to travel by myself within a radius of 25 nautical miles from the aero club. I have a few clients within that range, but at the moment it’s really something I do for pleasure. I hope to soon have my Private Pilot Licence, which will allow me to fly anywhere in Australia, and also take passengers with me. That will then extend our reach as a business and help us reach more clients in outlying areas more easily.