About Us

A Short History...

of Beacon Underwriting Ltd.

In the early 1980's most pleasurecraft were insured on riders attached to homeowner policies. The Insurer's underwriting rules were very conservative and would not accommodate any boats other than very standard runabouts.

A market was needed to insure the houseboats that were being introduced to Shuswap Lake, as well as non-standard boats such as river boats, jet boats and high performance boats, etc.

About this time a new marine underwriter entered the Vancouver market and Beacon approached them to underwrite this business that could not be easily placed with domestic insurance companies. Beacon approached them to underwrite pleasurecraft, but they did not want to expand their staff to the number necessary to write standard boats, so Beacon offered their expertise to underwrite and produce pleasurecraft business for them.

The request for this sub-brokered business grew and Beacon was placing commercial marine business for brokers, rental fleets, fishing charters, boom boats, water taxis, etc…. and when brokers saw Beacon writing rental boats and rental jet skis, they started asking for cover for rental canoe and kayak operations….which then lead to arranging Commercial General Liability Facilities and the writing of many classes of recreational and eco-tourism liability risks.

Beacon was also writing marine liabilities – Marina Operators Legal Liability, Ship Repairers Legal Liability, Marine Course of Construction, etc. Which lead to brokers requesting property facilities to insure the buildings and equipment associated with the marina and recreation liability coverage's.

Marine and Non-marine business continued to grow, with the addition of new markets to allow additional classes of business to be offered to our brokers and by this time across Canada.

Beacon was also automating and developing computerized rating engines to handle business more efficiently, to be able to handle the increasing number of submissions and get terms to brokers faster.

In 2003 Beacon opened an office in Langley. The location was selected to attract experienced underwriting and processing staff that worked for insurance companies in Vancouver but lived in the Langley / Surrey areas. The idea was to save people over 2 hours a day in commuting time and the related costs. It has proven to be successful and is a busy and expanding office.

This new office allowed a split in functions between the Salmon Arm and Langley offices: the high volume, low premium classes such as Pleasurecraft, Motorcycle, Off-Road, Hole in One, and Special Events are underwritten and produced in the Salmon Arm office, while Commercial and Personal Lines property and casualty business is handled in Langley.

Beacon operates across Canada, offering many niche products and can facilitate a very broad range of property and liability classes of business, ranging from very standard classes to very high risk exposures.

Beacon has six Lloyd's Property Coverholder Agreements, a Lloyd's Casualty Coverholder Agreement and contracts with six Canadian Insurance Companies. In-house property capacity is over $20 million and in-house liability authority is $10 million.

At Beacon we only accept and underwrite business for which we have full underwriting authority. We do not attempt to write classes that we have to refer.

Community Involvement

Beacon Continues to support a variety of community events, programs and charities, such as: