It is hard to imagine that an insurance brokerage could have a past that rivals British Columbia’s history, but it is true.
Before settling in the Comox Valley, the company began with BC Land & Insurance Group, the longest running company in provincial history. Can you imagine that when it all began, Emily Carr was yet to be born, and the famed architect Frances Rattenbury had not set sail from England? As a matter of fact, the very beginnings of what is now Vancouver Island InsuranceCentres (VIIC), was a company before Canada officially became a country.
So what does this have to do with the Comox Valley?
While BC Land & Insurance is VIIC’s affiliate with the longest history, the belief that the survival of small town brokerages depended on working together to form unique product lines and attract other well-founded insurance brokerages, was an idea sparked by Comox Valley Insurance Services, the first agency to concentrate solely on insurance services.
Farrington Insurance Agencies and R.N. Carey Agencies in Courtenay merged to become Comox Valley Insurance in 1967, and in 1977 they purchased P. Leo Anderton & Company, which originally opened its doors on downtown Courtenay’s Union Street (now 5th) in March 1911.
Comox Valley Insurance, the oldest continuously operating insurance brokerage in the Comox Valley and one of the oldest on the island, continued to expand with affiliations to many well-known businesses including McKenzie Coastland Insurance, Thwaites Norris Insurance, Ladysmith Insurance Service, Hub City Insurance, Simpson Insurance, Dogwood Insurance, Good Insurance and BC Land & Insurance.
In 2003, this group of highly respected insurance business across the island came together to be known jointly as Vancouver Island Insurance Centres (VIIC). Today, VIIC is the largest, privately owned insurance brokerage firm, with 13 branches, on Vancouver Island. In the Comox Valley, VIIC has three busy offices – Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland -each staffed with industry professionals who are only focused on maintaining the small community customer service while offering world class insurance products and claims service.
It is true- as it has grown over the past 100 years VIIC has had a few names. It is also true that their never changing legacy of loyal clients is testament to their importance in the community. VIIC is building on its 100 year history in the Comox Valley to help insure the future of its community.