Serving the Caribbean for over 165 years, Guardian has seen yet another transition. Formerly Guardian General Insurance Limited (GGIL), the insurance and financial services pioneer, has of July 29, 2014, been rebranded to the Guardian Group of Companies. In honour of the occasion, the conglomerate hosted a breakfast launch at the Bay Gardens Hotel conference room.
Under the new single brand, Guardian Group becomes the largest indigenous and insurance group in the English and Dutch Speaking Caribbean. While the companies within the group remain separate legal entities, they all now carry a single brand name, logo and tagline, solidifying their rich legacy in the insurance and financial services sector. GGIL is a major player in the general insurance market in St. Lucia, underwriting classes of insurance business including property, motor, liability, accident and marine
Speaking at the launch, Manager for Overseas Operations, Terry-Ann Wilson presented on the rebranding process.
“Today’s launch is a milestone in our journey and by no means the end. The rebrand of the group allows us to take the whole experience to a different level where we can now harness the value of the Guardian life Brand and the offering that they bring to their clients, so that when clients, for example, deal with Guardian Group anywhere, they know what we stand for, they recognize us, and they have confidence in the strength and stability that backs our promise to be there for them when they need us the most.”
With over 150 years of experience and a complement of 2400 individualized agents and staff, Guardian renders its services to a client base of over 400,000 persons across the region. In aiding its reach, the group profited the opportunity of becoming an official partner of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) in 2013 as one of it’s marketing strategies. It is also the sponsor of the Guardian LCPL Event Champions, the team of volunteers who make the event the success. Following the launch, Larry Olton, Group Vice-President for Integrated Marketing Communications, briefed us on this new development.
STAR: Apart from the brand repositioning, what other enhancements does the company bring to the market?
LO: The first step in terms of bringing added value to the customer is deriving a better understanding by the customer of who we are and building that confidence and recognition of who Guardian is. Guardian is a strong Pan-Caribbean leader in insurance and financial services across the English and Dutch Caribbean. So the first step is in bringing that recognition and understanding and then as we begin to integrate the group as one, we’ll be in a position to bring under that umbrella, new products and services to the market.
STAR: The insurance market is seemingly saturated. What unique qualities do you bring that would encourage potential clients to choose Guardian Group over another insurance company?
LO: Like in many cases, in terms of financial services and insurance, products and services have become pretty commoditized so that you more or less can get the same product across companies. So the key differentiator, which is Guardian’s strength is the service, the prompt claim settlement and reliability. For instance, with general insurance, all of the major hurricanes that have hit the region, we have been there for clients and we’ve been able to be there when clients need us most.
STAR: In the Caribbean, people are prone to being skeptical about insurance until disaster strikes. How would you encourage persons to purchase insurance, specifically life insurance?
LO: In the industry, insurance tends to be looked at as a distress purchase. People don’t go out there looking for insurance until when they need it, and unfortunately you buy insurance before hand. So as part of sound financial planning across the spectrum of retirement, emergencies, tragic circumstances, etcetera, people need insurance. So despite the fact that it is a distress purchase, it is a necessary part of anyone’s sound financial plan, whether a corporate entity or an individual.