Russ Fraser was involved in an accident 15 years ago that proved a life-altering, and ultimately, a career-altering experience.

“I went through the insurance claims process and I met somebody who really helped me along with that,” Fraser recalled. “And that’s where I kind of realized the significance of insurance, because a lot of people don’t realize it until they need something. You need people in your corner, not just selling you something, but helping you.”

Fraser now makes it his business to help others, as a president and broker at Nickel City Insurance in Sudbury.

“I think what sets us apart from the rest is our customer service,” Fraser said. “I come from a very different background, a union family, and I look at things differently, just on a personal level – that’s my approach and how I train staff and how we want to incorporate everything. We want to be there to help everybody. We know the ins and outs of insurance and we work for our clients, not the insurance companies.

“We take the approach that we want to help people set up a policy, make sure they have the right coverage and most importantly, be there when they need us, in the event of a claim, to stand up for them and make sure they have everything they need, so they don’t have to stress out more.”

Nickel City Insurance opened the doors of its new location at 1-754 Falconbridge Rd. in February, but hosted its grand opening with a tour, barbecue and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.

“It has been busy, but it has been great,” Fraser said. “It’s a great location and our clients are a lot happier coming in and out of here than our old location. People can find us that much easier.

He previously helped run a different brokerage on Lasalle Boulevard.

“We specialize in group insurance for many of the employees of the City of Greater Sudbury, from the hospital to Science North, the police department, fire department, and everybody who’s a member of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, they can save up to 20% on home and auto insurance, so that’s huge. People being able to find us and with our new location and new name, Nickel City Insurance, it just works.”

Fraser has been in insurance since 2008 and his staff combined have well over 30 years in the business, including a couple with more than two decades.

The team includes Noella Fraser, broker and administrative assistant; Roxanne Courchesne, broker and personal lines account manager; and Lorna Courchesne, broker and sales associate.

“We want to just keep doing what we’re doing, to keep growing and helping as many people as we can,” Fraser said. “We’re making sure people have the right coverages and fighting to make sure they have better coverages, with the insurance companies themselves. In one of our markets, we now have overland water coverage – that’s the first in Canada, just came out a few weeks ago, with Canada now having 20 times more floods and storms than we had 10 years ago and 12% more rainfall, that’s a big deal. Remember 2009, when everything flooded out here? A lot of that wasn’t covered. Today, we can approach it differently.”

For more information, call 705-566-6715 or visit www.nickelcityinsurance.ca.

Photo courtesy of Sudbury Star