Matt Alston: Surex Is a Free Online Insurance Marketplace That Allows Consumers To Compare, Purchase, and Save Up to Hundreds of Dollars on Their Insurance

August 9, 2022

Surex is a free online insurance marketplace that allows consumers to compare, purchase, and save up to hundreds of dollars on their insurance needs. Working with 10+ of Canada’s top insurance providers, Surex shops the market for you, finding the best rate for the insurance you need.

Tell us about yourself?

I have started multiple businesses in my career that were mainly focused on sales and customer service.

I didn’t have a background in insurance when we started Surex however my co-founder Lance I grew up in the same town and he owned a traditional bricks and mortar office. Like him I had an entrepreneurial spirit and liked the idea of building something different and scalable.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Listen to your gut, don’t get hung up on the future – stay focused on execution and learn to delegate effectively!

What problem does your business solve?

The insurance industry can be confusing, we try to simplify the process, offer choice on carrier, products and price along with expert advice and a simple process.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Few factors surrounding Surex’s beginnings indicated that the business would be as successful as it is today. We didn’t set out to build a nationally recognized insurance brand.

In fact in the early years the goal was to simply create good paying jobs in the community and build a competitive offering that could compete with those located in the more densely populated urban areas.Surex has had it’s fair share of roadblocks to overcome.

Digitizing a highly traditional product in a highly traditional industry (insurance brokerage) had never been done before. Without a technology background and with only our personal capital, we had to deal with each challenge head-on.

The business began, and still maintains its headquarters, in Magrath, Alberta. A town of 2,400 people. We were motivated to grow the business in order to bring opportunities to our community. We have never felt we needed to sacrifice our lifestyle and where we lived in order to be successful in building a successful business.

What is your magic sauce?

We aren’t insurance minded first we are customer minded first along with tech – we don’t do what’s always been done, we challenge the industry and are always pushing the line to get things done in a new and modern way to align with what customers want and need today.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We want to keep growing and getting better. We want to have more automation, more features to allow our customers to have more control over their policies. We are always looking to expand our offering either through more partnerships or more carriers.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Proving our model to partners and stakeholders proved challenging. Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance carriers refused to work with us in the early years, essentially making it impossible to stay in business. The Alberta Insurance Council also challenged our methodology multiple times.

But we were relentless and driven to demonstrate how our solution was not only disruptive, but proven. We built the trust and relationships with stakeholders over time that allowed them to provide their services as intended.

And we attribute our ability to overcome obstacles to our tenacity, bootstrap mentality, and self-appointed titles of “professional problem solvers”.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

In the early years we didn’t want to take on outside investments, we wanted the ability to call our own shots and run the team how we wanted.

We relied on people to drive the business and gave opportunities to team members that they otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to.

We try to manage the business from the ground up, listening and working on making the day to day better for those who are on the ground working with our clients.

We are always looking to expand our teams with great people, if you are looking to work with a team like ours reach out and see what open roles might be the perfect fit for you.

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