Tanya McKechnie is an Individual Insurance Advisor and Employee Benefits Consultant at Mosley Group Benefits Inc – a Canadian-owned and operated independent group benefits, retirement and technology consulting firm based in Ottawa, Ontario. Although Tanya takes pride in guiding employers and employees through the complex world of group insurance, she is also passionate about helping her clients with their individual insurance needs.
In this edition of Advisor Spotlight, we speak with Tanya to learn more about her and her approach to being an Individual Insurance Advisor.
What inspired you to become an advisor?
I would say this is more a question of “who” inspired me to become an advisor. I can’t say I dreamed of being an insurance advisor when I was a child. But, when I first got into the business 15+ years ago (by chance), I was blessed to work with an incredible mentor. This advisor took me under her wing and showed me the ropes, passing a tremendous amount of knowledge along the way. I saw firsthand the connection she made with her clients and the amazing help she provided when they were in need. I desperately wanted to do the same. I quickly followed in her footsteps, soaking up every opportunity to help people navigate the complex world of individual insurance. Sadly, my mentor became very ill with cancer and has since passed away, but I know that her passion for individual insurance lives on through me every day.
What do you feel is your competitive advantage?
I’m knowledgeable and feisty! It’s my responsibility to know the ins and outs of insurance to ensure my clients get the product they need and fiercely advocate for them so they get the attention they rightly deserve. If my client has a problem, I’m the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, and I will not give up. I can assure you; that you’ll want a person like me on your side!
What is the biggest misconception clients have about the process of getting insured?
That it’s “too expensive.” Don’t let the thought of cost stop you from protecting your wealth, health, or family. What’s your budget? We will find something that fits. It is better to have something as opposed to nothing. Where there is a will, there is a way!
How do you think digitization will affect the future of the industry?
It appears that we needed a global pandemic to bring the insurance industry into the digital world. We are now meeting people virtually and completing applications electronically. This has allowed us to be more efficient in many ways, i.e. communication, speed of policy issue/delivery, service, access to information, etc. Since I am licensed in both Ontario & Alberta, I can now meet a client on the other side of the country without leaving my desk. It’s an incredible opportunity to help people anywhere, anytime. It’s about time the insurance world starts to catch up with technology!
How do you stay up to date with industry trends?
I attend seminars on a weekly basis. I’m always looking for the newest product or strategy. I follow a lot of groups on social media and am always reading articles and researching different concepts.
What’s something about being an advisor you wish you knew earlier in your career?
Some days will be hard, especially as it relates to claims. Some day a client will pass away or get sick, and if you’re an empath (like me), you will shed tears—no question about it. But I wouldn’t change it; helping people is my calling.
What is the major takeaway you’d like to leave your clients with when choosing you for their insurance needs?
That they know they are in good hands. That they know that if the worst happens, they or their family will have me to rely on to help them through. Being that peace of mind for someone is what I’m after!
What are some personality traits that make for a great advisor?
Trust & Ethics – If I don’t know the answer, I will track it down. I will always be upfront about the process, the exclusions, and how I get paid. I will always tell it like it is and always do the right thing for you. I will always respond to you, regardless of how hard the question might be. I pride myself on trust and ethics, and I believe people feel that from me at our first meeting.
Active Listening – listening to understand is key, and approach the solution based on needs. I’m not going to pressure you to buy something you don’t need; that’s not my jam. I want to understand your needs/budget and set up the best solution for you, not the best solution for me.
What was one of the most meaningful moments of your career?
There are several that come to mind, but if I could sum up the common thread, it would be helping people at a time of claim. I’ve met with many grieving families and many people who are struggling with very serious health conditions. Knowing that I’ve helped someone get a benefit or helped a family through the worst imaginable time that’s what makes me tick. At the end of the day, if I’ve helped someone in some way (big or small), that is my intrinsic reward.
What challenges and opportunities do you foresee for yourself and the industry as a whole in the next 10 years?
One of the biggest challenges will be educating the upcoming generation on the importance of insurance. This means we have an incredible opportunity to do more via social media and create an impressive online presence.
So on that note, I’d like to shout out a HUGE thank you to Finaeo for contributing to my growth in this digital world!
Tanya’s future-forward approach to staying informed on current trends and her passion for helping her clients through challenging times will undoubtedly make Tanya a future-proof advisor and consultant.