April 16, 2012
Marketing Supplement to Ottawa Business Journal

Gifford Associates

Building the right solution starts with asking the right questions

Gifford Associates has been insuring area businesses for 64 years

“If you don’t know what is going on in a client’s business, how can you build an insurance program that fits their particular needs?” says Jim Mahood. “You have to know how to ask the right questions.”

Gifford Associates Insurance Brokers is a relationship-based brokerage that has been working with area businesses since 1948. Mahood has been part of Gifford since the 1990s and has been part of its evolution from an independent, local business to being part of a national organization. In 2008, he and his partners took Gifford back to its roots as an independent operator, which he believes allows it to be more in tune with the nuances of the Ottawa market.

Ottawa is a market that, despite its size, remains a small community.

“In a small community, it is your reputation that ultimately opens doors for you,” said Mahood. “About 80 per cent of our business comes from referrals. A referral is a great lead -- it means we have done our job properly.”

Gifford’s reputation is built on experience. Each member of the team has been in the industry for an average of 15 years. The brokerage has become Ottawa’s largest independent operator due to its emphasis on open and honest relationships with
its clients.

“We sit down and talk with our client’s about their needs, their exposures and what makes sense based upon their budget,” Mahood said. “Then we go out and tailor a program that fits. To solve a client’s issues, you have to know what they want, and that’s different for everyone.”

While Gifford offers a range of products and services for personal and business needs, it prides itself on specializing in complex and niche commercial solutions, such as international exposures, road paving, condominiums, international high tech and customers with difficult issues. Gifford also partners with other providers to offer a range of wealth management, group benefit, disability, critical illness and travel products.

To have a frank talk about your needs, please visit www.giffordassociates.ca or call 613-596-9101.


“I have relied on the Gifford team for Guildcrest’s insurance needs for more than 12 years. We have a strong personal relationship and they do a great technical job to ensure that we have the best product at the best price to provide us with the comprehensive coverage we need. I think that combination of personal attention and technical expertise is what’s important. I was particularly impressed by how Gifford came through for us in the years following 9/11 when various insurance companies were cutting back their services and raising rates. They continue to do a great job for us every year.”
– David Poupore, President, Guildcrest Homes

“Buying the right commercial insurance can be a complicated process. As business owners, we were looking for insurance advisors who understood both our business activities as well as the complex insurance marketplace. We wanted to make sure that we had everything we need to safeguard ourselves and the customers we serve. Our relationship with the Gifford team provides us with the comfort that we are protected should the unexpected occur and we have grown to appreciate the personal level of attention that we receive as Gifford clients. “
– John Cooke, President, Service Master Clean of Ottawa

PHOTO ABOVE: (From Left to right) Jim Mahood, Terry Markell, Mark Lyons, Tim Tokrud

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