Explore Economics East – Derek Nicholson firm believer in benefits of chamber insurance plan

Chris Nicholson

/ 2 min read

Derek Nicholson is a firm believer in the value of insurance and loves working with his wife and son to offer the Chamber of Commerce Group
Insurance Plan to chamber members and their employees. He knows better than most how quickly life can change.

On October 29, 1978, Derek was a young mechanic spending a day off, working on the roof of his mobile home taking down an aerial. In an instant
he was on the ground after 7,200 volts of electricity passed through his body. He never lost consciousness throughout the ordeal.
Lucky to be alive, he spent months in hospital and underwent a number of surgeries. There were months of rehab. His hands were surgically reconstructed
but he no longer had enough use to continue as a mechanic so a career change was in order. His road back into the workforce
began with a call from then Eastern Graphic Publisher Jim MacNeill offering him a job selling advertising.  After a year, he found himself drawn
back to the automotive industry, this time as a salesman for Batt & MacRae in eastern PEI.

Then he was hit by another jolt – this time economic. His employer went bankrupt. A former employee from Batt & MacRae, who had already gone into the insurance business, suggested
it might be a good fit for Derek too.  That was over 20 years ago. Today Derek represents Sun Life Financial, working out of a home office in Lower Montague with his wife, Beth, and son, Chris.

“One of the key components to the success of our family business has been the ongoing support provided by Beth,” he said. “That enabled me
to be away from home as she manned the phones and raised three incredibly talented children.”

He is also the authorized agent for the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan for the Eastern PEI
Chamber of Commerce as well as both the Kensington and Greater Summerside Chambers.

The national plan, which has more than 30,000 member firms across Canada is available to any chamber member. In fact, Derek is actually
generating money for the three chambers he works with every day, since the local chamber receives an administration fee.

“One of my first clients when I got into the insurance business was a small firm looking for health benefits for its
employees,” he noted. “There wasn’t really much available at an affordable price.”
In fact, that was one of the main reasons the chamber plan was developed. One of the main attractions of the plan is the flexibility it offers.
It can be tailored to meet the needs of employers and employees when it comes to life insurance, health and dental coverage.
As well, he said plans can be custom made for any size firm, with the latest addition offering coverage to a single owner with no employees. There is 24
hour a day coverage and family members of employees are also covered. There is also a retiree plan for business owners in the process of easing
out of the day-to-day operation of the business that can be offered until age 80. The coverage includes travel insurance should they decide to travel
south for part of the year.

Derek explained he wants all chamber members to feel they are getting value out of the plan, adding he works with clients to modify their coverage




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