A Proactive Approach for Service Excellence; Exclusive Interview with Nick Novinger of Novinger Insurance for Winner Magazine | BNS News

From working the mail room to receiving national recognition for entrepreneurial excellence, Nicholas (Nick) James Novinger is a stellar example of how to succeed from the ground up.  Driven on an ethos to work for his clients, Nick has earned his Toronto Insurance Brokerage an incredible 95% customer retention rate and perfect reviews, in addition to being named amongst the Best Businesses in Canada by the CBRB.  In the Q&A with BNS’ Jasmine Kara, Nick shares his proactive approach to communicating with clients, networking, and adapting across challenges.  Read the full interview, below, to learn the steps Nick took to build the 5-star reputation held by his insurance team, today: 

...never forget, we work for our clients.

 Nicholas James Novinger, Owner of Novinger Insurance

Q & A With Nick Novinger, Owner of Novinger Insurance


How did you come up with the idea to start Novinger Insurance , and what purpose did you intend to serve with the concept?

The driving force behind Novinger Insurance has been and always will be customer service. Over the years, I have met and worked with numerous brokers, and I have witnessed, firsthand, how much true quality service is lacking. I have made it our company mission to fill that void. I'll never forget what my father told me when I first got into this business; he said, "Son, never forget, we work for our clients." 20 years later, this is still my ETHOS.

Which milestones have marked meeting benchmarks towards the fulfillment of your personal goals/ the company's vision and goals?

Awards are great and can be extremely motivating. We were recently recognized by the Canadian Business Review Board for outstanding customer service and are extremely thankful for the honor. In my opinion, the purest metric to measure a successful business will always be customer feedback. Receiving positive (or negative) feedback from clients is the only way to improve and ensure your business is and stays aligned with your company mission. Having a 95% customer retention rate (well above industry norms) and a solid 5-star google rating is evidence that we, at Novinger Insurance, are staying true to our mission statement by being a high-quality Insurance service provider. Clients first, always.         

Which steps have you taken for the company to achieve the level of consumer trust that has been nationally recognized? 

In the insurance industry, client trust is critical. Some of the things that we have done to ensure our clients trust us are as simple as being straightforward and present for them. We take a proactive (not reactive) approach, anticipate their needs and have solutions ready. Too often, brokers come in for a meeting once a year at renewal time, then wonder why their clients become disenfranchised. With all this technology at our fingertips, there is literally no excuse why brokers cannot be present in their clients' businesses / lives. At Novinger Insurance, we make it a point to pick up the phone or hop on a Zoom call to keep our clients informed and up-to-date on industry events, market changes or simply just to check in and see how they or their business are doing.  All these things add up to long-lasting client relationships.    

What part of your education or other experiences do you feel was the most helpful in preparing you for success? 

Although I am a HUGE believer in how competitive sports build character, being a jiujitsu competitor myself, I have to say that it is starting my career in the mail room - for one of the largest brokers in the world - to which I most attribute the success we are enjoying, today. I had to fight for and earn every little bit of respect and recognition that most did not. Although I did not see it at the time, the constant uphill battle and need to do more built characteristics and an approach to goals that are invaluable to me, now.   

Which strategies have you found the most effective in growing your audience/ bringing awareness of your service to a larger consumer group? 

If there is one piece of advice I can give to anyone trying to grow their business, it’s about the importance of networking, networking and networking. Attend as many trade shows and industry functions as you can fit it into your schedule. Search for various networking groups, connect with other entrepreneurs, host webinars etc… you need to take a 24/7 approach to it and never stop; consistency is key. With all the platforms out there, it has never been easier to connect with people. Some of the social media channels we are active on are LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook; they have all been integral in the growth of Novinger Insurance as a brand, and a great tool to engage with our clients. Here is where you can find us!   





Which partnerships, if any, have been the most constructive in bringing your goals closer to becoming a reality?

It all depends on how you view “partnerships.”  For me, the relationships I have with my clients and industry peers are, in fact, partnerships. We all bring some sort of value / career impact to one another so in that context, I would say all of them have been invaluable to the growth of Novinger Insurance. There are a few that I do need to mention; The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Underwriter, the Canadian Business Review Board and now, BNS News. They have all assisted in extending the awareness of the Novinger Insurance brand, and for that I am grateful.      

Are there any challenges that made it difficult to continue operation and that you managed to overcome? What was your approach to get past these?

Now that we are out of the woods, most business owners would probably say COVID has been the most difficult situation to overcome, and they would not be wrong. COVID was devastating for many business owners, indeed. Having to hear my clients / friends tell me they were being forced to close the doors to their life’s work or that they lost their jobs was brutal, and although the insurance industry was considered an “essential service,” it was anything but business-as-usual for us. We had to pivot and adapt quickly to the ever-changing business landscape. For me, I took a supportive approach to my clients / partners. If I knew someone who could provide a service that another one of my clients needed, I would connect them and make it happen. I kept all my clients up-to-speed with daily updates on the latest roadblocks COVID presented and how we could work around them. They were very trying times; however, the incredible bonds that came out of it made us stronger than ever.         

How do you balance work, passions/hobbies, and relationships?

There is no secret.  Think of the things you like to do and then make time for them; it's that simple. I take every lunch hour to work out.  Whether it’s lifting weights or jiujitsu, I always make sure I get something in at lunch. Nights and weekends are for family and riding my Harley. I find the best way to manage a work-life balance is to schedule things and stick to them. Afterall, there are 24 hours in a day; pick a few for yourself and have some fun.      


What are your future plans to build on your personal/ company achievements and fulfill your vision for success/ what developments can your audience or clientele look forward to expecting next?

Growth, growth and more growth! We are looking ahead to a year full of new partnerships / relationships and ways to continue building on the unparalleled level of service we are known for. The future is exciting; stay tuned.   


What advice would you like to give readers that hope to achieve success in your field?

Work hard, learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward. Above all else, be honest and put clients first. Remember, the goal is to be a trusted advisor - not just another broker.                  

Is there anything else you would like to share with Winner Magazine readers?

Feel free to reach out for a commitment-free policy review and quote. Or, if you just have some questions, visit us at www.novingerinsurance.com and someone from our team will be more than happy to assist you.      


We thank Nicholas for sharing these insights and experiences with Winner Magazine's readers.  If you are looking for Insurance Services in the Toronto Area, we would recommend reaching out to Nick and his team at Novinger Insurance!

Read more insights from Nick by visiting the following publication links:

Re: Remote Working

Re: Business Interruption Insurance

Re: Cyber Insurance

Re: Credit Insurance 

Connect with Nick on these platforms:

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