In November 2004, after having seen some of Foliovision’s successful real estate websites, Lorne S. Marr contacted Creative Director Alec Kinnear and offered him a unique problem to solve: how to start and build an insurance business online.
Kinnear initially turned down the offer. “I knew real estate inside out. I’d grown up with it. My grandfather was VP of commercial real estate at Royal LePage, my mother, her husband, his mother, my aunt Mo, my own sister Julie were all successful real estate agents. But I didn’t know anything about insurance.”
What slowed down Kinnear was his own experience with insurance. “When working in Russia, I’d had a private health insurance contract with a big operator. When I had a scooter accident in Turkey, they didn’t want to pay as I hadn’t been treated in an official hospital. I was in the depth of Anatolia: there WERE no official hospitals.”
“But after talking with Lorne Marr, I realized he was one of the good guys. Using his ties with local Toronto lawyers, Lorne was willing to put together a free service to help people collect on their insurance policies. At that point I was sold on working together: I could help Lorne develop his business and help people get a better shake from the insurance companies.”
That initial idea is still running at LSM insurance claims page where lawyer Andrew Suboch has answered hundreds of people’s insurance legal questions confidentially for free.