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McDougall executives

McDougall’s History

When you deal with McDougall Insurance, you’re dealing with people who live and work in your community. Since 1946, our company has provided qualified insurance and financial services to area families and businesses. McDougall’s friendly personal service won’t cost you any more, and you can always count on us for your insurance claims, when you need us the most.

Over the almost 70 years, McDougall has successfully grown to include over 140 employees and over 20 offices spread across Eastern Ontario, from Oshawa to Deep River to Carleton Place. Our story has been one of perseverance, family, and a commitment to customer service which we’ve clinged on since our company’s earliest roots, in 1934.

1934:

Haig Brothers decided to expand, hiring Lorne McDougall to reorganize their office, and Arthur Bateman to focus on their farm insurance.

1941:

Haig Brothers has its name changed as Lorne and Arthur become partners in the business. It is renamed Haig, McDougall and Bateman.

1946:

Lorne McDougall purchased interests of his two partners, and renamed the business Lorne McDougall Insurance Brokers’ Ltd.; office employed four staff. McDougall Insurance has effectively begun.

1947:

Lorne McDougall, along with 9 other businessmen, form the Hastings Fire & Accident Company. They sold a full package plan for automobiles for only $58.00.

1948:

Moved to new office space at 150 Front Street, Belleville; number of staff has grown to 14.

1952:

First branch office opened in Picton, Ontario. Would later be sold to Don Stanton Sr., the father of current Vice-President Don Stanton J.

1955:

McDougall enters the real estate field and merged with W. J. McCormick Reality Ltd. Lorne reverted to the insurance business exclusively after three years.

1956:

McDougall Insurance opens branch office to sell auto and property insurance in Kingston. This second branch office closed before the end of the 50s.

1957:

Lorne McDougall sells Hastings Fire & Accident Insurance Company to a Toronto firm. The business is renamed Gibraltar Insurance Company, which would be purchased by Axa, which would later become part of Intact Insurance.

1969:

Entered the life insurance field and contracted with Empire Life of Kingston. Now one of Belleville’s largest investment and financial product agencies.

1971:

Ross McDougall becomes the second generation of the McDougall family to work for McDougall Insurance, starting in Personal Lines Sales.

1972:

Lorne McDougall steps down as president of McDougall Insurance after 26 years; giving the position to his brother Stuart McDougall. Lorne remains very active working for McDougall Insurance.

1976:

Extremely difficult year for McDougall Insurance, as president Stuart McDougall is killed tragically in a boating accident. Leaderless and struggling, McDougall Insurance reorganizes to survive.

1977:

Reorganization concludes with McDougall Insurance moving to a new space in Century Place, Belleville. McDougall Insurance becomes one of the first insurance agencies in a small town to make the move from storefront to actual office space. New officers are selected. Lorne McDougall’s son Ross McDougall becomes president, George Ward becomes the VP, and Ken Wheeler is given the duty of secretary-treasurer.

1981:

McDougall Insurance purchases Burrows & Morgan, a small brokerage in Belleville. This purchased marked the beginning of a period of intense growth for McDougall Insurance, fueled in part by the purchase of other insurance brokers.

1985:

Frank Downey Insurance Brokers is purchased. They operate in Madoc, focusing on selling car and home insurance.

1989:

New office opened in Trenton. Trenton sells commercial insurance, in addition to personal lines items like car insurance and home insurance. Ray Bickle Insurance Brokers also purchased, to add auto, home, business and life insurance products in Cobourg.

1990:

Expansion into Brighton through purchase of Fred Wake Insurance Brokers and Mitchell Insurance.

1991:

Eventful year for McDougall Insurance. Addition of AQ Financial from Bill Yeotes and addition of Paul Newell augments McDougall Insurance’s financial services. Also purchased Quinte Insurance Brokers2. On a sad note, founder Lorne McDougall passes away from Parkinson’s Disease.

1993:

Eagleson Insurance is purchased from Murray Eagleson, strengthening presence in Cobourg.

1994:

Purchased Stanton Insurance Brokers, providing McDougall Insurance with it’s first presence in Picton since the early 50s. Don Stanton stays on, eventually becoming vice president of McDougall Insurance.

1995:

Purchase of Gerald Joyce of Belleville, situating McDougall Insurance as the largest insurance broker in Belleville, and marking the end of the high-paced purchasing on the early 90s.

2000:

Courtice office opened, to provide auto, home commercial and life products to it’s residence. McDougall’s gains its first presence in Courtice, and the surrounding areas of Oshawa, Bowmanville and Clarington.

2001:

Purchase of Donald C. Johnon Insurance Brokers, adding offices in Eganville, Arnprior, Carleton Place and Barry’s Bay, establishing McDougall Insurance’s presence in the Ottawa Valley.

2002:

Purchase of Appleton Insurance in Oshawa. Couples with Courtice to give McDougall Insurance a strong presence east of Toronto. With Appleton in the fold, McDougall Insurance begins to sell auto, property, life and commercial insurance in Oshawa.

2004:

Amalgamated with Kingfisher Financial Services. Ross McDougall becomes longest tenured president in McDougall Insurance history, passing his father.

2008:

McDougall Insurance merges with Napanee’s George A. Grant Insurance brokerage. Chuck Airhart continues as manager in Napanee.

2009:

O’shaughnessy Insurance Brokers in Bancroft is added to McDougall Insurance, providing auto and home insurance to Bancroft and its surrounding area.

2010

Pearson Insurance is purchased to allow McDougall Insurance to sell insurance in the Pembrooke/Deep River area.

2011

Hickey Insurance is purchased, complementing the Pearson Insurance purchase and further strengthening McDougall Insurance’s position in Deep River. LaPalm Insurance purchased, giving McDougall Insurance two storefronts in Belleville.

2013

Purchase of Bickerton Insurance Brokers finalized, adding Kingston and Gananoque offices to bring the number of branches up to 20.

2014

A significant change for the organization, as for the first time in McDougall Insurance’s history, a non-McDougall Family employee is designated president. Donald Stanton (who joined the firm with the purchase of Stanton Insurance Brokers in 1994) is made President. Ross McDougall retains the role of Chief Executive Officer. Purchase of Bickerton Insurance Brokers finalized, adding Kingston and Gananoque offices to bring the number of branches up to 20.

2016

McDougall Insurance merges with Upper Canada Commercial Insurance Group, adding to their commercial expertise and increase their staff and office count to over 300 and 29 respectively.

2017

Excellent brokers Monkman Gracie & Johnson Insurance Brokers in Peterborough and Mink Insurance Services in Midland join the McDougall team, jumping the number of offices to 32. Lorne McDougall becomes the third generation of McDougall employed at McDougall Insurance, working in Personal Lines Sales.

2018

Purchases of Marshall & Bulloch Insurance Brokers Ltd., Navigators Insurance Brokers Ltd., and Worden Insurance & Financial Services Ltd. adds strength to the Orillia, Kingston and Oshawa areas, respectively.

2019

McDougall Insurance welcomes the former clients of Crain and Schooley Insurance to their newly opened Perth office, and acquires Asselin Insurance Brokers in Penetanguishene and Dusome Insurance Group in Barrie. Before the end of the year the number of locations reaches 35 – with over 380 employees.

2020

COVID19 notwithstanding, a very busy year for McDougall Insurance as they acquire:

  • Knox Hutchison Insurance in North Bay
  • Dynamic Insurance Brokers in Sudbury
  • Ritchie Insurance in Parry Sound
  • Patterson Hadden & Brown Insurance Brokers in Kemptville
  • D.S. Currey & Son Insurance Brokers Ltd. in Ottawa

All in all 5 new offices, all staffed by amazing teams, join the McDougall fold. McDougall closes the year with over 40 offices and 400 staff.

2021

McDougall is delighted to be joined by Burr Insurance Brokers Ltd. A friendly face who operated in the same building as our head-office now joins our team! Ross McDougall reaches 50 years with McDougall Insurance, having served as McDougall’s CEO for the past 45 years.

2022

By far the largest change to date for McDougall Insurance, as Definity Financial Corporation makes substantial investment to increase their ownership interest in McDougall Insurance to 75%. A publicly-traded insurance underwriter, Definity partners with McDougall Insurance to enable both organizations to drive improved customer service, employee relations and cost savings. McDougall Insurance also acquires Sunderland-based Brown & Brethour Insurance Brokers Ltd. Lorne McDougall is also promoted to the role of Vice-President of Corporate Development and IT.

2023

Exciting changes for McDougall Insurance, as Christian Hutchison is promoted to the role of President and Lorne McDougall adds operations to his portfolio as Vice-President. Ross McDougall remains on as CEO, and Don Stanton remains on as Senior Vice-President. McDougall Insurance makes it’s largest purchase to date with a merger with McFarlan Rowalands, a brokerage with over 200 employees and 18 office locations. Not quite finished with 2023, McDougall Insurance adds on Drayden Insurance Brokers Ltd. with 8 offices and over 180 employees in the Edmonton area. This marks the first time McDougall Insurance has ever operated outside of Ontario. Closer to home, McDougall Insurance merges with Rayburn Insurance to add an office in Tweed. McDougall Insurance closes 2023 with over 65 offices, 850 employees and $850M in premium volume.

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