About Us

“Insuring CrossFit before it was popular”… Joanne LeGal, CIP

OVER 243 INSURED AFFILIATES AND GROWING!!!

About Our Insurance Brokerage – Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd.

Lackner McLennan has been in business for over 65 years, in the Waterloo, Ontario region. We are licenced to do business in all provinces in Canada. Our primary focus in the Insurance World is Commercial Business, of which program business comprises a large portion of our endeavors. WE KNOW program business, and we have been doing it exceptionally well for over 20 years! ALL our programs are placed with large Canadian Insurance Companies that you can trust will take care of your needs now, and in the future.

jodeadliftWho is Joanne LeGal?

I have been an insurance broker for 30 years (it almost hurts to admit that!), beginning at Reed Stenhouse (now Aon), in Calgary, Alberta in the early 80’s. A move to Toronto in 1987 brought new challenges and new career opportunities, eventually leading me to Lackner McLennan in 2002, after having taken off 3 and a half years to raise my young family. I obtained my Certified Insurance Professional Certification in 2007, which is a series of College level courses, and I am 1 course away from obtaining my Certified Risk Management Certification. I regularly attend courses and seminars to keep up with current industry information, including CrossFit seminars (weight-lifting, power-lifting, rowing, etc).

I am totally committed to the CrossFit Affiliate Insurance program, and will continue to make it bigger, better and more cost effective then any other alternative out there!

How Did the CrossFit Affiliate program get started through Lackner McLennan?

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In 2008, we added Personal Trainers to a list of modalities that has been growing within our original Registered Massage Therapist Program. Initially, we only accepted Can-Fit Pro Certified trainers, but quickly discovered that there were many different certifications out there as good, or superior, so we did our due diligence when accepting new certifications.

November 1, 2008, I wrote up Andrew Burns as an individual trainer, holding a CrossFit certification. When I was researching what CrossFit was all about, the first site I came across had a picture of pukey the clown! My next search brought me to an article about Rhabdomyolysis, affectionately referred to as “Rhabdo”. I also was reading on blog posts how Affiliates had been having their insurance cancelled because CrossFit was “dangerous”.

The insurance company wasn’t going to like this at all… I obviously needed to do more intensive research!

I found a new affiliate opening up near my office, CrossFit Kitchener, and went in to talk with the owner Joanne Mittelholtz. She was very happy to take me on a tour of her new facility and described what CrossFit was about. Coming from a Globo gym background, I couldn’t get my head around this “CrossFit”, so I asked if she wouldn’t mind if I joined for a month to figure it out. Being a broker, I need to be able to describe accounts to underwriters for them to be able to provide me with the best terms, conditions and premium for a particular business.

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So head first into it I went… quite literally!

My first class involved jumping pull ups. I was standing on a plyometric box and at one point I lost my balance and went head first crashing to the rubber flooring, scraping my shins on the way down… I was so embarassed, but finished the WoD. When I went home and showed my bloody shins to my husband, he thought I was crazy when I announced that I was going back the next day. At that point, I didn’t realize yet but I had had a small taste of the “cool-aid” and was more then just a little intrigued.

After my trial membership was over, I went back to my Globo-gym (it was much cheaper then the monthly CrossFit membership fees after all). I looked around, seeing people on tread-mills and elipticals, plugged into music, watching television and reading books! I felt like a little fish in a huge pond and missed the friends that I’d met at CrossFit. I tried to do some CF moves at the gym, but something was definitely missing. The atmosphere, the competition that pushed you to your limits until you actually sweat, and the comaraderie, resulting in a kick ass workout that made you feel like an athlete after you were done! I decided then and there that CrossFit was an investment in me, and I was worth it!

One and a half years later my husband joined. He loves it!

At one point, I was advised that we can now include personal training studios to our program. I believe Andy O’Rourke contacted me initially and CrossFit Hamilton (now Alchemy CrossFit) was my first studio insured under the program.

weightliftingseminarI discovered the “challenges” that are held between local affiliates and went to one. This looked so intense and crazy to me, (read scary for an insurance broker covering these events!), that I had to do one in order to see what it was all about. It was amazing! To date, I have participated in countless challenges and will continue to participate in CrossFit events.

I am very fortunate that I have been able to put together this comprehensive insurance program that began with one individual trainers policy. I love being a CrossFitter and dealing with CrossFitter’s on a daily basis. I have built the Book from 1 individual policy, to over 243 studio policies since 2008. In program business, the larger the numbers of members, the better the terms and conditions that a broker can negotiate on behalf of the collective. It’s like WalMart buying power.

If you have questions, contact me at: joanne@trainerinsurance.ca

 

As the Sport of CrossFit evolves, I commit to continue to ensure that the insurance program that I designed for CrossFit boxes, evolves with it. Always growing. Always bigger and better!