William Birkett owned a farm in Pickering in the 1800’s. He organized a few of his neighbours and started one of the first farm mutual companies in Ontario. He would travel by horse and buggy from farm to farm collecting premiums to hold in trust should one of the neighbours have a wind or fire loss.
His son Thomas Birkett took over the business which was incorporated in 1898. Thomas carried on the tradition of providing insurance products to the farming community and Stouffville residents. The original office in Stouffville was at 6132 Main Street. It was heated by a pot belly stove and the “facilities” were housed out back.
Thomas’ son Gord, after returning from service with the air force in WWII, joined the family business and in 1948 the name was changed to Thomas Birkett & Son Insurance Agency.
Tradition was carried on through excellent customer service with supportive insurance companies.
In the early 1950’s Les Clark, who had worked for Gord since he was 21, suggested Gord hire a “baseball” player named Robert Hassard. He had played a little hockey and had his name on the plaque of the Stanley Cup. In 1958 Bob purchased the business and it became Birkett-Hassard Insurance Agency. Bob’s son Bill joined forces in the early 1980s. Many will remember Christmas carols on wagons pulled by black Percheron horses with Bill at the reins.
Robin L. Brown Insurance Adjuster opened an office beside Birkett-Hassard Insurance in 1974. Robin Brown had experience as a broker with his brother Don Brown (Brown & Brethour Insurance) and many years experience as an insurance adjuster. After many years beside each other, Robin sold his business and Birkett-Hassard Insurance moved down the road to its current location at 6262 Main Street. Robin Brown joined Birkett-Hassard Insurance in 1993 as a broker.
In 1998, Robin’s daughter, Michelle McBeth joined the brokerage and shortly thereafter purchased the brokerage. The tradition of excellent customer service and quality insurance products continues.