March 13, 2018 08:04
Carlos J. Leitão | Photo : Denis Méthot
For Carlos J. Leitão, there is nothing in the bill 141, which diminishes the supervision of the representatives certified. On the contrary, the liability of the insurers will be increased, particularly in terms of the distribution without a representative, » he said.
The minister of Finance of Québec, made the remarks on 20 February, a parliamentary committee, then began the second reading of bill 141, commonly referred to as » read-article-by-article «. The government has made available the last week the transcripts of the three meetings on 20, 21 and 22 February. The Journal of insurance did the analysis.
«The same obligations to an insurer»
The work is interrupted since that time. It is anticipated that they will resume this week, maybe even today, on Tuesday 13 march. At the time of going to press, no notice has been published on the website of the National Assembly announcing the resumption of such work.
«There is nothing in this bill that allows anyone to sell insurance products without being a certified representative. Insurers and other firms that distribute online products insurance, shall, with the necessary adaptations, the same obligations that a certified representative. The bill puts in place all the safety nets to ensure a better protection of the public, » said Mr. Leitão, by way of introduction, the 20th of February.
Internet sales : practiced, but not framed
The next day, the sale of insurance via the Internet has caught the attention of the parliamentarians present to the Committee on public finance, which studies the bill, 141. Mr. Leitão stressed that it was already in the sale of insurance by Internet in Quebec. However, this activity is not regulated, he added. «What we propose is to frame this activity precisely to avoid the unhappy stories that could happen. «
He added that when a person discusses insurance with a consumer, that person must be a certified representative. The bill opens the door to the advice of a technical nature, for example by completing a form, which can be treated by a person who is not a certified representative.
«For this type of question, we think that it is not appropriate that this be a certified that the address, says Mr Leitão. If the consumer has questions of the nature of insurance, the obligation is always the same. The person who responds must be certified. Our goal is to give the option to consumers who wish to purchase insurance through the Internet. Because it is already being done in a way that is not always well framed. «
The insurer will be responsible for the network
The discussion then branched into the distribution without a representative. Richard Boivin, assistant deputy minister for Finance, mentioned that the project of act 141 does not change the universe of products that can be sold in this framework.
«What we’re doing, it’s to make the insurer responsible for the distribution network. Currently, it is not. With the changes to the law made by the bill 141, the insurers will need to analyze the complaints that come from consumers. We believe that it will bring greater discipline, because the insurer, currently, he can wash his hands. «
«The responsible insurer default»
To Mr. Boivin, make the insurer responsible for the acts of a sales representative and will monitor the products that it puts in the hands. «We just add another layer of protection for the consumer, to the extent where the insurer will, eventually, be responsible of the failures that these people may commit and pay, perhaps, the penalties associated with a breach. «
Thus, in this logic, the insurer will be liable for the acts posed by the commercial director of a car dealership that sells a financial product to a customer. «The insurer is as the principal. The car dealer is the agent, it is the rule of the mandate. Therefore, the principal is responsible for the acts of its agent. The insurer must monitor the way in which the products are sold, that it has no obligation to do today, » said Mr. Boivin.
The Authority will apply the same ethics that the Rooms
On 22 February, the debates have affected the application of the ethics, in the event of the disappearance of the Chamber of damage insurance and of the Chambre de la sécurité financière. Richard Boivin reiterated that the consumer complaint will be at theAuthority of the financial markets instead of the Rooms. He assured that the treatment will be the same.
«The Authority will do exactly the same kind of analysis and investigation that the trustee of one of the rooms. Eventually, the matter will be brought before the administrative Tribunal of the financial markets instead of being brought before a disciplinary committee. The processing will be done within the Authority, rather than being done by chambers. It will be done by the same employees that currently work in the rooms, because the Authority is going to group the rooms, taking the staff that is currently there. How are they going to be structured administratively ? I couldn’t tell you. It should not be assumed that the law will be punished. Therefore, the Authority will act when the act will be in force. «
Ten days of termination
Mr Boivin has also confirmed the principle that the consumer will purchase an insurance policy via the Internet will have ten days to cancel it. This principle does not apply to products sold by a certified representative, he said.
Why not extend it ? «Because you are dealing with a certified representative that has a code of ethics, which has responsibilities in front of you. It is assumed that it will be well-served, replied Mr. Boivin. For the consumer, who will be making his decisions by himself, it gives him the opportunity, within 10 days of the conclusion of the contract, to change his idea or going to see a representative for advice. «
Internet sales : there must be a physical presence in Quebec
The minister Leitão has touched on another point later. He assured that the insurers who want to sell via the Internet will need to be established in Quebec to do so.
«The company or the insurer that offers this option must have a physical presence in Quebec. It takes someone who is here, a company that is here. That someone can sell insurance through the Internet completely remotely without a physical office in Quebec, it’s not going to happen. When the consumer will need a board, or of information, he can call and talk to a human being. The person must be in Quebec. «
A lot of noise has been made around this interpretation. Richard Boivin took the opportunity to put the record straight at the time. «When the people fear that, by the new provisions, it seems to allow anyone not certified to sell insurance, it is a very poor understanding of the provisions of the act. It is absolutely impossible. The people who would do that would be in violation and would be prosecuted by thefinancial markets Authority. «