February 14, 2018 09:45
Carlos J. Leitão | Photo : Denis Méthot
The projects of act 141 and 150 have highlighted many of the differences that prevail between the different actors of the insurance industry in Quebec and Canada on major issues. The last of these disagreements preclude thecanadian Association of financial institutions in insurance (ACIFA) and theAssociation of professional advisers in financial services (APCSF).
The members of cafii use of alternative distribution channels, such as call centers, travel agents, direct sales, branches of financial institutions and the Internet, to sell products of life and health insurance in the quebec market.
Opposition to the warnings on the Web sites
In a memorandum made public at the conclusion of the parliamentary commission devoted to the project of act 150, cafii, whose headquarters is located in Toronto, is firmly opposed to the quebec government requires distributors to place a warning note on their Web sites describing the risks associated with the purchase of an insurance product without the advice of a certified professional, such as the calls for the APCSF.
«There is a risk that this type of warning is misleading prevents consumers from getting the insurance they need, said Keith Martin, co-executive director of the organization, in an e-mail sent to the Journal of the insurance. Cafii opposes the proposal because it deals with the products of our members as if they are not normal and appropriate. «
Products simple and accessible
«We offer simple products and available at competitive prices and offer a wide range of insurance services to consumers,» he adds. They have access to a wide range of information about the insurance products and services and it is their responsibility, in a competitive market, to decide how they wish to obtain. «
«In particular, it should belong to the consumer to determine whether he wishes to buy directly from a financial institution selling insurance or through an adviser authorized,» says Mr. Martin.
The organization expressed support for the general thrust of the draft of act 141 and 150, but is concerned that the interpretation of certain provisions creates restrictions on the ability of its members to sell insurance products to consumers without being registered as firms.
According to the analysis of certain articles of the draft law 141 by its legal advisers, cafii said understand that a distributor will be allowed to sell insurance products online or through a physical person. The association applauds these provisions.
«Support the ability of new technologies and distribution networks to offer insurance options to consumers is essential to ensure that the industry remains current and relevant,» she wrote.
Of ambiguous terms and vague
Cafii felt, however, that certain terms of the two laws are ambiguous and vague, in particular, article 530 of bill 141, which said that » only a natural person may distribute an insurance product on behalf of a distributor «. This wording, according to cafii, in contradiction with the desire of the minister of Finance, Carlos J. Leitão, authorize the distributors to sell insurance products online or through a physical person.
On the basis of this interpretation, it is believed that the sales of online insurance would only be permitted if an individual was for the distributor and certain financial institutions could not be included since they do not have the authority to act as the cabinet for the sale of insurance products.
Cafii sees a confusion of major and calls for the minister’s clarification, which would make things unambiguous.
Other applications of cafii
Cafii also requests the government to confirm that the insurance Act will be amended to allow financial institutions and other industry stakeholders to receive for this service a remuneration other than the reimbursement of expenses actually incurred for the administration of group insurance contracts on the life or health of debtors.
Since the bill 150 removes the ability of a distributor to sell credit insurance, the Association is also requesting that the financial institutions and the people who are going to continue to offer credit insurance to consumers, do not have to register as a firm with thefinancial markets Authority.