ID
2022-007

Type
Policy
Sector
Life and Health Insurance
Status
Public comment closed
Date
Comment Due Date
This Guidance applies to FSRA licensed Property and Casualty (“P&C”) and Life and Health (“L&H”) insurance sector entities and intermediaries, as well as intermediaries not licensed with FSRA that have a role to play in distributing or servicing insurance products, unless otherwise noted in the guidance. We apologize for the confusion caused by the sector designation on our website.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is proposing to adopt principles of conduct for those who sell, distribute or service property, casualty and life, and health insurance. The principles outline industry obligations and behaviour that customers should expect when purchasing insurance products, helping to increase public trust and confidence in the sector. 

FSRA is now consulting on guidance that proposes to adopt the Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations’ (CISRO) Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries into its regulatory framework. The proposed guidance reinforces the fair treatment of customers as a core component of the intermediary business culture.

This consultation aligns with the publication of the final CISRO Principles, which reflects consultation feedback received from industry and the public. The CISRO Principles supplement and build upon the intermediary elements in the CISRO and Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) Guidance on Conduct of Insurance Business and Fair Treatment of Customers. 

The consultation period is now open and will close on May 3, 2022.  

Review the proposed guidance on FSRA’s adoption of the CISRO Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries and submit your feedback.
 

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Sector Comment Date posted Sort ascending
[2022-007] Adrian Walrath - Investment Industry Association of Canada

May 24, 2022
Life and Health Insurance
[2022-007] Geoffrey Beechey - CADRI

May 17, 2022
Life and Health Insurance
[2022-007] Eric Wachtel - CAILBA Board

May 6, 2022
Life and Health Insurance
[2022-007] Sam Palmerio - Desjardins Group

May 6, 2022
Life and Health Insurance
[2022-007] Brendan Wycks - Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance (CAFII)
3 May, 2022

Mr. Mark White, CEO; and
Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario
25 Sheppard Avenue West, Suite 100
Toronto, Ontario
M2N 6S6
[email protected]; and
https://www.fsrao.ca/engagement-and-consultations/consultation-proposed-principles-conduct-insurance-intermediaries

RE: CAFII Feedback on FSRA’s Proposed Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries:

Dear Mr. White:

The Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance (CAFII) thanks the Financial Services
Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Ontario for the opportunity to provide comments on FSRA’s Proposed Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries.

As you may recall, credit protection insurance (CPI) and travel insurance are the products which bring CAFII members together in common cause within our Association. Our members offer optional life, critical illness, disability, and loss of employment CPI to consumers at the time that they are taking on a new debt obligation such as a mortgage, line of credit, car loan, or credit card. In addition to being regulated by provincial/territorial insurance regulators across Canada, CPI and travel insurance are also federally regulated as Authorized Insurance Products; and, as such, they are primarily offered by financial institution employees who are not individually licenced as insurance agents. That being the case, our Association is focused on FSRA’s Proposed Principles mainly as they relate to “intermediaries not licensed with FSRA that have a role to play in distributing or servicing insurance products” (page 4).

CAFII strongly supports a principles-based regulatory (PBR) approach. PBR produces the desired regulatory outcomes by engaging regulated entities directly in the regulator’s objectives; and by rooting the regulatory regime in a strong foundation of dialogue and the pursuit of common objectives, it is more effective at achieving the desired outcomes than is a rules-based approach.

PBR is also better aligned with a regulatory regime designed around fair treatment of customers (FTC); and it optimally balances FTC with fostering and supporting industry innovation. As well, PBR is fully consistent with the increasingly prevalent recognition that the most important element in achieving FTC is focusing on the corporate culture of regulated entities.

CAFII regards FSRA’s Proposed Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries as being fully consistent with the Authority’s commitment to principles-based regulation; and we therefore applaud, in particular, the following statement:

As the Principles of Conduct are aligned with the FTC Guidance, which has been and continues to be implemented by industry, the adoption of the Principles of Conduct should not create more burden. Because the Principles of Conduct are principles-based, industry has some latitude to determine how best to achieve the expected outcomes of this Guidance, and reasonably demonstrate application of this Guidance and the Principles of Conduct, as appropriate to the nature, size and complexity of their business operations and activities. (Pages 8-9.)

We also support and appreciate the fact that the Proposed Principles document is well-aligned with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ Insurance Core Principle (ICP) 18, on Intermediaries, and ICP 19, on Conduct of Business; and that it also has a strong foundation in Canada’s own Guidance: Conduct of Insurance Business and Fair Treatment of Customers, which was jointly developed and launched on a nationally co-ordinated basis by CCIR and CISRO in 2018.

We are pleased by the fact that FSRA does not take a “one size fits all” approach in the Proposed Principles; and we therefore strongly concur with the Authority that

All insurance intermediaries and insurers should conduct their business following the Principles of Conduct that are relevant to their role in the industry. Expectations for conduct may differ depending on the nature of the relationship to the customer, the type of insurance provided, and the distribution method. (Page 6.)

However, that said, we do have two important concerns to raise with respect to the Proposed Principles.

Our first concern stems from the statement that “In the future, FSRA intends to assess the potential for incorporating the Principles of Conduct into the UDAP rule” (Page 6), as we believe that doing that could give rise to possible deviations from a principles-based regulatory approach, unless it is positioned with exceptional care and handled in the same manner on an ongoing basis.

Our concern about the contemplated incorporation of the Proposed Principles into FSRA’s recently developed UDAP rule would be somewhat mitigated if it is clearly stated that the Proposed Principles’ becoming a component part of the UDAP rule is solely for the purposes of creating a ‘fall-back measure’, i.e. to provide enforcement capabilities to FSRA in cases where a regulated entity is clearly not adhering to the Proposed Principles. As a general rule, however, CAFII strongly believes that the Authority’s first avenue for ensuring proper behaviour among industry participants should be through the Proposed Principles itself as a stand-alone document.

Our second issue of concern relates to implementation of the Proposed Principles.

CAFII and its members strongly believe that industry participants’ adherence to the Proposed Principles is far more important than having the industry share the Principles with and explain them to customers. For example, delivering fair treatment of customers in all of its facets is exceedingly more important than would be any requirement for industry players to explain to consumers that the interactions they are experiencing conform with FSRA’s expectations around Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries.

With respect to this matter, CAFII is troubled by the assertion that “It is expected that intermediaries and insurers that directly distribute insurance, share and explain the Principles of Conduct to customers” (Page 7) because we view the imposition of such a communication requirement as something that will only confuse consumers by muddying the waters; distract them with what are largely ‘internal industry considerations’; and undermine and detract from the positive aspects of their user experience in the purchase of insurance protection.

All things considered, CAFII believes that FSRA’s Proposed Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries is a positive step forward and one that strikes the right balance between consumer protection and avoiding burdensome regulation.

However, we ask that full and serious consideration be given to addressing the two issues of concern which we have raised in this submission. Doing so, in our estimation, will both clarify and strengthen the Proposed Principles and lead to greater success in their implementation.

CAFII again thanks FSRA for the opportunity to provide feedback on the Proposed Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries, and we look forward to continuing to dialogue with the Authority on this important matter. We convey again our ongoing appreciation for FSRA’s continuing to “walk the talk” on its commitment to open and transparent communication and consultation. Should you require further information from CAFII or wish to meet with representatives from our Association on this or any other matter at any time, please contact Keith Martin, CAFII Co-Executive Director, at [email protected] or 647-460-7725.

Sincerely,

Rob Dobbins
Board Secretary and Chair, Executive Operations Committee

May 3, 2022
Auto Insurance
[2022-007] Rhona DesRoches - FAIR Association of victims for Accident Insurance Reform
Please see attached FAIR Association Submission to the FSRA Consultation on proposed Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries
ID 2022-007

May 3, 2022
Life and Health Insurance
[2022-007] Susan Allemang - Independent Financial Brokers of Canada
Attached is the comment letter on FSRA's proposed Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries sent on behalf of N. Allan, IFB Executive Director
May 3, 2022
Auto Insurance
[2022-007] Catherine Allman - Canadian Association of Direct Relationship Insurers
Please find attached CADRI's submission which supports FSRA adopting the Principles.
May 3, 2022
All Sectors
[2022-007] Paniz Ghazanfari - Advocis, the Financial Advisors Association of Canada
Dear Sirs/Mesdames,

On behalf of Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, please find attached our response to FSRA's consultation on the proposed Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries.

Best Regards,
Paniz Ghazanfari
Associate Director, Legal and Regulatory Affairs
May 3, 2022
Mortgage Brokering
[2022-007] Colin Simpson - Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO)
"Please find attached the comments from IBAO in regards to the Proposed Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries.

If you have any questions or comments please let me know.

Regards

Colin Simpson, CEO, IBAO"

May 3, 2022
Life and Health Insurance
[2022-007] Justin Glinski
Attached please find CLHIA's submission for FSRA's Consultation on Proposed Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries
May 3, 2022
Property and Casualty, and General Insurance
[2022-007] Morris Cooper - Cooperlaw Prof Corp
There is no apparent principled basis to exclude Title Insurance providers from greater regulatory control of their practices as "insurance intermediaries". FSRA's own public reports have highlighted the integral conflicts of interests that arise when lawyers decide which title insurer their clients should use and the fees paid by the title insurers to lawyers who send them business, under the rationalization that they are doing work on behalf of the insurer. Title Insurers regard real estate lawyers as independent intermediaries whereas FSRA has repeatedly made clear that there are only two parties to Title Insurance -- the insurer and the policyholder. Respectfully, FSRA needs to require these insurers to pick a door.

April 14, 2022
Life and Health Insurance
[2022-007] David Silcox
Very interesting to me. I am a licensed agent (inactive 94027650).

April 6, 2022
No questions have been asked about this consultation yet.