Ontario financial regulator plans to adopt newly issued guidelines for insurance intermediaries

Newly issued guidelines prescribe appropriate business conduct for intermediaries

Ontario financial regulator plans to adopt newly issued guidelines for insurance intermediaries

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) has announced its plan to adopt newly issued guidelines that prescribe appropriate business conduct for insurance intermediaries in Canada.

On Apr. 6, the Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations (CISRO) published the Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries. The FSRA then issued new guidance that proposes incorporating these new principles into its regulatory framework and launched a consultation process to seek feedback from the public concerning the new guidance.

According to FSRA, the new principles reflect common regulatory standards for insurance intermediaries, such as adjusters, agents, brokers, managing general agencies, and third-party administrators. The principles also outline professional behaviour and conduct expectations for the fair treatment of customers, as agreed upon by CISRO members across Canada.

Under the new principles, insurance intermediaries must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, rules, and regulatory codes within their jurisdictions. They should also identify, disclose, and manage any actual or potential conflict of interest associated with a transaction or recommendation involving the sale of insurance products or services.

Insurance intermediaries should ensure that promotions of these products and services are not misleading, are easy to understand, and disclose all necessary and appropriate information. Moreover, they must handle claims, complaints, and disputes in a timely and fair manner. 

Insurance intermediaries are also expected to take necessary and appropriate measures to protect and manage personal and confidential information about customers, maintain an appropriate level of professional knowledge, and take continuing education to ensure the fair treatment of customers.

The FSRA said that the consultation aligns with the publication of the final CISRO principles, which reflects feedback received from the insurance sector and the public. It will receive input until May 3.

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