The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) says it’s encouraged the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) wants to make Ontario the go-to place for financial innovation in Canada, but wants the current process in working with FSRA on new opportunities to change. 

In a consultation paper to FSRA, the CLHIA says the life and health insurance industry has been a leader in offering innovative products to Ontarians. For example, the industry has developed innovative solutions to help Ontarians with access to mental health supports and other virtual care services, particularly important during the pandemic. 

Policies need to be well developed 

The ability to innovate enables insurers to better provide clients with affordable and convenient services, but they want there to be well-developed policies and regulations. 

“Any regulatory framework must ensure that businesses are able to innovate and offer customized products and services while at the same time ensuring consumer protections are in place,” states the paper. 

CLHIA says more clarity required  

The CLHIA goes on to say that the current process in working with FSRA on new opportunities has been relatively ad hoc. “It has not been clear where or how to bring innovative ideas to FSRA. Our experience throughout the pandemic has been that even small changes require going through a lengthy process before changes can be made. We believe that improvements can be made by creating a framework that does not slow innovation and is not overly prescriptive.” 

The CLHIA says under the proposed process, it doesn’t seem that companies can modify their proposals or offerings. The paper points out that innovation is an iterative process and FSRA should let companies adjust their offerings as needed without having to go through the application process all over again. 

Most companies will be looking to launch innovations that are proprietary, adds the CLHIA. It is important that details on these new innovations are kept confidential during the test and learn process to ensure proprietary innovation is not made public before launch.