The Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations (CISRO) announced it has created a new document – a resource for consumers to better understand the conduct they should expect from intermediaries – to help ensure the fair treatment of customers in the life and health and property and casualty insurance sectors.

“The principals are intended to supplement, complement and build upon the intermediary elements in the Guidance on Conduct of Insurance Business and Fair Treatment of Customers (FTC), issued by CISRO and the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR). The principles also align with the insurance core principles of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS),” they write.

“Intermediary is given broad meaning and will differ based on the applicable definitions within different jurisdictions across Canada. It encompasses adjusters, individual agents, brokers and representatives as well as business entities that distribute insurance products and services, including managing general agencies and third-party administrators. It also applies to all distribution methods, including the internet.” 

Outlines professional behaviour and conduct expectations 

They outline of professional behaviour and conduct expectations includes a discussion about customers’ interests, conflicts of interest, disclosure, product and service promotion (must be done in a clear and fair manner), claims, complaints handling and dispute resolution, protection of personal and confidential information, competence and oversight.

In giving advice, for instance, the principles state that “intermediaries must seek complete information from the customer in order to understand and identify their unique needs. Intermediaries must provide objective, accurate and thorough advice that enables customers to make an informed decision.” 

CISRO states that any stricter or more specific requirements, rules or standards of conduct already in place will take priority over the principles. The organization is seeking input on the proposed document, Principles of Conduct for Intermediaries, on or before July 9, 2021.