Interpretation and Approach Guidance: Life agent reporting requirements and related insurer obligations

Purpose of the consultation

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (“FSRA”) held a 30-day public consultation on proposed Interpretation and Approach Guidance (the “Guidance”) under the Insurance Act (the “Act”) and its regulations: Life agent reporting requirements and related insurer obligations.

By modernizing and combining several pieces of inherited Financial Services Commission of Ontario (“FSCO”) guidance into a single document, the Guidance supports FSRA’s focus on regulatory efficiency and effectiveness.

The Guidance outlines three licensee reporting requirements for life agents: errors and omissions (“E&O”) insurance, continuing education credits (“CE”), and agents’ contracted insurers. The aforementioned reporting requirements provide FSRA with information to oversee agent compliance with applicable legal obligations.

Consistent with the collaborative principle established in FSRA’s guidance framework, FSRA consults stakeholders regarding interpretation guidance that creates compliance obligations.

The consultation launched on September 9, 2021 and concluded on October 8, 2021.

Stakeholder feedback and FSRA’s responses

The report below summarizes the consultation feedback and provides FSRA’s responses.

The comments and questions received include submissions from insurer and agent trade associations as well as individual agents, an education provider and a consumer advocate.

The consultation ultimately confirmed support for the Guidance. FSRA amended the Guidance to address stakeholder feedback as identified in the summary below.

As one of the initial guidance documents addressing life and health insurance, the consultation attracted feedback on a wide range of topics, including issues outside the Guidance’s scope (which may warrant further review). These topics are noted in the summary below and may inform FSRA’s future work to enhance market conduct oversight to protect consumers.

The submissions are available on FSRA’s website page for the consultation:

Consultation on life agent reporting and insurer oversight obligations

The following table summarizes the key themes raised during the consultation and FSRA’s responses.

Guidance - General

Substantive comments beyond the scope of the guidance

Summary of changes to the guidance

FSRA has made the following amendments to the Guidance:

  • the reference to topics that do not meet the CE requirement will be amended to indicate that education related to increasing sales and leads generation does not meet the CE requirement
  • the Guidance will be amended to clarify the requirements for individual life agents acting on behalf of a corporate and partnership agent
  • the “legislative requirement” in the Insurer’s Compliance System section of the Guidance has been changed to more closely reflect the language in O. Reg. 347/04
  • the Guidance will be amended to provide a 30-day timeframe for reporting changes to the insurers with whom an agent has a contract
  • the Guidance will be amended to include a reference to the Conduct of Insurance and Fair Treatment of Customers Guidance

1 Guidance: Conduct of Insurance Business and Fair Treatment of Customers, adopted jointly by the CCIR (Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators) and CISRO (Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations) on September 27, 2018
2 Proposed FY2022-2023 Statement of Priorities, October 7, 2021
3 Proposed FY2022-2023 Statement of Priorities, October 7, 2021
4 Proposed FY2022-2023 Statement of Priorities, October 7, 2021
5 Proposed FY2022-2023 Statement of Priorities, October 7, 2021