FSRA Life & Health Insurance (L&H) Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting with FSRA Board of Directors

Summary of the May 22, 2024 meeting
25 Sheppard Avenue West and virtually via Teams

SAC members present:

Eric Wachtel – Canadian Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies
Cathy N. Hiscott – PPI
Lyne Duhaime – Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association
Susan Allemang – Independent Financial Brokers of Canada
Ali Salam – Sun Life Financial
Rosie Orlando – Primerica
Harris Jones – Advocis
Ali Ghiassi – Canada Life
Dennis Craig – RBC Insurance 
Neil Paton – Third Party Administrators Association of Canada
Yasmin Visram – iA Financial Group
Jim Mavroidis – Cigna Life Ins Co of Canada
Keith Martin – Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance
Moira Gill – TD Insurance
Chris Donnelly – Manulife
Jamie Greenfield – HUB Financial Inc

FSRA board members present:

Joanne De Laurentiis – Chair of the Board
Joseph Iannicelli – Board member
Kathryn Bouey – Board member
Brent Zorgdrager – Board member
Dexter John – Board member
Peggy McCallum – Board member
Ali Salahuddin – Board member
Lucie Tedesco – Board member
Rob Wellstood – Board member
Stewart Lyons – Board member

FSRA management members present:

Mark White – Chief Executive Officer
Huston Loke – Executive Vice Present, Market Conduct
Glen Padassery – Executive Vice President, Policy
Jordan Solway – Executive Vice President, Legal and Enforcement
Judy Pfeifer – Chief Public Affairs Officer
Wendy Horrobin – Head, Licensing and Risk Assessment
Jelena Pejic – Head, Licensing and Risk Assessment
Stephen Power - Executive Vice President, Corporate Services
Erica Hiemstra – Head, Insurance Conduct, Market Conduct
Swati Agrawal – Director, Life and Health Companies & National Supervision
Daniel Padro - Head, Policy - Core Regulatory
Tim Miflin – Senior Manager, Policy – Insurance Market Conduct
Joel Gorlick – Head, Policy - Cross Sectoral
Jason Harris – Director, Legal for Policy and Rule-Making & Deputy General Counsel
Elissa Sinha – Director, Litigation and Enforcement & Deputy General Counsel
Heather Greenberg – Corporate Secretary & Deputy General Counsel
Ligia Simoes – Assistant Corporate Secretary

General comments:

The Chair of the Board welcomed the SAC members and provided introductory remarks about the importance of engagement with the SAC, including the feedback and information provided at SAC meetings.

FSRA's EVP, Market Conduct provided a summary of key FSRA initiatives underway, including changes that will lead to stronger consumer protection for segregated fund customers, supervisory reviews of the distribution of L&H products, and work to strengthen the regulatory framework for Managing General Agencies (MGAs). He also highlighted the importance of regular engagement with the sector, particularly in relation to policy development.

Importance of harmonization with other provincial regulators:

The SAC members discussed the importance of harmonization with other provincial regulatory frameworks. Members suggested that FSRA should strive for greater provincial harmonization and collaboration through CCIR and industry organizations such as CLHIA. Customers expect the same treatment regardless of a province’s regulatory regime; as well, varying regulatory standards and requirements create challenges for the industry, particularly from an operationalization angle.

FSRA’s work on an MGA regulatory framework will drive efficiencies in the industry and greater consumer protection:

The SAC members provided feedback on potential changes to the regulatory framework for L&H MGAs. Members commented that FSRA’s work on MGAs is a significant opportunity to drive efficiencies in the market and greater consumer protection. They also noted that FSRA’s activities have already led to positive changes, particularly in relation to the level of compliance oversight from insurers.

Innovation in insurance products and distribution requires greater regulatory attention and consideration:

The SAC members discussed innovation in insurance products and distribution, particularly in the areas of AI and digital, that are displacing “traditional” distribution. Direct and digital distribution models are now mainstream. Regulation and technical applications need to keep pace with developments. Members commented that FSRA should consider regulation for direct and digital distribution. This would help provide customers with seamless service across provinces.

The SAC members suggested that FSRA should be mindful to ensure that the tone of communication material is appropriate given the intended message.

The SAC members also explained that educating advisors on succession planning is an important step in sustaining overall capacity in the industry.

As well, the SAC members suggested that a higher level of general and technical knowledge of insurance within government would support policy development.

Closing remarks from the Chair:

The Chair thanked the SAC members for their input. The Chair encouraged continued open and frank dialogue between the SAC and FSRA.