QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 30, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The insurance brokerage
profession is currently facing challenges related to consumer
protection, changes in consumer behaviour and illegal business
practices. These were the main issues raised during discussions at the
Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d'assurance du Québec (RCCAQ)
convention taking place this week in Quebec City.
Consumer protection at risk
Insurance is a complex product and consumers are encouraged to seek
advice to ensure that their assets are adequately covered. It is now
possible to purchase insurance policies online without the assistance
of a certified representative at any time during the transaction.
People who purchase a policy directly online can make mistakes when
filling out their application, and it is only when making a claim that
they find out that their coverage is inadequate. Brokers can help
manage the risks related to property damage by advising customers,
thereby playing a key role in protecting their property.
"The insurance market is changing. The problem is that new channels of
distribution such as the Internet do not ensure that customers
understand products in the same way as when dealing with a broker. Nor
do they guarantee consumer protection through mechanisms established by
the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF)," said Jean Bilodeau,
president of the RCCAQ.
Consumers: victims of illegal practices
The RCCAQ continues to work with the AMF to ensure that illegal business
practices, particularly those involving automobile dealerships, are
eliminated. Many dealers disparage the products offered by brokers, and
also sell replacement insurance, which can be up to 66% more expensive
than that sold by brokers—notably because this amount is added to the
vehicle's financing, which can span up to six years. In addition, some
dealers threaten to increase the interest rate for financing the
vehicle if the customer does not purchase their replacement insurance.
In some instances, the dealers overstep their rights by undertaking
activities exclusive to insurance brokers, such as collecting
information with a view to obtaining a quote.
Tax harmonization: a considerable impact for brokerage firms
The RCCAQ wishes to acknowledge the work done by Finance Minister
Nicolas Marceau to mitigate the impact of sales tax harmonization on
brokerage firms. The RCCAQ would also like to reiterate that efforts to
find a long-term solution beyond 2015 must continue. In other news, the
RCCAQ also plans to be present for the consultations concerning
amendments to Bill 188, which governs the distribution of financial
products and services.
About the RCCAQ
The RCCAQ is a professional association that seeks to promote and defend
the socioeconomic interests of its member firms. It represents 4,500
insurance brokers working in 615 firms and branch offices across
SOURCE: Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d'assurance du Québec
For further information: