QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 30, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d'assurance du Québec (RCCAQ) recently submitted a brief on the review process for Bill 188, which regulates the distribution of financial products and services. In its brief, the RCCAQ welcomes the Quebec finance ministry's efforts to update this legislation while calling for greater efficiency and fairness in how the rules are applied.
Bill 188 was initially adopted in 2000. Technological advances and changes to insurance products over the past 15 years underscore the importance of this legislative review. "Quebec brokerage firms are calling for the implementation of an adequate regulatory framework, one that is both clear and consistent with a view to protecting the public, as well as more efficient for all insurance industry stakeholders," said RCCAQ chair Vincent Gaudreau.
Online insurance sales
Due to the complex nature of insurance products and the dramatic consequences often associated with insufficient coverage, it is essential that certified insurance representatives take part in online transactions. Consumers would then be assured that the products they purchase meet their needs.
In the RCCAQ's view, the same legal requirements should apply to all parties, including price comparison websites as well as those operated by insurance companies and certified insurance brokers. Standardizing these requirements would be fairer for all industry stakeholders.
Distribution without certified representatives
The RCCAQ maintains that insurance products should not be distributed without the participation of certified representatives. It also maintains that all distributors, in particular auto dealerships, should register as insurance brokerage firms. In addition, employees tasked with selling insurance products should be registered as AMF-certified representatives.
According to Mr. Gaudreau, "All persons distributing insurance products, regardless of their industry sector, should be subject to a single legislative framework. That way, consumers will be protected uniformly, regardless of whom they do business with."
Oversight process for certified representatives
The RCCAQ maintains that regulatory duplication for certified representatives should be eliminated and questions the wisdom of having the Chambre de l'assurance de dommages (CHAD) and the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) both take part in the oversight process. Regulatory duplication places an undue burden on the oversight process and creates multiple points of confusion in the minds of consumers and industry representatives.
The RCCAQ thus proposes that the investigative and legal services currently provided by CHAD and the AMF be merged. As a result, the AMF's status as the exclusive channel for complaints would be confirmed; it would also become the most effective organization for addressing breaches of professional ethics.
Due to the closeness of its membership ties, a sector-specific association (such as the RCCAQ) that has in-depth knowledge of industry training requirements would be in the best position to ensure that the necessary skills are maintained while assuming responsibility for its members' professional development.
Compensation for consumers affected by fraud
The RCCAQ also questions the need to modify the current formula for compensating consumers affected by fraud. Quebec's financial services compensation fund (FISF) is currently managed in the same way as other sector-specific funds designed to assist victims of fraud committed by certain designated professionals. Since the overarching goal is to maintain consumers' trust in the insurance industry, this goal will not be achieved if consumers are compensated for actions that certain professionals were not authorized to engage in the first place.
The RCCAQ's brief is available at rccaq.com
About the RCCAQ
The RCCAQ is a professional association tasked with promoting and defending the socio-economic interests of its member firms. It represents over 4,500 brokers at some 570 firms and branch offices across Quebec.
SOURCE Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d'assurance du Québec
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