Agencies and Firms
 
 

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All licensees, including agencies and firms, have a number of responsibilities that they must be aware of and integrate into their daily business requirements.

Authority To Represent Agency or Firm:

All Employers when signing an authority to represent undertake the following:

We confirm we support the indivudal being authorized to represent the agency or firm; and understand we are required to notify the Insurance Council of British Columbia, in writing within five business days, if this applicantís authority to represent our agency or firm ceases and advise you where there are issues related to the applicantís suitability or conduct as a licensee.

Responsibility to Ensure Valid Licence in Place

It is an offense to act in an unlicensed capacity or to compensate a person or entity for acting as an insurance agent, salesperson or adjuster while unlicensed.

Each person, agency and firm is responsible for ensuring compliance with the licensing provisions of the Act. Where an agency or firm fails in this responsibility, both it and the nominee may be subject to disciplinary action and a suitability review.

It is FICOM's responsibility to determine whether licensing is required in specific circumstances. Although Council can often assist, inquiries may be referred to FICOM for consideration. If you have a question on whether a licence is required in your specific circumstances you should consider obtaining legal advice. Contact information for FICOM is available under HANDY LINKS AND CONTACTS.

Requirement to Provide Reasons for Termination

Where an agency or firm withdraws a licensee's authorization to represent, the agency or firm must notify Council within 5 business days. The agency or firm is also required to notfy Council if the reason(s) for withdrawing the authorization relates to the individualís suitability or conduct as a licensee.

Council’s review of the reasons for termination is an integral part of the process to determine suitability. The reasons for termination provided may disclose issues that bring into question a licensee’s suitability or conduct.

Terminations of an authority to represent can occur for many reasons and most are not a concern for Council. Where the cause for termination brings into question a licensee’s competency, trustworthiness, financial reliability or compliance with the Act and its Regulations or Council Rules, Council has an interest. Complaints relating to poor sales production, customer service, arriving late for work or similar non-insurance related matters are not issues for Council’s consideration. In situations such as this, the notification may state that termination was not related to suitability or conduct as an insurance licensee.

Where there are issues that may bring into question the suitability or conduct of a licensee, then full disclosure must be provided. Comments should be limited to what the agency or firm believe the facts to be and avoid providing personal opinions.

Reasons for termination and any follow-up information provided cannot be guaranteed to be kept confidential. If an investigation is conducted as a result of the reasons for termination, the information may be disclosed to the licensee.

In addition, under the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, licensees have the right to access any information about themselves held by Council, subject to certain exceptions.

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