Rule Amendment Consultation

Life and/or Accident & Sickness Agent Supervision

Creation of Rules 10(1) to 10(12) 
Repeal of Rules 7(16.1), 7(16.2), 7(17.1), 7(17.2)  

Overview
These amendments introduce a new Rule and wording changes to align the Rules with previously published guidance and expectations for the supervision of new life and/or accident & sickness (A&S) agents established in Notices and Guidelines, increasing the Insurance Council’s ability to enforce a consistent standard across the industry. Wording changes to definitions increase transparency and remove references that no longer apply.

How to read the proposed wording changes to the Rules:

  • Bolded text represents the addition of proposed wording.

  • Text that has been struck out represents wording proposed for removal.

See the proposed Rule wording (.pdf)

What is the proposed change? 

These changes propose the creation of Rule 10, which articulates supervision requirements for new life and/or A&S agents. The content of Rule 10 reflects the same guidance and expectations that are in place already, outlined in the Guidelines for Supervision of New Life and/or Accident & Sickness Agents that were published in 2019. Existing sections of Rule 7 that address life and/or A&S agent supervision have been incorporated in the new Rule 10 and would be repealed.

Sections 10(1) to (2) of the new Rule establish the qualifications to be a supervisor. The supervisor must hold the same class of licence in BC as the new life and/or A&S agent or have held an active life and/or A&S agent licence of the same class in a Canadian jurisdiction for five of the last seven years. A mechanism is also provided for the Insurance Council to disallow a qualified agent to be a supervisor if it is not in the public interest.

Sections 10(3) to (7) establish supervisor requirements. The duties and responsibilities of supervisors of new life and/or A&S agents are outlined, which include: providing guidance about practice and regulatory responsibilities, reviewing the new agent’s recommendations to clients, and maintaining supervision-related documents. Supervisors are also required to provide a declaration to the Insurance Council once the minimum supervision period has been met and the supervisor considers the new agent to be able to conduct business unsupervised.

These sections also state that supervisory duties may only be delegated to another individual who is qualified to be a supervisor, and set a limit of 25 for the number of agents a supervisor may supervise. 

Sections 10(9) to (12) present the requirements for new life and/or A&S agents. This includes having an appropriately qualified supervisor and only conducting insurance activities under that supervisor’s oversight and class of licence. Clarity is also provided for interruptions to supervision: if the new agent ceases to be supervised during the supervision period, they must not carry out insurance activities until a new supervisor approved by the Insurance Council is in place; if the new agent ceases to hold an active licence during the supervision period, they would need to resume supervision and accumulate the required time under supervision as an active licensee. Exemptions for supervision are included for reinstated licences and non-resident licensees actively licensed in another Canadian jurisdiction for a minimum of two years.

Definitions for “A&S agent supervisor,” “life agent supervisor,” “new A&S agent,” and “new life agent” have been updated to align with Rule 10 and outdated language that no longer applies have been removed.

 

What is the rationale?

Prompted by concerns about the quality of supervision of new life and/or A&S agents demonstrated in the industry, the Insurance Council introduced Guidelines for Supervision of New Life and/or Accident & Sickness agents in October 2019. These guidelines provided greater clarity about supervisor qualifications and responsibilities, duration of supervision, limits on the number of new agents supervised and more information about exemptions. However, without a corresponding Rule in place, these existing guidelines have limited enforceability. Incorporating these guidelines into the Council Rules increases the Insurance Council’s ability to enforce the requirements as a means to uphold a consistent standard of supervision for new life and/or A&S agents. This ensures that new life and/or A&S agents receive appropriate support and oversight as they grow in competence and their work experience benefits both the new agents and consumers.

Provide feedback about proposed changes to the Council Rules

Consultation is now closed. Stakeholder consultation on this proposed rule amendment ran March 28 to June 1, 2022.

Back to Rules Consultation Overview