What is the proposed change?
The Insurance Council is proposing changes to Rule 5 that fall into two broad categories:
Housekeeping changes that clarify what fees are currently charged and to whom, and that increase flexibility and practicality for how those fees are applied. In some cases, the rule does not reflect current practices, or refers to activities that are no longer carried out, such as providing certified copies of documents.
Modernizing changes that recognize differences in the oversight and resources required for various types of licences and activities, and which update the fee structure to make funding regulatory oversight more equitable and sustainable by reflecting its costs more accurately.
See the proposed rule change wording (.pdf)
A Closer Look:
1. Revise the wording “will” to “may” in the clause that sets out which fees the Insurance Council collects. Remove wording about who fees are collected from.
will may collect and retain fees for the following: from licensees and applicants for the following:
Why: The wording “will” vs. “may” means that, by law, the Insurance Council must charge for those fees. Changing this to “may” would provide the Insurance Council with the discretion to charge or not charge fees for the items/activities named in the rule.
Removing the line about “from licensees and applicants” more accurately reflects the fact that some of the fees listed in the Rule are charged to examinees, insurers or others, rather than just applicants and licensees.
2. Differentiate between fees for individual licences vs. corporate licences, as well as different types of corporate licence. Increase the current limit for licence application and annual filing fees.
- (a) an application fee not to exceed:
for a licence:
$200.00 $275.00 per year for an individual licence;
- $800.00 for an insurance agency licence;
- $800.00 for an adjusting firm licence;
- $800.00 for a restricted agency licence
- (b) an annual licence fee not to exceed
filing fee for continuous licences:
$200.00 $260.00 per year for an individual licence;
- $500.00 per year for an insurance agency licence;
- $500.00 per year for an adjusting firm licence;
- $500.00 per year for a restricted agency licence
Why: The wording of the rule refers to the application fee as being “per year” when it is in fact a one-time cost. The revised rule would remove this term. It would also replace “filing fee for continuous licences” with “annual licence fee” as this is a more accurate description of what the fee is for.
The existing wording for Rule 5 refers to “a licence” and does not distinguish between types of licence, meaning that the cost of a licence or application for an agency is the same as for an individual agent. However, regulatory support and oversight for corporate entities is more complex and time intensive than individuals. Distinguishing between licence types would allow a difference in the fee charged for corporate vs. individual licence applications and annual licence fee, more equitably redistributing how licensees fund industry oversight through the Insurance Council of BC.
Additionally, proposed wording for Rule 5 would increase the maximum range for what the Insurance Council is able to charge for applications and annual filing. This change will adapt the fee structure so that the resourcing of regulatory oversight is more financially sustainable.
The maximum application fee would go from $200 to $275 for individuals and $800 for a corporate licence. The maximum annual filing fee would go from $200 to $260 for individuals, and $500 for a corporate licence.
The fee schedule set out in Rule 5 has remained the same for the last 12 years, and what the Insurance Council is permitted to charge needs to more accurately reflect the cost to provide those services in 2022 and beyond.
The current maximum fee for licence applications does not cover the actual cost of processing applications. Furthermore, the cost of introducing web-based services for licensees and applicants, as well as operational improvements to advance regulatory oversight, cannot continue to be fully supported by the current fees. An inability to sustainably fund these service and regulatory improvements would limit the Insurance Council’s ability to keep up with the pace of developments in industry and technology.
The proposed Rule 5 wording would increase the maximum allowable fee; however increases to filing and application fees would be introduced gradually over several years.
There would be no increase to the annual filing fee or application fee for licensees in the 2022 budget. For the 2023 budget, the filing fee is planned to increase to $235/$450 (individual/corporate), and $260/$500 in the 2024 budget. Application fees are planned to rise to $250/$750 in the 2023 budget, with no planned increase in the 2024 budget.
3. Wording updated to clarify what a fee is for, and to remove references to practices that are no longer carried out or where a fee is no longer applied.
an application a fee not to exceed $50.00 to reinstate, amend or transfer a licence;
- (d) an exam fee not to exceed $125.00 per module attempt;
a non-resident endorsement fee not to exceed $50.00 for each original;
a fee for each request for licence information not to exceed $25.00;
a fee for a certificate of a true exact copy of any document not to exceed $25.00 per page; and
a fee for each replacement licence certificate not to exceed $50.00.
Why: In paragraph (c), a licence amendment is not tied to an application. Additionally, the practice of reinstatement as it intended here is no longer carried out—this refers to a past practice where licensees who no longer had authority to represent an employer had their licences terminated, and would then need to have their licence reinstated once they gained a new employer/authority to represent. This is no longer the case. The practice of transferring a licence in paragraph (c) is also no longer carried out.
The revised wording in (d) provides clarity to indicate that exam fees are charged per module.
For (e) and (g), non-resident endorsements no longer occur, and no fee is charged for providing licence information. The practices in (k) and (l) also no longer occur.
4. Wording revised to specify corporate ownership amendments.
- (f) a fee for amendment of corporate ownership information not to exceed $800.00
Why: The addition of wording to paragraph (f) changes its intent to address corporate ownership amendments specifically, rather than all amendments. The work and effort associated with reviewing corporate ownership amendment submissions is significant and is not adequately supported by the existing fee. This change would address this, while other more common amendments (e.g., personal name changes) do not require the same level of effort, and could be done without a charge to licensees.
5. Wording updated for consistency with proposed changes to paragraph (b).
- (h) a late annual licence fee
filing fee not to exceed:
$200.00 $260.00 for an individual licence;
- $500.00 for an insurance agency licence;
- $500.00 for an adjusting firm licence;
- $500.00 for a restricted agency licence.
Why: Revised to match the licence types and fees in paragraph (b).
6. Wording revised to include charges for other photocopying-related services.
- (i) a
photocopy fee for copying, printing or scanning not to exceed $1.00 per page;
Why: Additional wording would allow the Insurance Council to recover the cost of printing and scanning services in addition to the existing charge for photocopying.
7. New paragraph added to permit the Insurance Council to charge for courses that it creates and offers.
- (m) a fee for courses offered by Council not to exceed $100.00 per credit; and
Why: This will enable the Insurance Council to charge fees for its own courses, offsetting the costs for the development and delivery of those courses.
8. New paragraph added to reflect the cost associated with processing a trainee registration.
- (n) a trainee registration fee not to exceed $100.00.
Currently, no fee can be charged for General Insurance Trainee registrations as this category of registrant is not listed in the Rule 5. This does not reflect the costs associated with processing these registrations.