Modernizing updates to Insurance Council Rules moves forward
Published January 13, 2023
A package of proposed changes
to the Insurance Council Rules has now been approved by the Minister of Finance following submission in November. This is the latest in a series of updates to the Rules as a part of the project to modernize the regulatory framework
for insurance licensure in BC.
The approved changes will not take effect immediately as the timing and process for implementation will vary by rule. In some cases, the changes simply clarify existing practices and require little or no additional action from licensees. In others, they will be introduced as part of existing processes or may require more significant measures for implementation.
The Rule amendments approved by the Minister are as follows:
Level 3 Agent and Adjuster Qualifications - Rules 2(5), 2(8)
Qualification for a level 3 general insurance agent or adjuster licence will be based entirely on education and experience rather management role, once this rule is implemented in Fall 2023. The licence application process will be updated to reflect this change, and licensees holding both Level 2 and 3 licences will be provided options for consolidating their licences at that time.
Business Registration and Name Requirements - Rules 2(18)
These changes clarify the requirement that all business names used by licensees be registered with the BC Corporate Registry and not be easily confused with the name of an insurer, agency or adjusting firm. As this is merely a clarification of the rule wording, there is no change to the existing process for licence applications. The amended rule wording is effective March 31, 2023.
Licence Reinstatement - Rule 2(19)
These changes will simplify requirements for reinstating a licence within two years of cancellation and will be rolled out through updates to the current licence application process starting March 31, 2023.
Nominee Qualifications Rule 2(11), 2(11.1), 2(12)
The first part of this rule amendment enables, in exceptional circumstances, an application for a temporary nominee who doesn’t fully meet qualification requirements, enabling business continuity. This will become effective as of March 31, 2023.
The second part of this change will be implemented in Fall 2023, and will clarify existing qualification requirements to be a nominee, making the wording less ambiguous, and introducing a prerequisite for completion of a nominee course.
Licence Renewal Rule 4(4)(b), (c) and (d)
This change will be introduced during the 2023 annual licence renewal period starting March 31, 2023, as part of the process currently in place. CE and E&O requirements for licensees remain unchanged, but licensees will need to ensure they meet the requirements prior to renewing. Licensees will not be able to renew their licence if they have not met their CE requirements or do not have the required E&O. More information about Rule 4(4) and what it means for the annual renewal process will circulated in an email to licensees later this month.
This change ensures that a licensee cannot continue to practice without being aware of and meeting annual licence requirements. Licensees will now need to provide confirmation of having met annual continuing education and Errors and Omissions insurance requirements through a declaration for the yearly renewal process.
Direct Supervision - Rule 6(1)(c) and 6(2)(b)
Effective March 31, 2023, rule wording will be updated to remove the reference to “direct” supervision, clarifying supervision requirements for general insurance salespersons. Salespersons are still required to be supervised as per Rule 6(1)(c) and 6(2)(b) and the expectations previously outlined in the Guidelines for Supervision of General Insurance Level 1 Salespersons.
Conflict of Interest - Rule 7(11.2)
Once introduced, this rule will prohibit insurance agencies that have common ownership with a property management company from engaging in insurance business for a strata corporation where there is common ownership with the corporation, business or other entity that provides strata management services to that strata corporation. Requirements and effective dates for implementation of this new rule are currently being determined and will be communicated to licensees and other stakeholders as more details become available.
Implementation for all these rule changes will consider stakeholder impacts and public protection outcomes. Once available, we will provide further information about rule changes with direct impacts to our licensees and stakeholders, in particular, updates to regulatory requirements and advance notice of effective dates.
Information about the Council Rules Review initiative
or the rule amendments
is available on our website. Questions about these Rule amendments can be directed to Brett Thibault, Director, Governance and Stakeholder Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org