New brokerage rules proposed in Quebec

A BROKER selling policies from fewer than four insurers would be labelled an agent under a bill tabled by Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitão.
Bill 150, which implements provisions of the 2016 and 2017 budgets, would also register a vendor as an agency, not a brokerage, if a financial institution or group has a stake of 20% or more in it.

The provincial brokers association, the Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d’assurance du Québec, said earlier this month it is withholding official comment on the bill while it canvasses members on the legislation.

“It goes without saying that the RCCAQ will be lobbying the provincial government in order to make (brokers’) voices heard on these issues,” said RCCAQ chair Kathleen Ann Rake, vp of business development at Montreal-based Univesta/Rake Insurance.

Insurer Aviva Canada welcomed the bill.

It said it has been in favour of the 20% ownership limit to ensure broker independence and believes in the importance of appropriately regulating the differences between agents and independent brokers.
“Aviva is pleased to see that Bill 150 provides clarity on the distinction between agents and independent brokers, which will help to ensure consumers in Quebec are protected and treated fairly,” the insurer said in a statement.
“Enforcement of the distribution law that mandates brokers to offer multiple quotes will help restore transparency for customers.”
Martin-Eric Tremblay, Aviva’s senior vp of the Quebec region, said it applauds the Quebec government for taking this step.

“(It makes) the appropriate distinction between agents and independent brokers to offer widespread consumer choice and protection,” Mr. Tremblay said.

“The finance minister’s newly tabled (bill) is welcome news for us.”
The bill would require p&c intermediaries to be registered as agencies or brokerage firms.

Registration as a brokerage firm would be prohibited if a financial institution or financial group or a legal person affiliated with them has a significant interest in the firm’s decisions or equity capital.

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