British Columbia opens consultation on proposed restricted insurance agent licensing regime

The finance ministry will accept written submissions until October 3

British Columbia opens consultation on proposed restricted insurance agent licensing regime

British Columbia’s Ministry of Finance has begun seeking feedback from the insurance industry and interested parties regarding its proposed restricted insurance agent licensing regime.

The finance ministry confirmed that it intends to bring into force ss. 30, 31, and 60 of the Financial Institutions Amendment Act, 2019 (Bill 37) to enable the granting of restricted insurance agent licences across BC. A restricted insurance agent licence authorizes a corporate licensee, such as sole proprietors, corporations, and partnerships, to sell insurance through its employees and agents based in the province.

This licence will generally authorize the sale of insurance where it is sold incidentally with the licensee’s primary products or services.

Accordingly, the finance ministry proposes introducing regulations governing the issuance of restricted insurance agent licences in BC. If passed, these regulations will prescribe which businesses are eligible to hold a restricted agent licence and what types of insurance are authorized to be sold.

“Restricted insurance agent licences are intended to facilitate easier public access to insurance products while ensuring appropriate oversight of their sale,” the finance ministry said. “The government will need to pass regulations and the Insurance Council of BC will need to make rules in order to fully implement a restricted insurance agent licensing regime.”

Once regulations are in place, the Insurance Council of BC said that it would accept applications for restricted licences. In March 2021, it ceased issuing licences limited to selling one or more specific insurance products following a legal review of the licensing process.

The ministry will accept written submissions until October 3.

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