Heading into the new year, the need to streamline and harmonize
insurance regulation across Canada continues to be an industry
priority. In this regard, Manitoba continues to roll out its
amendments to the Insurance Act (Manitoba), pursuant to
Bill 27, the Insurance Amendment Act (Manitoba)
("Bill 27"). The proclamation of Bill 27 is a three
staged approached that began on September 1, 2014 and continued on
January 1, 2015. The final changes will take effect on March 1,
2015. Overall, these amendments modernize Manitoba's
Insurance Act to bring it in line with existing
legislation in other provinces.
A brief outline of the significant changes is provided
Restricted Insurance Agent Licensing
We previously issued an
e-lert on Manitoba's proposal to implement restricted insurance
agent licensing published in 2011. As part of the package of
amendments set out in Bill 27, amendments to the Insurance
Agents and Adjusters Regulation 389/87 will soon require
incidental sellers of insurance to obtain a restricted insurance
agent ("RIA") licence. The final RIA framework is similar
to requirements already in place in Alberta and Saskatchewan, with
some exceptions. One exception in particular is that unlike in
Alberta or Saskatchewan, an RIA holder operating in Manitoba may
act as an agent through the employees of another unlicensed entity
such as a third party telemarketing firm. The Insurance Council of
Manitoba will be monitoring this program closely to ensure
compliance with applicable consumer protection and insurance
Beginning March 1, 2015, Parts V and VI (life
insurance and accident and sickness insurance) of the Insurance
Act (Manitoba) will be harmonized with virtually all of
Alberta's Insurance Act. For life and health insurance
providers carrying on business in both Manitoba and Alberta these
amendments will simplify and consolidate certain compliance
On the other hand, insurers operating in Manitoba but not in
Alberta may be subject to additional requirements with respect to
the issuance and contents of the policy, statutory conditions, and
dealings under the contract. For example, a life or health insurer
in Manitoba will soon be required to provide additional disclosure
in regard to the timing of any actions brought against it and any
restrictions imposed on an insured's right to designate a
beneficiary. Additional amendments clarify an insurer's rights
in the event an applicant fails to disclose certain facts, with
specific carve outs available for contracts of group insurance or
creditor's group insurance. The limitation period for actions
brought against an insurer for the recovery of insurance money has
also been increased, in certain situations, from one year to two
Reminder of September 1, 2014 Amendments
A few of the notable amendments to the Insurance Act
(Manitoba) that came into force on September 1, 2014, include the
Harmonization with many of the provisions in Alberta's
Consolidation of Part III (Insurance Contracts in Manitoba) and
Part IV (Fire) into a new Part III (General Insurance
Introduction of insurance compliance self-evaluative
Changes to the validity of exclusions dealing with the fire
Statutory conditions were brought in line with the provisions
set out in the Insurance Act (Alberta);
Revised dispute resolution procedures;
New provisions related to the distribution and use of
Consumer protection enhancements; and
Replacement of Manitoba's previous 28 classes of insurance
with the 17 classes of insurance under the federal Insurance
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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