Results of the public consultation and orientations
In 2012 and 2013, the AMF held a public consultation on Internet
insurance offerings in Quebec. A total of 20 briefs were submitted
by various insurance industry stakeholders. After reviewing the
briefs, the AMF pursued its examination of the issues with the
stakeholders in order to understand their concerns better, observe
the development of the technology and express its opinion as to the
adequacy of the current regulatory framework and how best to treat
Internet insurance offerings.
The AMF has now published the results of this consultation. The
report contains 11 orientations that, in the words of the president
and CEO of the AMF, "aim to find an appropriate balance
between the orderly development of electronic insurance sales and
the protection of the public." [translation]
However, these orientations do not change the current
legislative and regulatory framework, as, according to the
"The government might decide
that regulatory amendments are necessary in order to implement
Involvement of a certified representative (or not)
The AMF indicates in one of its orientations that the purchase
of insurance products on the Internet might not require the
intervention of an insurance representative provided certain
conditions are satisfied, including the following:
consumers have access to self-assessment tools that allow them
to identify their insurance needs;
insurance application forms are designed to provide sufficient
information for consumers to answer the questions properly;
consumers must personally use the tools made available to them
without the intervention of an uncertified third party;
consumers must have access to an insurance representative, if
necessary, at every step in the insurance purchasing process;
consumers are informed of the importance of obtaining
These conditions are in addition to the other orientations
published by the AMF, namely, the disclosure of essential
information, the delivery of contract documents, the reliability of
transactions and the protection of personal information,
distribution other than through a representative, comparison
shopping websites, advertising and social media.
In other words, the message conveyed by the AMF in this report
is that technology may replace the intervention of an insurance
representative provided it offers consumers the same level of
information, advice and protection required for consumers to give
their informed consent and provided consumers do not feel the need
to consult a certified representative.
At this stage, while the report makes a useful contribution to
the discussion, it does not change the current legislative and
regulatory framework, which is the prerogative of the
In keeping with the goal of harmonizing practices across Canada,
the AMF's orientations are in line with the position paper
adopted by the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) in
October 2013 and are inspired by it on several issues.
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