If passed as it now stands, Bill 141 which was introduced by the Quebec Finance Minister Oct. 5, will allow the sale of insurance on the Internet without the involvement of an agent.
The insurer who uses this method of distribution must, however, provide access to an adviser, if the consumer so requests, specifies Bill 141.
The Bill states that Quebec’s Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services is being amended to enable firms to offer financial products and services through technological means.
Better consumer protection
In Part I of the document, it says that the amendments provided for in the Bill are aimed primarily at better consumer protection, while allowing financial institutions and market intermediaries to adapt their practices to changes in the sector and the new needs of their clientele. In particular, the Bill mentions new practices relating to the online distribution of financial products and services (Article 2).
The words "through representatives" to be deleted
Section 68 affirms that a licensed insurer does not contravene the Act solely because no natural person is dealing with the client. Quebec’s move to provide regulation for insurance sales via the Internet entails many modifications to the Act. For instance, the Bill proposes that the words "through representatives" be deleted from section 70 of the Act. Until now, this article stipulated that a firm, whether uni-disciplinary or multidisciplinary, offers products and services through representatives. The Bill also puts forward a new article stipulating that a firm may, without the intermediary of a natural person, offer products and services in a discipline as long as it employs a representative who can practice in that discipline.
To learn more about Bill 141, read this article published yesterday by The Insurance and Investment Journal.