A Quebec brokers association says that while it supports its provincial government’s efforts to modernize insurance legislation, it warns that allowing online insurance sales without representation could lead to “disastrous consequences for consumers.”
The Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d'assurance du Québec (RCCAQ), which represents property and insurance brokers, says Bill 141, which is currently under review, jeopardizes consumers' interests.
No broker or agent required
Among other changes, the bill would allow consumers to purchase property and casualty and life insurance products online without the involvement of a representative such as a broker or agent.
"The government should ensure that consumers have access to a distribution model offering the highest possible levels of protection. For many people, a home, a car and a cottage are among their most valuable financial assets," stated RCCAQ chair Christopher Johnson in an announcement released Feb. 21. "Although they may make for dry reading, riders, exclusions and other insurance policy provisions constitute essential information that brokers are able to explain to their clients. Our role is to work on consumers' behalf and defend their interests when claims are submitted to an insurer."
Court cases and bankruptcies
The association says that consumer bankruptcies and expensive court cases with insurers are likely to occur if online sales without representation are permitted. “The ideal solution, however, is within reach: simply require a certified professional to be involved in the online sales process,” says the RCCAQ.