Consumer Protection Bond

As part of IBAS membership, brokerages receive coverage under an association-wide umbrella surety bond — underwritten by SGI CANADA — that meets the statutory requirement to maintain a $20,000 consumer protection bond as a condition of licence. This is provided by IBAS as an exclusive member benefit and foregoes the need for the member brokerage to purchase a bond on its own.

Background

The IBAS Consumer Protection Fund (CPF) was established in 1997 to provide protection for consumers against loss of premiums, fees, or other benefits due to the insolvency of, fraudulent activity of, or contravention of prevailing provincial legislation by IBAS members. This served as an approved equivalency to the $20,000 Consumer Protection Bond required under General Insurance Council of Saskatchewan (GICS) bylaws — a significant member benefit that has saved IBAS members more than $2 million over the life of the program.

The introduction of The Insurance Act (effective January 1, 2020), however, removed the bond requirement from the GICS bylaws and instead enshrined it directly into legislation. The resulting restrictive provisions and wording in Act meant the CPF would no longer be recognized as a substitute for the bond requirement.

Therefore, to preserve member value and find an alternative pathway to support brokerages, IBAS — in conjunction with the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan — identified and voted upon plan for IBAS to dissolve the structure of the CPF and roll over coverage into a new umbrella surety bond, purchased through a duly licensed carrier.

Members will functionally see no change compared to the former CPF program unless the bond is called (it has not been called in the 20-plus-year history of the CPF) — in which case, the process will be managed directly by SGI CANADA. This will keep all members in compliance with the bond requirement in the new Act without adding operational expense for brokers.