Purchasing insurance can be a daunting experience, but your insurance broker can help eliminate some of the confusion and uncertainty. As an insurance consumer, you should expect:
- Your interest to come before that of your broker and the insurance company at all times.
- To find the right P&C broker and advisor for your situation.
- Your broker to assess your insurance needs and recommend a product to meet your needs.
- To provide full and honest information about your insurance needs. Full disclosure is essential to help identify the most suitable insurance options.
- Answers if you do not fully understand the insurance recommended.
- Your broker’s recommendation will be based on the attributes of the product and the value of the services being provided.
- Your broker to carry out your written and understood instructions.
- Your broker to transact business in a lawful manner. If you have questions about the conduct of your broker, you should contact the appropriate authority or regulatory body.
- Your personal information to be safeguarded and used only for the purpose originally collected, unless you gave permission for it to be used for another reason. Your personal information, however, may be divulged without your consent to law enforcement agencies when required or as authorized by law.
- Your broker to inform you about any conflict of interest, so you can decide whether to proceed.
- To receive all relevant information before making an insurance decision, including product features, risks, benefits, and the insurer involved.
- To have a complaint dealt with in a timely and forthright manner. If a dispute with your broker cannot be resolved, you should be advised about available complaint resolution alternatives.
Coercive Tied Selling is Prohibited
The Government of Canada has recognized that financial institutions have the power to exert tremendous pressure on an individual or business when they seek financing. A financial institution could use this power to influence a consumer to purchase an unwanted product or service in exchange for approval of a loan. This practice is known as ‘coercive tied selling’ and is prohibited in Canada. This is defined as:
“Any practice that imposes undue pressure, or coerces a person to obtain a product or service from a bank or any of its affiliates, as a condition for obtaining a loan or any other product from that same bank.
Section 459.1 of the Bank Act prohibits coercive tied selling and requires banks to disclose to consumers that coercive tied selling is illegal through the display of plain-language brochures made available at all of their branches.”
Consumers should guard against this practice and be aware that they are free to purchase insurance products from the supplier of their choice.
Inquiries or complaints about general insurance brokers or brokerages should be addressed to the General Insurance Council of Saskatchewan.
Consumer disputes regarding home, auto, or business insurance claims can be forwarded to the General Insurance OmbudService.
Spring flooding and summer storms can lead to significant property damage. These informative videos and articles can help you protect your belongings and prevent unwanted losses.