Insurance Council of B.C. fines 404 new brokers

The decision stems from a lack of compliance with an educational requirement

The Insurance Council of British Columbia recently announced that newly licensed brokers who failed to complete a regulated educational requirement are being fined $500 and must take the course in question within 90 days.

The regulator states in its notice published at the end of September that it reviewed the annual filings of 5,000 new licensees and found that 404 brokers did not complete the regulator’s “council rules” course before the required deadline of June 1.

Related: Hundreds of new B.C. brokers breached regulatory requirement

“Council determined that to not address the non-compliance would be inappropriate and unfair to the more than 4,000 new licensees who did comply with the requirement under Council Rule 7(5),” the notice states.

“Council concluded that the non-compliance warranted disciplinary action and issued intended decisions to each of the 404 new licensees, which included a $500 fine and a requirement to complete the Council Rules Course within 90 days,” it continues.

This notice with details on the fine follows a previous notice in July that announced the initial finding on the lack of compliance. At that time, Gerald Matier, the executive director of the Insurance Council of B.C., told Canadian Insurance Top Broker that approximately half of the non-compliant brokers sell general insurance while the other half are life insurance brokers.

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The requirement to complete the council rules course is described in the regulator’s council rule 7(5). The course was initially introduced in 2016. The Insurance Council chose not to make the course a pre-licensing requirement in order to avoid an increase to fees associated with obtaining a license. The decision also meant that the course would be eligible for continuing education credits.

“It is Council’s hope that compliance with this requirement will improve and that the council rules course can remain part of each new licensee’s continuing education requirement,” according to the notice. “However, should Council continue to see a significant rate of non-compliance with council rule 7(5), it may have to give consideration to making the Council rules course a pre-licensing requirement.”

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Transcontinental Media G.P.