Advocis: CCIR/CISRO miss the opportunity to set the bar higher

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Toronto – November 14, 2008 � Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, is lukewarm about the content of the report by the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) and the Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations (CISRO) on the incidental selling of insurance.

“It has been Advocis’ position all along that sales representatives be provincially licensed, pass certain educational courses and be adequately supervised. Individuals selling this type of insurance should be required to participate in continuing education and carry liability insurance. And companies and individuals that sell these products should comply with enhanced consumer disclosure requirements,” said Greg Pollock, Advocis’ new president and CEO. “While the report is a step in the right direction and a few of Advocis’ recommendations made their way into it, the proposals didn’t go far enough.”

The report’s key recommendations will help protect consumers with the use of plain language to improve the forms and explain the consequences of improperly completing them. The report also calls for required training and supervision of sellers by insurers and the door is left open for provincial regulators to adopt some form of licensing. It also recommends that there be a longer cooling-off period for reconsideration of the sale and the consumer is informed that they can consult with an insurance professional for advice. Nevertheless, the onus remains entirely on the consumer to assess the suitability of the product, which is not currently the case for other insurance products.

“This isn’t over for our members. The door is still open. Next, we take this issue to the provinces and work with them to see that consumers get the protection they deserve and financial advisors and planners get the level playing field they deserve,” continued Mr. Pollock.

Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, is the oldest and largest voluntary professional membership association of financial advisors and planners in Canada. With more than 10,000 advisors and planners in 43 chapters across Canada, Advocis members provide financial advice, product service and employee benefit planning to millions of Canadians in a number of areas including estate and retirement planning, wealth management, risk management and tax planning. For more information about Advocis or to view the submissions on advisor incorporation, visit