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Process Renewals with Care: It’s Your Professional Obligation

Publication date: April 30, 2009 | Last update: April 27, 2020

This summary does not constitute a legal opinion. The information it contains may not reflect the current state of the law.

When renewing your clients’ insurance contracts, are you sure that you are aware of the professional obligations related to this important task?

The Professional Obligation
Before answering this question, it is essential to fully understand one’s professional obligation, as defined in section 39 of the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services (the Act). This section clearly states:

39. Damage insurance agents and brokers must, when renewing an insurance policy, take the necessary steps to ensure that the coverage provided corresponds to the client’s needs.

The Complainant
While shopping around for an insurer that offers the most attractive premiums for his many insurance contracts, a businessman who owns a number of businesses and considerable assets notices that, unbeknownst to him, he has being paying two premiums for an insurance policy on one of his buildings.

The Facts of the Case
In 1999, the complainant transfers the insurance for his entire business portfolio to a new damage insurance representative. He therefore writes “not required” on all the renewal notices for his insurance contracts and sends them back to his former representative.

The (now ex-) damage insurance representative proceeds to cancel each of the commercial lines insurance contracts received “not required” from the client. However, one of the “not required” contracts is not received and thus remains in force. Furthermore, from July 2000 to July 2006, the representative continues to mail the insured his renewal notice and the premiums continue to be paid monthly by pre-authorized direct debit.