To the attention of all licensed insurers
Since the introduction of the Internet Application System (IAS) in 2001, the on-line licensing system of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), approximately 30,000 licence transactions and more than half of all agent licence renewals in Ontario have been successfully completed. IAS is being enhanced to accommodate more types of licensing transactions and has been re-branded as Licensing Link.
Effective July 4, 2006, all licensing transactions for insurance agents must be completed on-line via Licensing Link. Paper applications will no longer be accepted. Licensing Link helps to control costs by eliminating inefficient paper-based processing.
Licensing Link is now available for use, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Licensing Link is fast, secure, and convenient. Insurers and agents can use the system to:
- notify FSCO of new sponsorship of insurance agents (General, Life, and Accident & Sickness)
- renew General, Life, and Accident & Sickness insurance agent licences
- notify FSCO of insurance agents moving from Life Level I to Level II
- transfer or terminate an insurance agent’s sponsorship
- generate reports showing the status of licence applications and a list of all insurance agents currently sponsored by an insurer
Unlike paper-based processes, Licensing Link helps to ensure the accuracy of applications, by immediately identifying inconsistencies or missing information, and eliminating the need to resubmit applications. Insurers are able to initiate an application and manage the process of having an agent complete the application and submit it to FSCO for approval through Licensing Link. Insurers also have the option of paying licence fees, on behalf of the agent, on-line.
Licensing Link immediately updates agent information on FSCO’s website, providing insurers with the most up-to-date information on the status of an agent’s licence. Insurers are encouraged to use FSCO’s website to confirm official licence information, rather than requesting a paper facsimile of a licence, which may not always reflect a recent change in status and may be susceptible to tampering or counterfeiting. In the future, FSCO plans to eliminate the use of paper licences altogether.
You can do your part to ease the transition by ensuring your staff and agents are familiar with Licensing Link and are aware of the July 4, 2006, deadline. To apply for or renew a licence on-line, visit www.fsco.gov.on.ca and click on "Licensing Link." Licence renewals through Licensing Link can take as little as 15 minutes to process, while new applications are generally processed within 48 hours.
FSCO staff will be contacting licensing coordinators to arrange Licensing Link training sessions by the end of March 2006. An on-line tutorial explaining how to use the system is also available.
If you experience a technical problem while using Licensing Link or require further assistance, help is available by calling FSCO at (416) 250-9209 or 1-800-263-0541 (toll free), or by emailing email@example.com. You may also refer to the attached Questions & Answers for information.
An Information Bulletin has also been sent to licensed insurance agents to let them know about the features of FSCO’s Licensing Link, and the July 4, 2006, deadline.
Chief Executive Officer
Financial Services Commission of Ontario
January 17, 2006