Life Insurance Agent e-Newsletter - Issue #11

November 8, 2017


How do you get your continuing education credits?


In order to keep your life insurance agent licence, you must complete at least 30 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years. CE can be earned by attending education events, including insurance company seminars, industry association conferences, and university or college courses, to name a few.


In order to be eligible for CE credits, the subject matter of the course or education event must be related to the technical aspects of life insurance, not sales techniques.


Examples of acceptable and unacceptable educational subjects with regards to CE:


Acceptable: legal, legislative and regulatory matters, fundamentals/principles of life insurance, financial planning, taxation, client needs-analysis, proper use of life insurance products, and rating/underwriting/claims.


Unacceptable: motivation, consumer psychology, salesmanship, office skills, computer training and telephone techniques.


For more information on CE requirements, read FSCO’s bulletin.


Agents fined for failing to complete 30 hours of continuing education


In May 2017, an Ontario-licensed life insurance agent was ordered to pay a $1,000 administrative monetary penalty for failing to complete the required 30 hours of continuing education. In September 2017, another life insurance agent was fined $1,750 for providing misleading information to the Superintendent of Financial Services about continuing education credits.


As a life insurance agent, every two years you are required to complete at least 30 hours of continuing education that is acceptable to the Superintendent in respect of life insurance.


Is your errors and omissions (E&O) information up-to-date?


You are required by law to have a valid E&O policy of at least $1 million in respect of any one occurrence with extended coverage for loss resulting from fraudulent acts. You must also ensure your E&O information is up-to-date with FSCO. If you fail to do so, FSCO may take steps to suspend your licence, issue an administrative monetary penalty and/or revoke your licence. Failure to meet your requirements may also increase the level of future enforcement action taken by FSCO.


Agent fined $2,750 for failing to maintain E&O insurance coverage


In September 2017, the Superintendent of Financial Services issued an Order imposing an administrative monetary penalty of $2,750 to a life insurance agent. The Superintendent determined that the agent failed to have E&O insurance from August 2015 to March 2017, and therefore contravened section 13 of Ontario Regulation 347/04 made under the Insurance Act.


To view all public enforcement notices, refer to FSCO’s Enforcement Online web page.


FSCO may take enforcement action if:


  • Your E&O expires. If you failed to renew your E&O policy with your insurance provider, you must do so immediately. Once you have renewed, follow these step-by-step instructions to update your policy information with FSCO.
  • You already renewed your E&O but you did not report it in Licensing Link. Any time you change or renew your E&O policy with an insurance provider, you must also update your E&O information in Licensing Link. This is your responsibility; FSCO will not update this information for you. Follow these step-by-step instructions.

As a reminder, as of December 2016, you are required to report in Licensing Link the names of all the Ontario-licensed life insurance companies you have contracts with and/or on whose behalf you sell insurance products. This allows life insurers to go into Licensing Link to check and download a list of all the agents conducting business on their behalf.


Insurers can also access information about their agents’ E&O insurance, such as the policy number and expiry date, and may be notified if their agents are not meeting the E&O requirements.

To date, more than 50 per cent of Ontario-licensed life insurers have downloaded the list of agents conducting business on their behalf.


Before this reporting requirement was introduced, 91 per cent of life agents had updated their E&O information with FSCO. However, as of June 2017, the compliance rate increased to 94.5 per cent – an improvement of 3.25 per cent.


That may sound like a small increase but as there are 45,183 life insurance agents, this amounts to an increase of 1,468 agents who have kept their E&O information up to date in FSCO’s system.


To learn more about your E&O requirements, visit the Errors and Omissions Insurance Requirements for Life Insurance Agents on FSCO’s website.


FSCO focusing on life and health insurance for Financial Literacy Month campaign


FSCO is participating in Financial Literacy Month, an annual nationwide public education campaign that engages the public so they can make informed financial decisions. The FSCO campaign aims to increase the awareness and understanding of mature millennials (25- to 34-year-olds) regarding the principles of life and health insurance, how to assess and select the options that suit their needs and life stages, and the rules that govern the sale of life and health insurance in Ontario.


Activities include updated website content [New Window], engaging millennials on social media and informational videos [New Window]. The website includes a page for industry stakeholders that contains supplementary resources such as checklists, FAQs and guides that agents, brokers and companies can share with their clients.


Changes to the Federal Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act


FSCO would like to remind you of your legal obligations with regards to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.


It is your responsibility to be familiar with the Federal Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act [New Window] (PCMLTFA). Among other obligations, you must meet the PCMLTFA requirements regarding: record keeping; verification of identity of designated persons; reporting suspicious and other prescribed financial transactions; and establishing and implementing an internal compliance regime.


  • Effective June 17, 2017, you are subject to new obligations related to politically exposed persons (domestic and foreign), and heads of international organizations. Read the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada’s (FINTRAC’s) Guidance [New Window].
  • Effective June 30, 2017, you must use new methods for confirming the identity of clients. Read FINTRAC’s Guidance [New Window] for more information.

Independent life insurance agents are also responsible for implementing a compliance regime. Read FINTRAC’s Guidance for more information.


FSCO expects you to visit FINTRAC’s website regularly, in order to stay up-to-date on FINTRAC’s advisories [New Window].