# Wednesday, December 21, 2005
                 

It is becoming considerably more important that customers are well informed about insurer-agent relationships and agent compensation related to the products and services they buy.

In June 2005, Canadian insurance regulators released a Consultation Paper, which included a proposal to regulate what agents must disclose about their insurer relationships and compensation. The insurance industry has responded by stating that they believe an industry-led standard is preferable to such regulation.

For over a year, several insurers have been working with the Canadian Life & Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) and its industry counterparts to develop guidelines for agent disclosure. Earlier this year, the industry released an Advisor Disclosure Reference Document that sets out those guidelines. A modified version of the document for group benefits and group retirement business was released in September. The CLHIA has urged regulators to allow these guidelines to be fully implemented and assessed before taking further regulatory action.

Insurers and agents are advised to work together to ensure customers have clear and complete information. They need to disclose about the agent’s business relationships with insurers, agent compensation (including any potential incentive reward), and any conflicts of interest. 

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