Enforcement of Alberta Insurance Council Requirements

For the past year, ACTA and members of the ACTA Regional Council Insurance Sub-Committee has addressed ongoing concerns with the Alberta Insurance Council (AIC), specifically on the restrictions placed on Independent Contractors and their ability to sell travel insurance. In June 2018, ACTA recorded an interview with officials from AIC on how independent agents of a host agency can sell insurance more efficiently considering the legislative constraints in Alberta (available as an On-demand webinar in the Member’s Only area of the ACTA website).

Recently, ACTA member Independent Travel Agents have contacted ACTA with concerns that their AIC insurance license is in a “holding pattern” and that the AIC is going back to the applicants and asking for more information in order to get their license. From what we are hearing, there appears to be some discrepancy and inconsistencies in the approval of applications. This same message is also being received by Insurance Providers. 

ACTA followed up directly with AIC. AIC referred to the new online application process versus the traditional paper process and acknowledged that some back-up documentation was not being provided. It was also acknowledged that while E&O audits have been conducted for other industries for some time (AIC covers more than the travel industry), they have launched a targeted audit campaign on E&O with travel agency Independent Contractors. 

Three areas where AIC are seeing non-compliance were identifed:

  1. The name of the E&O policy does not match the name on the Certificate of Authority,
  2. Advertising/business cards/phones, etc are being used and not in the same name as the Certificate of Authority, and
  3. The agent is not providing a copy of the contract that they have with their insurance provider, which is in the name of the agency listed on the Certificate of Authority. 

While Point #1 is concerning to ACTA, Point #3 seems to have caught many agents off guard, including ACTA and the insurance companies. Point #3 is also of concern for Franchises. This is a serious matter for our members in Alberta and ACTA has taken immediate actions, and is working closely with our insurance partners to address the issue with AIC and where possible, expedite the processing of licences.  

ACTA will provide more details in the coming days as we continue to work through this issue.