News and Bulletins
JUNE 16, 2020 NOTICE TO GENERAL INSURANCE AGENTS - COVID-19
The Insurance Council of Manitoba continues to monitor and assess developments with COVID-19. The health and safety of the public, our licensees and our staff are our priority. Council has been taking special measures to ensure that we continue to provide services and carry out our role as a regulator.
The ICM offices continue to be closed to the public, however ICM is continuing all of its business functions remotely online and via email. Telephone messages can be left for ICM staff or on the general line, however all responses will be provided via email.
PLEASE NOTE: The vast majority of licensing transactions can be submitted and completed on ICM’s online licensing portal. Please visit your dashboard in ICM’s licensing portal regularly for additional ‘News and Bulletins’ that may relate to your licence class.
ICM’s online licence renewal for agents took place during the month of May, and is continuing for adjusters during the month of June. Licence renewals through ICM took place seamlessly and without difficulty in the online environment.
The ICM office continues to be closed to the public, however we have begun limited-seating exam writing as of June 10th, and are writing multiple days per week. ICM staff are contacting the backlog of exam applicants whose exams were postponed in March and April to schedule dates. Once the backlog is cleared, the online exam registration system will then be opened to new applicants.
Please visit the ICM website for further information regarding exams, or if you have specific questions, please contact our Exam Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEVEL 1 GENERAL INSURANCE AGENTS:
Under Manitoba’s General Insurance Licensing Rules, Level 1 general agents are required to work inside the office of a general insurance agency and under the supervision of a Level 2 or 3 licence holder. Recognizing work from home plans and protocols that have been put in place by agencies, the following plan has been made to assist industry with business continuity.
This temporary plan has been extended for a fourth 30-day period, up to and including July 17th, 2020, and will continue to be reviewed and communicated as circumstances change with notifications being posted to the ICM website and communicated via email to the industry.
The Superintendent of Financial Institutions has approved that the requirement for Level 1 general licence holders to only work inside the office of a general insurance agency will continue to be temporarily suspended up to and including July 17th, 2020, with the following restrictions, designed to ensure consumer protection is still of the utmost importance:
- That Level 1 general agents working from home may only deal with processing renewals that do not have any amendments to coverage; any changes to coverages or remarketing of policies for Manitoba clients must be referred to a Level 2 or 3 agent for action; after review and approval by the Level 2 or 3 agent, the Level 1 agent may complete the transaction;
- With respect only to Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) auto transactions with no SRE, a Level 1 licence holder working from home may make coverage changes on the MPI policy as long as the Level 1 licence holder has consistent and immediate access to communicate with a Level 2 or 3 licence holder if required; AND
- That the Operating Agent must attest to the ICM (on a form that will be emailed directly to the Operating Agent) that the agency has an appropriate supervision plan in place for all Level 1 general agents working from home, and that the agency agrees that the Level 1 agents' business activity will be restricted to processing renewals as outlined above. Although the supervision plan does not have to be filed, ICM may at any reasonable time request a copy of the supervision plan. Many Operating Agents have already provided this form to the ICM office.
Licence applications for new (never-licensed) Level 1 General Insurance Agents:
- ICM will process new applications only if the Level 1 agent will be working exclusively inside the office of a general insurance agency AND that the Operating Agent will attest to the ICM (on a form that will be emailed directly to the Operating Agent) that the Level 1 licence holder will be working exclusively inside the office of an agency and under the supervision of a Level 2 or Level 3 licence holder.
- ICM will not be processing any new applications for new (i.e. never licensed) Level 1 general agent applicants who would be working from home at this time.
Additional information and FAQs regarding Level 1 general agents working from home can be found on ICM’s website under COVID-19 Important Information. Agents are also advised to log in to ICM’s licensing portal on an ongoing basis for additional ‘News and Bulletins’ that may relate to licensing matters.
ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE:
Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance for licence holders is a critical component to public protection. It is essential that agents and agencies continue to ensure that their E&O insurance is current and provides appropriate levels of coverage. Licensees should plan for timely completion of E&O renewals to ensure there are no gaps in coverage. Due to the changing nature of the business environment, it is strongly recommended that licensees review with their E&O provider any conditions or changes that would affect their current coverages.