woman reading a binder of pages

Insurer Code of Market Conduct Released in British Columbia

As part of BCFSA’s mandate to enhance confidence in B.C.’s financial services sector including the insurance segment, BCFSA has released the Insurer Code of Market Conduct that all B.C. authorized insurers must adopt and comply with by April 1, 2024.  

The Code reflects the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators’ (“CCIR’) Conduct of Insurance Business and Fair Treatment of Customers (“FTC”) guidance. The Code uses the 12 expected outcomes from the CCIR’s FTC guidance as principles that insurers in B.C. will be required to follow. The 12 expected outcomes ensure that insurers treat customers fairly throughout the product lifecycle, from product development to the point at which all obligations under a contract have been satisfied.

“The Code is principles-based to signal to industry the importance of embedding FTC in their governance and practices,” said BCFSA CEO Blair Morrison. “The implementation of the Code is consistent with modern approach to consumer protection.”

The Code was developed after the 2019 introduction of amendments to the Financial Institutions Act that requires insurers to adopt and follow a Code of Market Conduct established by BCFSA.

On June 21, 2022, BCFSA released a draft of its Code and an accompanying draft Guideline for public consultation. Based on feedback received during the consultation period, BCFSA redrafted its Code to reflect the CCIR FTC guidance more closely. Also, BCFSA will not proceed with an accompanying Guideline at this time. A summary of the consultation feedback is available on the BCFSA website.   

This requirement applies to all B.C. incorporated insurance companies, extraprovincial insurance corporations, societies deemed under section 191 of the Financial Institutions Act (“FIA”), and mutual fire insurance companies. Reinsurers, reciprocal exchanges, and captive insurance companies are excluded.