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Insurance And Financial Planning

Files And Records To Keep

Although in theory obligations for record keeping apply to firms, companies, and independent representatives and are governed by the Autorité des marchés financiers (the Autorité), many client files are first created by the representative who is in direct contact with the clients. A representative working for a firm or an independent partnership must comply with rules established by this firm or partnership and provide it with the pertinent information collected.

Below are the files and records that must be kept by firms, companies, and independent representatives under the regulations that involve the representative:

  • Client files
  • Fee record
  • Accounting records
  • Separate account record, if money is collected for others
  • Complaint record

Records designated in the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Regulations – see the section Fighting money laundering for more information on this topic

File and record content

Each client’s file must contain the following information:

  • Client authorizations (creation of a client file, sharing information, power of attorney, etc.)
  • Basic information on the client (name, date of birth, contact information, e-mail address, marital status, dependents, etc.)
  • Financial planning mandate, if applicable, dated and signed by the representative
  • Factual analysis – information on the client’s financial situation (financial balance sheet, budget, debt, investments and insurance in effect, etc.)
  • Investor profile (segregated funds and universal life insurance)
  • Needs analysis (life, living benefits, retirement, etc.)
  • Insurance illustrations and auxiliary sales materials used during recommendations
  • Projections, retirement planning, report on the asset allocation and any other pertinent document
  • Recommendations and warnings properly documented
  • Financial planning reports, if applicable
  • Explanations on the client’s decision to not follow recommendations, if applicable
  • Proposal of insurance and savings, investment, and income products (segregated funds and universal life insurance)
  • Copy of the replacement notice, with proof of delivery, if applicable
  • Summary of the insurance policy
  • Confirmation of receipt of the policy, the modification and/or the illustration in effect signed by the policyholder at the time of delivery
  • Documentation of the leveraged loan, if applicable
  • Client transaction instructions properly documented, if a limited transaction authorization is provided by the client
  • Transaction forms and confirmations
  • Annual statements
  • Any other document related to the products sold or services provided to or collected from the client

It is also wise for the representative to include in the client file any other helpful information provided by the client as well as any documents related to the products and services provided to the client, provided that they are necessary for carrying out his duties, such as:

  • A voided cheque, except if otherwise indicated by the company or firm for which he works – the cheque must include the note “VOID” or a distinctive mark clearly identifying it as void
  • All insurance proposals submitted to the client during the review of his file, if they include pertinent information
  • Details on products and services that were discussed with the client
  • All correspondence with the client
  • A summary of discussions and meetings with the client (date, time, location, topics of conversation, people present, etc.)
  • Notes regarding all communications and communication attempts with the client (date, time, length, reason for calling, etc.)
  • The next steps agreed upon with the client, the date of the next meeting, and the follow-ups to complete

Additional Requirements In Group Personal Insurance

In addition to general information, the group insurance representative must keep the following information in the client file:

  • Name of the purchaser of the group insurance policy
  • Name of the contact person designated by the purchaser
  • Mandate dated and signed by the representative
  • Submissions and calls for tenders that were presented to the purchaser
  • Recommendation reports

The fee record must contain…

Details of each fee

  • Contract number or client name
  • Name of the client, the insurer, or any other person who paid a fee to the firm, the company, or to the independent representative
  • Statement for each fee

Details on all shared fees

  • Name of co-partitioners, their addresses, and sectors for which they are registered
  • Names of people who are party to the transaction, purpose and date of the transaction
  • Percentage of the fee or flat amount resulting from the transaction, and method of dividing the fee between the co-practitioners

Accounting records contain all the information about the general accounting of the firm, the company, or the independent representative. This information must be included in a functional accounting system.

In addition to accounting records, when money is collected for others, a separate account record must be kept by the firms, companies, and independent representatives. This separate account must be separate from the firms’, companies’, and independent representatives’ transaction account. A representative may, for example, receive cash for the payment of the first premium on an insurance contract, deposit this amount in the separate account, and then issue a cheque for the insurer.

This record must contain the information regarding all the amounts paid from or deposited into the separate account, in addition to indicating all the amounts collected or received for others that were deposited in it. These obligations must be followed even if the amount received is minimal and even if an amount is only received once. There are no exceptions to these obligations.

On this topic, an independent representative that opens a separate account must inform the Autorité of it by sending a statement about opening this account. The Autorité must also be informed of changes to the separate account, including when it is closed.

In the event that an independent representative does not collect money for others, he is not obligated to have a separate account. However, he must send the Autorité a statement of the absence of a separate account.

Also, the separate account record must show the following information:

  • Client’s name
  • Insurance contract number or number of any other contract under which the representative received money
  • Transaction amount and purpose

Firms, companies, and independent representatives must all have a complaint processing policy and maintain a record of complaints received and a file for each of them, which will include:

  • the written complaint from the plaintiff, describing the issue with the representative, the real or potential risk, and the corrective action requested
  • the result of the complaint processing procedure (supporting documentation)
  • the written response, including reasoning, sent to the plaintiff
  • The Autorité’s website provides further details on this topic.