Ontario’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority Initiates Educational Campaign to Safeguard Consumers Considering Life Insurance Acquisition

Team Parvasi – Inside

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) has launched an educational campaign to protect consumers who are planning to purchase life insurance. The campaign educates and empowers consumers to ask the right questions, understand the products they are being offered, and make informed decisions.

In 2023, FSRA conducted an extensive review of the life and health sector and uncovered troubling practices that were harming vulnerable consumers – including newcomers, international students, seniors and people with low financial literacy. The review found that some managing general agencies (MGAs) and their agents were using inappropriate training materials and selling complex products that did not meet consumer’s needs.

Recent FSRA research found vulnerable consumers, including newcomers, international students, seniors and people with low financial literacy, were 16 per cent more likely to experience an issue when trying to purchase life and health insurance than non-vulnerable consumers. “Life insurance is meant to protect individuals and their families” says FSRA’s Huston Loke, Executive Vice President – Market Conduct, “but purchasing a life insurance policy is not a requirement for international students, or those transitioning to permanent resident status.

It’s important to help consumers know their rights and options for a policy that best meets their needs and circumstances.” With more 1 million consumers of South Asian origin in Ontario, a growing majority of the community are international students. Recent updates to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) continue to attract pathways for those seeking to settle in Ontario. The campaign comes at a time where increased education is vital. Consumers are encouraged to understand their rights and ask questions about the insurance process. It also provides practical information, such as: 

  • • The agent should explain what life insurance is, how it works, and what is the best option for you and your family and why. 

  • • The agent should conduct a wholesome financial needs analysis. 

  • • The agent should conduct a risk assessment if the product has investment components and explain the ongoing costs or implications. 

  • • The agent should work with you to submit your application and answer any questions you may have. 

  • • Your policy should arrive within 30 days, and your agent should explain the terms, conditions and risks, including any fees, penalties, and clauses in your life insurance contract. 

  • • Your agent should be accessible during business hours for further advice and policy alterations. 

  • • Your agent should meet or talk with you on a regular basis to make sure your coverage is still adequate or to determine if adjustments are required. 

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Quick Facts 

  • • More than 8 million Ontarians have life insurance policies. 

  • • Ontarians pay more than $9 billion in individual life insurance premiums. 

  • • The average Ontario household holds more than $500,000 in life insurance coverage. 

  • • Consumers who believe their insurance agent has violated the Insurance Act may file a complaint following the steps outlined on FSRA’s website. Examples of reportable actions include not disclosing conflicts of interest or providing false or misleading information about a product. 

Learn More 

FSRA continues to work on behalf of all stakeholders, including consumers, to ensure financial safety, fairness, and choice for everyone. Learn more at www.fsrao.ca. 

Links What You Need to Know Before Purchasing Life Insurance | Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (fsrao.ca) 

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES: Russ Courtney Sr. Manager, Media Relations Financial Services Regulatory Authority C: 437-225-8551 Email: [email protected] 

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