General insurance brokerage in Québec is at a crossroads. On the one hand, consumers’ needs and expectations are changing rapidly and, on the other, direct insurers are investing more than ever to take over the market served by brokerage firms.
Action is required urgently to make brokerage firms better able to compete and to address market changes by investing in technology, marketing and training. Too many firms lack the resources they need to reinvent themselves in the short term and ensure their future. Insurance companies in particular have the ability to help brokerage firms cope with this new reality. But until the Act Respecting the Distribution of Financial Products and Services is amended, they will never be able to lend a hand in the way they really should. The interest in this approach lies in enabling insurance brokers, who above all are entrepreneurs, to operate in an environment in which they can provide themselves with the means to be on an equal footing with direct insurers in developing their businesses. Moreover, those changes would enable brokerage firms to retain their complete financial value given the new shareholding structure possibilities.
On October 31, 2017, the government introduced Bill 150 – An Act respecting mainly the implementation of certain provisions of the Budget Speeches of 17 March 2016 and 28 March 2017 – which proposes changes to insurance brokerage regulations.