Saskatchewan has introduced legislation (Bill 73) which amends the provisions of the new Saskatchewan insurance legislation, The Insurance Act. The Insurance Act is expected to come into force sometime in 2018.
The following amendments are set out in Bill 73, which has not yet been passed:
- Life insurance agents. The new legislation has been amended to delete the requirement that life insurance agents can only act for the company that sponsors their license unless they comply with certain prescribed requirements. The amendment will remove the restriction on the companies that life insurance agents represent.
- Misconduct of insurance intermediaries. The Superintendent of Insurance will have the power to order restitution in the event of misconduct of insurance intermediaries (insurance agents, insurer’s representatives, managing general agents and third party administrators).
- Special brokers. The proposed late payment penalty to be assessed against special brokers who fail to pay a tax equal to 10% of the premium for unlicensed insurance within the required time has been deleted.
- Advertising materials. The Superintendent will have the power to prohibit licensed insurers from using any form of advertising material if the material is unfair, fraudulent or not in the public interest.
- Third party insurance. The provision of the new legislation that would have required insurers to notify third parties covered by a life or accident and sickness insurance policy of any material change in the coverage has been deleted.
- Medical assistance in dying. Provisions of life insurance contracts that provide that the life insurance benefit will be paid if a person receives medical assistance in dying will be enforceable. If a person receives medical assistance in dying, they will be deemed to have died by the illness for which they were entitled to receive medical assistance in dying. These provisions have been added in view of the recent amendments to the Criminal Code permitting medical assistance in dying.
- Assignments of life and accident and sickness insurance contracts. Unless the assignment provides otherwise, an assignment of a life or accident and sickness insurance contract automatically revokes a revocable beneficiary designation made under the policy and a nomination of a successor owner of the policy on the death of the insured.
If passed, these changes will come into effect when The Insurance Act is proclaimed in force. Additionally, Bill 73 proposes two further amendments to the current Saskatchewan Insurance Act. If passed, the following changes will come into force on the date of assent.
- Innocent co-insureds. The legislation will be amended to provide that, where there is an exclusion from property insurance coverage if the damage is caused by the criminal or intentional act of an insured, that exclusion will not apply to the claim of an innocent co-insured with respect to their proportionate interest in the property. The issue arises in domestic situations, where one spouse deliberately damages or destroys the matrimonial property, and the innocent spouse is unable to make a claim under the insurance policy. Comparable statutory amendments have already been made the other western provinces and Québec, and have been proposed in New Brunswick.
- Medical assistance in dying. The amendments to the current Saskatchewan insurance legislation with respect to medical assistance in dying are the same as those proposed with respect to the new Saskatchewan insurance legislation.
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