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Narrator:Gerry Matier, the Executive Director of the Insurance Council of British Columbia, talks about the disciplinary process when a complaint against an individual has been registered.
Gerry Matier:Once we get a complaint and we've done our initial investigation, an individual is brought in to meet with one of these IRC committees which consists of one voting and two non-voting members. And what they do is sit down with the individual involved and say “Ok, here's what the allegations are against you and this is what we've dug up so far. What's your story and how do you feel?”And that's the really good advantage whether it's an adjuster or whether you're a P&C broker or whether you're a life insurance agent – at some point in the process you're going to sit down with your peers and talk about what the allegations are.
A lot of the things we look at is not the mistake, it's what they did after the mistake. A lot of times we get people who have made the mistake and the simple thing would have been to pick up the phone and call a client, the simple thing would be to turn and talk to the nominee and say “I made a mistake here.”But they don't. They try to cover it up, they try to fix in ways that really just compound the problem. And it's usually that's why they're in front of council. It's like: “No, your mistake is fine, we understand that, but here's what you should have done and here's what you've gone and done and those are the things that have gotten you into trouble.”
There are very few mistakes that can't be fixed that are true mistakes. No, the other ones, the more serious things – like people who breach the confidentiality intentionally, we're seeing a lot of that now particularly with people accessing ICBC and there has been a number of cases that council has dealt with over the last three years. Those ones are kind of unforgivable in a sense, if council finds out that you've been accessing information for reasons other than what it's intended then they're taking a very serious stance. And for good reason of course because to the average consumer, you know, confidentiality of information is I think something that has really grown into a significant issue among the consumers. They're very conscious of their information, they expect it to be treated confidentiality and the industry needs that confidence from the consumers. And if they don't have that then trust is the one biggest factor I would say that is a key to the insurance industry – the fact that consumers trust their brokers. If you lose that trust, then everything changes. So when council finds out that people are accessing information and using for reasons that aren't appropriate they come down very hard on them and usually people aren't getting a second chance to do it again.