Complaints and Dispute Resolution Policy
This policy has been prepared in accordance with the new complaints and dispute resolution provisions introduced by the Act respecting the Agence nationale d’encadrement du secteur financier (Bill 107).
The purpose of this policy is to institute a procedure for the equitable processing, at no charge, of all complaints received by Sogedent Assurances inc. It is intended in particular to provide a framework for the receipt of complaints, the sending of acknowledgements and notices to the complainant, the establishment of complaint files, the transfer of a complaint file to the Autorité des marchés financiers (hereinafter named the “Autorité”), if necessary, and the registering of complaints for the preparation and submission of the biannual report to the Autorité.
The person responsible for the application of this policy within our firm is the President & CEO, Mrs. Karine Beaudoin. In her absence, all damage and personal insurance complaints shall be submitted to Mr. Antoine Viau. As the person responsible for the application of the policy, the designated person in charge of complaint examination acts as respondent in dealings with the Autorité and ensures that employees are provided with the training and information necessary to comply with the present policy.
In addition to the responsibilities mentioned above, the designated person in charge of complaint examination shall:
- acknowledge receipt of complaints;
- issue all required notices;
- forward the complaint file to the Autorité, upon request from the complainant;
- maintain a complaints register; and
- submit a report to the Autorité biannually.
For the purposes of this policy, a complaint is defined as the expression of one of the following three situations:
- a reproach made about the firm,
- the identification of a real or potential harm/prejudice that a consumerhas suffered or could suffer,
- a request for remedial action, which persists after having been considered and addressed at an operational level having the authority to render decisions.
Generally, a complaint is expressed in writing and signified by letter, e-mail, fax or any other means allowing its preservation. In the event that a consumer signifies a complaint by telephone or in person, which is then taken up and processed by the person in charge of complaint examination designated in the firm's complaints policy, the complaint must be documented by means allowing its preservation.
Not deemed a complaint is a first manifestation of dissatisfaction from a consumer, whether or not it is in writing, when such dissatisfaction finds resolution in the firm's normal course of business. However, in the event that a consumer remains dissatisfied and that such dissatisfaction must be referred to the person in charge of complaint examination designated in the firm's complaints policy, it is then considered to be a complaint.
If the complaint fits the definition of a “claim” under the firm's professional liability insurance policy, the following procedure applies:
- the firm forwards the written complaint to the insurer with a request for confirmation that the insurer will be communicating directly with the consumer to process the complaint;
- the notice sent to the professional liability insurer must also stipulate that, in the absence of a reply within 10 business days, confirming the insurer's intent to process the complaint, the firm will itself take charge of the complaint.
To submit a complaint, the consumer must put it in writing and address it to:
Sogedent Assurances inc.
425 De Maisonneuve Boulevard West
Montréal, Québec H3A 3G5
Telephone: 514 282-1425 or 1 800 361-3794
Fax: 514 282-0437
Any damage insurance broker, financial security advisor, advisor in group insurance and annuity plans, group insurance plan advisor or employee of the firm who is ceased with a complaint shall forward it upon receipt to the person in charge of complaint examination designated under the present policy.
The designated person in charge of complaint examination shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint within five (5) business days.
The acknowledgement of receipt shall include:
- a copy of this policy;
- a description of the complaint, specifying the nature of the reproach against the firm, its damage insurance broker, financial security advisor, advisor in group insurance and annuity plans, group insurance plan advisor or its employee, and the request for corrective action;
- the name and contact information of the designated person in charge of complaint examination;
- in the case of incomplete information about the complaint, a notice requiring that the additional details be forwarded to the person in charge of complaint examination within five (5) business days, failing which the complaint shall be deemed to have been abandoned;
- information to the complainant concerning his or her right to request a transfer of
the complaint file to the Autorité if the reply or the processing of the complaint is unsatisfactory, which right may not be exercised until the expiry of the deadline of 30 business days following receipt of all required information, and no later than one year following receipt of the reply to the complaint. The notice must also indicate that the Autorité may offer mediation, with the parties' consent;
- information to the complainant indicating that mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process by which a third party (the mediator) intervenes and tries to help the parties conclude an agreement to their satisfaction;
- a reminder to the complainant that the submission of a complaint to the Autorité does not interrupt the prescription of any rights before the civil courts.
A separate file must be opened for every complaint received.
The file must include the following:
- the complainant’s written complaint, or a summary of the complaint written by the designated person in charge of complaint examination, including the three elements of the complaint, i.e.,
- the reproach with regard to the firm or the damage insurance broker, financial security advisor, advisor in group insurance and annuity plans, group insurance plan advisor or employee,
- the real or potential harm/prejudice, and
- the request for remedial action;
- the outcome of the complaint examination process (analysis and supporting documents);
- a copy of the final justified response forwarded in writing to the complainant by the firm.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the person in charge of complaint examination shall conduct an investigation. The complaint must be processed within 30 business days following receipt of all required information.
Upon completion of the investigation, the person in charge of complaint examination shall forward the firm's final justified response to the complainant.
When the complainant is not satisfied with the firm’s examination of his complaint or with its outcome, he may ask the firm to forward his complaint file to the Autorité.
This right may not be exercised by the complainant until the expiry of the deadline of 30 business days following receipt of all required information, and no later than one year following receipt of the reply to the complaint.
The file transferred to the Autorité contains all of the material related to the complaint. The firm remains responsible for respecting the statutes governing the protection of personal information.
Sogedent Assurances shall establish a complaints register for the purposes of the application of this policy. The register shall be kept up to date by the person in charge of complaint examination.
All complaints, as defined in Section 3 of this policy, must be recorded in the complaints register and, in particular:
- all written complaints, no matter at which level of intervention the complaint was processed;
- any court proceedings answering the definition of the term "complaint".
Whether or not any complaints have been received, the firm shall submit a complaints report to the Autorité biannually as follows:
- no later than July 30th for data collected between January 1st and June 30th, and
- no later than January 30th for data collected during the period between July 1st and December 31st.
Sogedent Assurances may submit its complaints report to the Autorité by using its Internet navigation system. This system was designed to be user friendly and secure so that firms may transmit their reports in complete confidence to the Autorité's regulations monitors.
The data collected by Sogedent Assurances must conform to the requirements of the Autorité.
For each complaint, the firm must provide the following details:
- Reference number assigned to the complaint by the firm;
- Sphere of activities (type of industry);
- Complaint type (reason for the complaint);
- Date on which the file was opened;
- Date on which the file was closed;
- Postal code;
- Complaint resolution (result of the examination of the complaint);
- Does the complaint result from court proceedings?
- Does the complaint have a wider impact or systemic application?
- Is the object of the complaint mentioned in the firm's policies and procedures?
- Was the complaint transferred to the Autorité?
Notice to damage insurance brokers, financial security advisors,
advisors in group insurance and annuity plans, group insurance plan advisors
and other employees of the firm
The person in charge of complaint examination, as designated under Section 2, shall ensure that the above-noted persons are made aware of the firm’s Complaints and Dispute Resolution Policy and are provided with a copy of it.
This policy took effect on April 1, 2004 and was revised on October 29, 2012.