The Complaints and Investigation Department is responsible for monitoring the conduct and financial position of all insurance brokers in Ontario. RIBO Investigators conduct spot checks of all insurance brokers every 3-5 years. A spot check is a pre-arranged visit from a RIBO investigator to review the books, records and daily operations of a brokerage.
This department is also responsible for fielding complaints from both brokers and the public. Most misconduct complaints originate with a phone call to the RIBO’s Consumer Complaints Officer or the Complaints and Investigations Manager. Complaints about brokers are received from consumers, brokers, insurance companies, lawyers and law enforcement agencies.
From the initial complaint phone call, a preliminary investigation is conducted by the Consumer Complaints Officer to determine firstly the circumstances involved in the complaint and secondly to see if the complaint can be resolved without formal process.
Conduct complaints of a serious nature result in a more formal investigation where an investigator is assigned to gather evidence to support the allegations of misconduct. In cases where there is sufficient evidence of misconduct against a broker, an investigation report is prepared and the matter may by referred to a Complaints Committee for their review and direction.
Financial non-compliance complaints are usually generated as a result of a spot check. These are also referred to a Complaints Committee for their review and direction.
The Complaints Committee may conduct meetings up to 3 times a month, if necessary to review complaints. A Complaints Committee may refer the matter to Discipline Committee, which is a formal tribunal hearing where testimony is given under oath and the rules of evidence apply, similar to that in a civil court. The Complaints Committee may also dismiss the complaint in cases where the allegations may be without sufficient merit or unsupported by sufficient evidence.
In addition to the above, the Complaints and Investigations Department also receives numerous general questions and inquiries from both consumers and brokers. They also review marketing plans submitted by brokers.