TO: ALL RIBO REGISTRANTS
DATE: Thursday April 2nd, 2020
RE: COVID 19 Update
RIBO supports and follows public health recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is clear that the threat to the public posed by the pandemic remains high. Accordingly, we have extended our work from home plan for all employees until April 17, 2020, at which time we will reassess the situation. The RIBO office will remain closed during this time period.
We remain available to assist you, although with reduced capacity. For maximum efficiency, all correspondence should be made through email. For all other inquiries, please submit a message through the RIBO website: Contact Us Form and the message will be directed to the appropriate resource.
Please note that individual staff will continue to monitor and respond to their email.
Our general phone line remains open at 416-365-1900 / 1-800-265-3097. Please listen carefully to the instructions in the recorded message. It may be updated during this time. Messages will be monitored and forwarded to the appropriate person.
IMPORTANT — PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
- Form 1 position reports that were due March 31, 2020 have been extended to April 30, 2020;
- Scheduled Discipline Hearings and Complaints Meetings normally held at RIBO remain postponed;
- Examinations will not be scheduled nor sent to the examination centres until further notice;
- All new registrations will be delayed during the closure;
- The online Complaint Form will be monitored and processed in the usual manner.
While the Provincial government has determined that brokers are an “essential workplace”, RIBO strongly encourages brokerages, whenever possible, to work from home, practice social distancing, and keep any required visits to your office to an absolute minimum.
RIBO recognizes the pressure that both brokers and their clients are facing. For example, questions relating to coverage have begun and are expected to rise significantly in the coming weeks and months. As RIBO remains focused on our public protection mandate, we remind brokers that their duty to their clients remains paramount. As stated previously, your clients need the benefit of your experience and expertise. While brokers may choose to limit personal contact with clients, they must still service clients in a reasonable manner through email, telephone, text, etc. Expectations of professionalism are in no way lessened. Compliance with RIBO requirements remains the same.
RIBO staff and Council are actively engaged in responding to this unprecedented and evolving situation. RIBO also remains engaged with insurance regulators across the country in seeking to identify consistent responses to consumer and registrant needs. Like you, we are all seeking opportunities to make our organizations less vulnerable to future disruptions. We appreciate your continued patience and understanding as policies and procedures may need changing on short notice to the profession.
Again, please stay safe and mindful of the recommendations of government officials. Let’s continue to do our part to get through this pandemic safely.