COVID-19 Update: Essential Workplaces

March 24, 2020

Dear RIBO Registrant,

First, and most importantly, I hope this note finds you and your families healthy and safe.

As you likely know by now, the Ontario Government has ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves.

“Insurance” has been included in the list of “essential workplaces”. RIBO has been advised by government officials that Ontario’s insurance brokers fall within the definition of “insurance”.

Accordingly, under this directive, brokerages are permitted to remain open. However, wherever possible, brokers are strongly encouraged to adopt a ‘work from home’ strategy. RIBO understands that, in some instances, specific work functions cannot be performed remotely. In those limited instances, adequately serving your customer may mean that it is not possible to work entirely from home. For your safety, the safety of your co-workers and the community at large, we ask that you keep such in-office activities to an absolute minimum and practice physical distancing. Further, we encourage you to follow the instructions of public health authorities to minimize health risks.

Principal Brokers must direct brokerage efforts to operate in a safe, professional manner. They remain responsible for the supervision of all licensed staff, regardless of whether that staff is working in the office, working remotely, or working at home. Brokerage oversight, especially in these challenging times, includes establishing and enforcing ‘work from home’ procedures, including an understanding of any brokerage activities that cannot be completed remotely.

RIBO agrees that the services brokers provide are essential. That said, we ask that you continue to provide those services in a safe, prudent and professional manner.

As noted in previous correspondence, RIBO has implemented a work from home plan for all employees commencing Wednesday, March 18, 2020 through to Friday, April 3, 2020 at which time we will reassess the situation. The RIBO office will be 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. Individual staff will continue to monitor their email, or you may submit a message through the RIBO website:Contact Us Form and the message will be directed to the appropriate resource.

Our general phone line does remain open at 416-365-1900 / 1-800-265-3097. Please listen carefully to the instructions in the recorded message. It may be updated frequently during this time. Messages will be monitored and forwarded to the appropriate person.


Patrick Ballantyne