Insurance Agents

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority regulates Insurance Agents in accordance with the provisions of Part 5 of the Insurance Act Chapter 12.08 of the 2008 Revised Laws of Saint Lucia (the Insurance Act) and the Registration for Insurance Agents, Insurance Brokers and Insurance Salesmen Regulations.

Insurance agents are a vital link between clients seeking insurance coverage and insurance companies seeking to sell their insurance products. The Insurance Act, defines an insurance agent as follows;

“Any individual, firm or company appointed by an insurer or an insurance agent to solicit applications for insurance or negotiate insurance on its behalf and if authorised to do so by the insurer, to effectuate and countersign insurance contracts but does not include an individual who is an employee of the insurer”

There are currently eighteen insurance agents registered under the Insurance Act and authorised to sell various insurance products in Saint Lucia.

Requirements for Registration      

A license is required from the Authority, in order to operate as insurance agent. Persons wishing to obtain licenses must ensure that they meet all the licensing requirements as set out in Part 5 of the Insurance Act and Regulations 3 - 6 of the Registration of Insurance Agents, Insurance Brokers and Insurance Salesmen Regulations.

Every application for registration under Part 5 of the Act must be made on form GR 112 (available at National Printing Corporation), and accompanied by proof of payment of the prescribed fee i.e. EC $1,000.00. The application for registration must be endorsed by the insurer or agent on behalf of whom the agent will act and must be accompanied by:

·       audited balance sheet, profit and loss account and revenue account of the applicant for the financial year immediately preceding the date of application;

·       copies of the articles and memorandum of association or other rules constituting the company or firm, together with the certificate of registration;

·       a statement of the beneficial shareholding

·       Personal particulars of every director, partner and manager prepared on Form GR101.

·       certified copies of the agency agreement

·       power of attorney

·       the agreement relating to commissions and other remuneration payable in respect of the agency.

Additionally, the company must specify the managers and the officers/partners who may act in the name of the company.

Licenses are valid for one year, thus every insurance agent must apply for renewal of its certificate of registration annually.

Insurance Brokers

An insurance broker is defined by the Insurance Act Chapter 12.08 of the Laws of Saint Lucia as:

any individual, firm or company appointed by an insurer or an insurance agent to solicit applications for insurance or negotiate insurance on its behalf and if authorised to do so by the insurer, to effectuate and countersign insurance contracts but does not include an individual who is an employee of the insurer.”

Insurance brokers are charged with the responsibility of representing the interests of policyholders directly through negotiating with insurance coverage providers for the best terms and conditions for their clients. In this way, insurance brokers differ from insurance agents as the agents represent the interest of its principal insurer.

The operation of an insurance broker is governed by Part 5 of the Insurance Act of the Laws of Saint Lucia Chapter 12.08, and the Registration of Insurance Agents, Insurance Brokers and Insurance Salesmen Regulations which provides guidance for insurance intermediaries- insurance agents, insurance brokers and insurance agents.

The regulation of insurance brokers has evolved over the past decade to meet the demands of this dynamic insurance sub-sector. One of the most significant developments include the requirement of brokers to file audited accounts with the regulator annually. Analysis of these documents allows the regulator to better monitor the activity of the broker.

Requirements for registration

An application for registration as an insurance broker under Part 5 of the Act must be made on form GR 114 (available at National Printing Corporation), and accompanied by proof of payment of the prescribed fee of EC $1,500.00. The following information must accompany the application:

·        Evidence that the applicant is of good character.

·        Evidence that the applicant is competent to carry out insurance business in the relevant classes of insurance business.

·        Proof of professional indemnity coverage.

·        the audited accounts for the financial year immediately preceding the date of application;

·        copies of the articles and memorandum of association or other rules constituting the company or firm, together with the certificate of registration;

·        a statement of the beneficial shareholding

·        Personal particulars of every director, partner and manager prepared on Form GR101.

The Act restricts insurance salesmen, insurance agents and directors of insurance companies from being registered as insurance brokers.

Insurance Salesmen

As part of the regulatory process, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority is also responsible for licensing insurance salespersons. The St. Lucia Insurance Act Cap.12.08 defines an insurance salesman as “an individual who is contracted by an insurer or an insurance agent to solicit applications for insurance or negotiate insurance on behalf of an insurer, or an insurance agent but shall not include a bona fide salaried employee of an insurer, insurance agent or insurance broker who is employed at its principal office or branch”. The Authority currently regulates 223 Insurance salespersons.

Application for Registration

A person interested in becoming an insurance salesperson must submit an application for registration on the prescribed Form GR123, to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority. This application form must be duly endorsed by the insurance company on whose behalf the applicant intends to solicit business. In addition, to facilitate the processing of the application, it is mandatory that all applicants submit the following particulars:

  • Valid Certificate of Character
  • Evidence of payment of the registration fee. Payments should be made at The Bank of St. Lucia, payable to Accountant General using account number (902002464). Deposit slips should be filled out in triplicate, one copy must be attached to the application.
  • Two character reference letters which must be addressed to the Financial Services Regulatory authority. Referees must not be family members.
  • Evidence and details of Completion of in-house training; duly signed & stamped by the insurer.
  • Certified copies of applicant’s qualification in insurance and if unavailable, certified copies of applicant’s general academic and professional qualifications, CXC(s) at minimum, must be presented.
  • Form NO12 notifying of the contractual agreement between the insurer and the applicant (duly stamped and signed).
  • If the applicant is not qualified in insurance, there must be an undertaking by the company that the applicant will comply with the insurance examination requirement at the next available sitting. This exam can be sat at the Sir Lewis Community College and is scheduled twice yearly or any institution which provides equivalent certification.

Restrictions on registration

An application for registration as an insurance salesman may be considered by the authority if the applicant has met the aforementioned requirements. However, an application will be rejected if the applicant is under the age of 18 or is registered to carry on business as an insurance broker.

Certificate of Registration

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority will issue a Certificate of Registration upon completion of the registration process.

A Certificate shall:

  • Be valid for one year from the date of issue and shall be renewable every year on the anniversary date of its issue.
  • State the various classes of insurance business in respect of which the person is registered.
  • Specify the Insurance Company to which that individual is registered with.

A Person who fails to renew his/her certificate on an annual basis and/or has presented a certificate which is invalid to the public, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $500 and $50 for each day the offence continues after conviction thereof.

Anyone who is registered as an insurance salesman for an insurance company, should be able to present his/her certificate when requested to do so by the Authority or anyone else. Anyone who fails to do so commits an offence.

Cancellation of Registration

The cancelation/termination of registration of an insurance salesman can be done at any time by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority as a result of the following.

  • The salesperson has not carried on business in St. Lucia within a year of him/her being registered or has not carried on business in St. Lucia for more than one year.
  • If the Insurance Company has closed down or is officially out of business.
  • If the salesperson resigned or requests that his or her registration be cancelled.

The insurance salesman and the principal must submit a signed and/or stamped copy of the Form N011 which is the notice of termination of agreement between the salesperson and the company. A letter indicating the reason for termination should also be attached along with a resignation letter if the insurance salesperson chose to resign.