By-Laws and Governance
Below is a summary of the GIO by-laws. This should not be considered as a legally binding representation of the GIO governance and is provided only as a service to those interested in more detail about the GIO operations.
- "Corporation" means General Insurance OmbudService
- "Board" means Board of Directors of the Corporation
- "Member" means any of the Independent Directors, Industry Directors, insurers and reinsurers licensed in Canada to carry on the business of general insurance and admitted according to the membership requirements
Board of Directors
A seven-member Board of Directors manages the business of the General Insurance OmbudService. Of these seven directors:
- two are "Industry Directors" appointed by the Board of Directors of Insurance Bureau of Canada five are "Independent Directors." To ensure the independence of the service, these Independent Directors cannot be (or be the spouse or common law partner of) any of the following:
- a director, officer or employee of the Insurance Bureau of Canada or any insurer or reinsurer that is a member of GIO, either currently or in the three years before being appointed as an Independent Director
- currently an employee of a federal, provincial or territorial government, a current director, officer or employee of an Crown agency
- a director, officer or employee of a government department or agency that regulates or supervises financial institutions or financial services financial services, currently or in the three years before being appointed as an Independent Director
- a member of the Senate of Canada, member of Parliament or member of a provincial or territorial legislative assembly currently or, in the three years prior to appointment as an Independent Director
- an individual who provides goods or services for a fee to an insurance company or reinsurance company that is a member of GIO
- a person who has a significant interest (as defined by federal legislation) in a class of shares of a insurer or reinsurer that is a member of GIO
Independent Directors will represent a diverse experiences and interests. For example, they should:
- be known and respected regionally and nationally, either in their own right or because of an appointment or office held
- have a significant background in public and consumer affairs
- represent the Canadian population in gender, language, region and minority background
The Chair of the Board of Directors will be appointed from the Independent Directors.
Independent Directors retire in rotation to ensure continuity. They are expected to play a significant role in nominating and selecting their successors.
Meetings of Members and Board
- There will be at least two meetings of the Board in each financial year
- Quorum will require a minimum of the four independent directors and majority of directors present must be independent
Powers of the Board
The Board has the authority to do the following:
- Approve and, when required, update the business plan for the GIO
- Adopt, implement and oversee procedures to ensure compliance with the established service standards of accessibility, timeliness, courtesy, clarity, accuracy, consistency, expertise and knowledge, fairness and impartiality, confidentiality, objectivity and independence, and update the standards from time to time
- Prepare an annual report on the operations of the service
- Recommend and be consulted about any changes to the terms of reference
- Receive information about, and take appropriate action in relation to, systemic industry problems
- "Standards" means the set of values for dealing with general insurance consumer concerns and complaints. The standards reflect a commitment to accessibility, timeliness, courtesy, clarity, accuracy, consistency, knowledge, fairness and impartiality, confidentiality, objectivity and independence.
Condition of membership
- Membership is limited to insurers and reinsurers licensed in Canada to carry on the business of general insurance and that have agreed to abide by the organization's standards.
- Among other things, a persistent failure by the insurer or reinsurer to comply with the organization's standards will be sufficient cause for removal of membership. The organization will publish notice of such removal in its annual report.
- A Member may withdraw from GIO with the delivery of a written resignation. The GIO will publish notice of any resignation of insurer or reinsurer in its annual report.