Company News

The life insurer’s 2018 Elite Producers’ Conference will be its last after a report from CLHIA advised that such conferences contribute to a “perception of a conflict of interest”

By Megan Harman |

Toronto-based life insurer The Independent Order of Foresters has announced that it is ending sales-based travel incentive conferences for independent insurance advisors in Canada in response to recommendations from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. (CLHIA).

Foresters is the latest of many life insurers in recent months to announce plans to discontinue the conferences, which reward advisors who meet certain sales thresholds with all-expenses paid trips to coveted destinations around the world.

A recent report on insurance distribution from CLHIA advised that these types of travel incentives could contribute to a "perception of a conflict of interest," by potentially motivating insurance agents to sell one carrier's products over another's.

CLHIA recommended that insurers change the parameters of such conferences to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest by requiring that independent advisors pay their own costs, among other changes.

Foresters announced that its 2018 Elite Producers' Conference will be the last. The insurer hosted its 2016 conference in Los Cabos, Mexico in April, and it will host next year's conference in Dublin, Ireland.

"This decision gives us the ability to best support our clients and agents as the industry continues to evolve," says Robert Baboth, vice president of Canadian sales, North America life insurance and annuity division, in a statement. "It's also an exciting opportunity to redesign how we deliver advisor education and development events."

Foresters is consulting with stakeholders to identify options for new educational and networking initiatives for advisors that align with the CLHIA recommendations and industry best practices.

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