Assessing client needs

Assessing client needs is an essential step that must be completed by all insurance representatives.

If you carry on insurance activities, you must inquire into your clients’ situation in order to assess their needs. You must also appropriately advise your clients regarding matters that fall within the sectors in which you are authorized to act.

If you have a product that meets your clients’ needs, you can offer it to them. Before making an insurance contract, you must describe the proposed product to clients in relation to their needs and specify the nature of the coverage offered as well as specific exclusions.

You can delegate the collection of information to a person who is not certified. However, if you do, you will have to ensure that the information is collected properly, as responsibility for this activity will remain with you.


Although you can delegate the collection of information to an uncertified person, you cannot delegate your duty to advise to that person. Consumers can reasonably expect to receive advice from a certified representative. In particular, the AMF considers discussing the choice of coverage with clients, recommending an insurance product to clients or presenting clients with the results of their needs assessment to constitute “insurance advice.”

End of the warning

Specific requirements for damage insurance representatives

For further clarification on this topic, more examples of what the AMF considers “insurance advice” and examples of activities that are specific to certified representatives or, conversely, that may be carried out by uncertified persons, see the Notice regarding information collection and insurance advice (pdf - 78 KB)This link will open in a new windowUpdated on July 3, 2019"Notice, information collection, insurance advice..

Damage insurance representatives

Damage insurance products may be distributed by a broker or an agent, or directly via the Internet by a firm, as a damage insurance brokerage firm or agency, or an independent partnership (see Products and services offered via the Internet for more details about offering financial products and services without the intermediary of a natural person).

Brokers, brokerage firms or independent partnerships, as the case may be, must offer clients a range of products from several insurers. Specifically, where personal-lines automobile insurance or home insurance products, defined for the purposes of this requirement as property and civil liability insurance on the principal residence that the insured owns or rents, they must be able to obtain quotes from at least three insurers that do not belong to the same financial group each time they offer such a product to a client who is a natural person. To find out more about this requirement, refer to the “Broker who must be able to obtain quotes from at least three insurers” section of the Qualification of damage insurance registrants page.

In the case of a renewal involving a change other than to the premium, the necessary steps must be taken to ensure that the coverage provided corresponds to the client’s needs.

Specific requirements for insurance of persons representatives

In analyzing a client’s needs, an insurance of persons representative must consider the following elements, in particular, depending on the client and the nature of the product offered:

  • the policies or contracts in effect held by the purchaser or the insured;
  • the features of those contracts and the names of the issuing insurers;
  • the client’s investment objectives;
  • the client’s risk tolerance;
  • the client’s financial knowledge.

The representative must record the information gathered for this analysis in a dated document, a copy of which must be given to the client on or before the date the policy is delivered.

Mortgage brokerage

For further clarification, see the Notice relating to the regulatory framework applicable to mortgage brokerage (pdf - 170 KB)This link will open in a new windowUpdated on April 9, 2020"Notice, regulatory framework, mortgage brokerage".

When mortgage brokers engage in a brokerage transaction relating to a loan secured by immovable hypothec, they must perform all the acts involved in the mortgage brokerage transaction and fulfill all their obligations under the Distribution Act and its regulations. They must, among other things:

  1. Collect and record in the client record the information pertaining to the identification of the client’s needs and his or her financial situation.
  2. Appropriately advise the client and offer a mortgage loan suited to the client’s situation and needs.  
  3. Must be able to offer clients a mortgage financing solution from a range of solutions available on the mortgage market and offered by different lenders that do not belong to the same financial group.

Mortgage brokers must collect and record in the client record the information pertaining to the identification of the client’s needs and the client’s financial situation. In fact, they must collect all the information they need to fulfill their obligations, including their suitability obligations to clients with whom they engage in brokerage transactions and their duty to advise them.