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A law firm offers legal support to online advisors


Alain Thériault

11 January 2019 13:30

Isabelle N. Tremblay

To overcome the lack of legal support to financial advisors by insurers, The Right Way mission is to provide online legal advice, training, as well as contracts for the needs of their customers and compliance.

On the Internet site the Right Way, and his two partners, Isabelle Nadia Tremblay and Pascale Apold define themselves as lawyers specializing in insurance of persons and in compliance. They claim to offer online, and at all times their legal advice. The Right Way guarantees a response to questions in 24 hours or less. Its services are addressed to professionals of the financial industry, including financial planners, representatives in insurance of persons and group savings.

The Right Path offers among others guidance on the interpretation of various clauses of life insurance policies, disability and serious illness. Other legal services are addressed to the representatives in group insurance and group savings. The entry into force of the police, the effect of guarantees, transfers of a registered pension plan to the pensions locked-in are part of the components covered.

Several services of the Right Path are specifically designed to answer questions of compliance : inspection program, practice, distribution, customer complaints, surveys of regulators and anti-spam law, for example. The Right Path also offers six courses-accredited units of continuing education compliance, including The impact of the transition to digital.

The two entrepreneurs offer three types of subscription according to the number of hours of consultation : 2 $ 250 for 10 hours, $ 5,000 for 25 hours and $ 7,000 for 40 hours.

Fill a gap in the insurers

The concept The Right Way has taken shape in the hands of Isabelle Nadia Tremblay in 2016, has told the lawyer in an interview with the Journal of insurance. It was not until the summer of 2018 that she decides to incorporate his sole proprietorship, and partner with Pascale Apold.

“When I knew that Pascale had left his position of director and chief compliance officer, distribution network ofai financial Group, I contacted her. I found that it had the ideal profile. We have decided to partner and develop new areas of services to The Right Path. Compliance is a new service we have added. “

In his professional debut in 1994, mr. Tremblay has worked in private practice as a lawyer in litigation. It will then join the disputes of Great-West in 2000. Until the moment of launching her company, she will receive all the departments, insurance, mutual funds and pension plans, among others as senior legal advisor.

“The more I rode in the organization, the less I was touching the civil law, and the questions down-to-earth representatives. I wanted to start touching and talking to entrepreneurs, ” she added.

Platform to be launched in 2016 allows him to explore more before what she has learned on the field for 16 years. What she discovers, strengthens his conviction that the representatives need to quickly access legal advice online in a secure manner, and to access it easily, she summarizes. And this need is less fulfilled than ever before, ” adds mr. Tremblay, as insurers have been made to undergo a weight loss program to their legal services to the advisors.

“Several insurers have made cuts to major in their staff in recent years. Many employees experienced in customer service or compliance have been invited to take their pension, ” says mr. Tremblay. These insurers can no longer offer the same level of support to advisors, ” she adds.

However, the time can be crucial for an advisor who will, for example, an urgent question on the beneficiary designation. “When an advisor has a legal issue, it can wait a long time before you get the desired response. In all cases, it will be very rarely written and signed by a lawyer of the insurer. When I worked in the litigation of the insurer, the representatives could not call me directly. The point of contact was the customer service, which could take 20 days to respond. If he didn’t answer, the query was back to the compliance department, if not in the legal service, and this sometimes is not my answer that was transmitted, ” explains mr. Tremblay.

The Right Path said to be able to answer most of the questions of its customers in fifteen minutes. Mr. Tremblay and his associate interacts with customers on a secure website, which notifies the issue in real time, and lets you send the response.

In their responses, the lawyers advice is always supported by an article of statute or case law. Mr. Tremblay also reports participate as an author updates the collection CHC — insurance of persons in Quebec (Wolters Kluwer), and the drafting of chapters of the JurisClasseur Québec.

Independent opinion

The two combined also put emphasis on the independence of their responses. “The employee of the insurance company (customer service, compliance, lawyer) has a duty of loyalty to his employer, said mr. Tremblay. If two interpretations are possible, the answer that he will give the advisor will invariably the insurer, or will comply with the internal rules defined by this insurer. In The right way, our response does not comply with an “administrative practice” or an “internal directive”. We always offer independent legal advice, that sticks to the law and regulations. ”

The expertise accumulated by the two associated on the other side of the fence is not lost. “Because of our vast experience in-house, we can mention to the advisor that such or such an insurer accepts a particular practice, and the other is not. I think for example to the possibility for a customer to designate a beneficiary by using his electronic signature. The laws of Quebec permit, but some insurers refuse these designations because of the rules of the common law (they advocate a practice uniform), or due to the fact that they cannot ensure the sustainability of the transaction. “

Frequently asked Questions

Mr. Tremblay said receive a lot of questions on situations of undue influence or abuse that affect the elderly, people living with a mental incapacity, or of the minor children. “The whole question of the powers of attorney and mandates of protection is of concern to the advisors. A lot of grey areas appear when the customer becomes older, in particular with respect to the influence of relatives, of children. “

What is a life insurance policy, a locked-in retirement account (LIRA) or a locked-in annuity are part of the family patrimony, in such or such situation ? Who has priority when you transfer to a LIRA ? The transfer of a pension plan to a LIRA, in a life income fund (LIF) or a locked-in annuity is also a concern to several councillors.

“The whole notion of joint may differ depending on whether the plan is governed by federal or provincial law, which makes legal issues are very complex,” explains mr. Tremblay. I am currently preparing a conference on this topic that was highly misunderstood among the representatives. “

This notion is particularly important when an insured asks the insurer to recalculate her pension, she says. “This situation occurs in the case where the holder of a life annuity, the funds of which originate from a pension plan, must share the value of the pension. In accordance with article 30 (7) of the Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans, once the shared value, the holder has the right to demand from the insurer that the retirement pension be recalculated taking into account the fact that he no longer has a spouse. This situation does not apply as such to LIRAS or LIFS. “

The lawyer said that the questions of divorce and inheritance lead to their batch of claims, as those on the protection against creditors.

The sale of insurance via the Internet now tagged, it believes that advisers should start to be interested in this opportunity and the issues which arise from it, such as : how to collect the information of their customers ; and that is what they can collect.

Tailor-made contracts to consultants

Another innovation : under a services agreement with the firm of notary Scripta Legal, which provides legal documents online, The Right Path offers to the advisers of the contracts and agreements tailored to the needs of their clients, has revealed to Me, Tremblay.

“With Scripta, we took the path of digital as the representative accesses contract issued by The Right Path to the representative “, she explains. The lawyer has realized the importance for advisors to quickly access contracts, forms, and everything they may need to prevent a dispute, and to serve their customer in the best way possible. “We want to offer them a one-stop shop, be it in insurance of persons, individual or collective, group annuities, or in compliance. “

This offer includes, among others, a contract between a company and a key person called a Convention of co-ownership of a critical illness insurance policy with return of premiums, said the lawyer. “We offer several other documents, including confidentiality Commitment between the insured and the company. It is a document very useful in the case of an agreement of co-ownership. At the time of buying the insurance, the son of a contractor may want for example to hide from their father the fact that he has already made the use of drugs, ” she explains.

Similarly, documents of resolution to the board of directors for the purchase of life insurance, disability or critical illness can be useful to demonstrate to the directors of a company the validity of the transaction.

“For one or the other of the documents offered, the representative can complete the online questionnaire with his client, on the website Scripta Legal. This input data generates a format that allows the lawyer to issue it the contract. This is a new concept. The representatives need to be more flexible ; they often don’t have the time to come meet us in person “, emphasized mr. Tremblay.

Always from the website Scripta Legal, The Right Path will be able to generate documents such as Agreement to share commissions, referral arrangements, Policy of protection of personal information and complaints handling Policy and dispute settlement.

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