Coronavirus (COVID‑19)

Information for Advisors and Managing General Agents

Individual Life Insurance and Investment

Last updated: July 9, 2020 at 2:25 p.m.

Your clients need you more than ever.

Insurance and investment needs do not go away in the current situation, in fact the contrary is true. Without a doubt the pandemic has many impacts on your business.

 

We are monitoring the situation closely so that we may quickly adapt and continue to serve through this difficult period.

Life and critical illness insurance electronic application

User-friendly and practical, it allows you to do your business remotely while protecting your health and that of your clients!

Electronic application
Electronic application demos

Recent individual life insurance changes

Electronic application

Option to add a permanent life insurance product (T100, WL100, WL20) to the electronic insurance application.

  1. In the electronic application, enter the total of the term and permanent life face amounts under Term Plus.
  2. Send an email to infonewbusiness@ssqinsurance.ca with an illustration of the total coverage requested for term and permanent products, along with the application number and the clients’ names. The application number is sent to you as soon as you submit it.
  3. An amendment for signature by the client will be added to the documents required to place the policy.

Electronic application

Applications and electronic signatures

Scanned applications

Life insurance applications with a handwritten signature that are scanned must continue to be submitted via your agency.

For the documents to be accepted:

  • use the fillable PDF version available in the illustration software.
  • all handwritten text and signatures remain legible once scanned.

There is no need to send us the originals, we simply ask that you keep them in your files.

Fillable PDF application (PDF, 995 kB)

Electronic signatures accepted

In addition to scanned handwritten signatures, we will now accept electronic signatures from the following applications: DocuSign, Adobe Sign, and Onespan. 

These signatures will be accepted on our individual life insurance and investment documents, with the exception of change of beneficiary forms and changes of owners of life insurance policies.

New insurance applications for a client who is planning to travel in the next 4 weeks

All insurance applications for individuals who are planning to travel outside Canada in the next four weeks will be deferred until after their return.

It will be possible to re-evaluate their application two weeks following their return to Canada, which corresponds to the incubation period of COVID-19. The client will have to be in good health and symptom-free to be eligible.

Suspended files for trips that are finished or planned will be re-evaluated: questions, riders and health declarations may be requested.

Underwriting requirements

SSQ Insurance is relaxing its underwriting requirements.

Pending business

In order to allow us to deal with the majority of pending cases as efficiently as possible, we are temporarily relaxing our underwriting requirements on these pending cases. We will start to treat them on a case by case basis. Instructions on each case will be communicated in LifeSuite as the files are processed.

Please note that in the meantime, a paramedical telephone service will be set up. In some cases, you will be able to complete the questionnaire yourself or use this service. Instructions via LifeSuite will be communicated to you.

In-force business

You can continue submitting requests for changes that require evidence of insurability, such as a change to non-smoker status or a revision of rating. The request will be processed only when the required tests are obtained. The decision will be applied retroactively to the date of receipt of the request.

We will then adjust the premiums and refund the difference, if necessary.

New business

We are temporarily easing our underwriting requirements measures for insurance applications signed as of March 11, 2020. Applications signed before this date fall under separate pending application rules already communicated on a case by case basis.

These temporary measures apply until August 31, 2020 but may change or be extended depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Life insurance: Effective immediately, no underwriting requirements will be required for life insurance applications, for

  • Individuals between 16 to 50 years old for amounts up to $ 1, 000,000 (inclusively)
  • Individuals between 51 to 60 years old for amounts up to $249,999 (inclusively)
  • Individuals between 61 to 70 years old for amounts up to $99,999 (inclusively)

Here is what is required:

  • E-App: the tele-interview to be completed as usual
  • Paper application: Fill out sections IJK or order a paramedical by videoconference via your MGA
 

Note: No preferred risk for ages between 16 and 50.

Critical illness: No underwriting requirements will be required for ages between 18 to 40, for amounts up to $250,000 (inclusively). The temporary easing measures for critical illness insurance also apply until August 31, 2020.

Here is what is required:

  • E-App: the tele-interview to be completed as usual
  • Paper application: Fill out sections IJK or order a paramedical by videoconference via your MGA
 

Important: Please note that just like our system, our illustration software will continue to show the old requirements when the case is submitted for the age groups targeted by the easing measures. Simply ignore them. We will delete the requirements manually.

Paramedical services

Paramedical service providers can now take appointments

In the context of Covid-19, SSQ Insurance was not allowing paramedical service providers to take appointments with clients. The government public health measures have changed, and the paramedical service providers have also adapted their processes. Considering these changes, SSQ Insurance will now allow paramedical service providers to take appointments.

As of June 5, you can start ordering all medical requirements for any cases, where they are needed. Note that the evidence of insurability requirements should be ordered based on our temporarily relaxed life insurance and critical illness tables that are currently in effect until August 31, 2020.

Evidence of insurability requirements that had been previously ordered but are not yet completed will now also be taken care of by the paramedical service providers.

Contract clauses

Pandemic clause

No such exclusion exists in our contracts. Given that the insured risk is loss of life, a death resulting from COVID-19 will be covered under the same conditions as any other cause of death which is not the subject of an exclusion clause.

The clauses relating to the usual verification processes (e.g. contestability, admissibility) continue to apply.

Premium payment measures

Easing premium payment measures

SSQ Insurance offers measures to your clients who expect to have difficulty paying their premium. To this effect, the following information is available on our website on the information page for insureds.

We understand that the pandemic can have an impact on the financial situation of some of your clients. If this is your case, payment methods may be offered.

Our teams are analyzing each situation on a case-by-case basis. The client who wishes to take advantage of this option must contact our Client Services at 1-800-565-4550 or via email at clientservices@ssqinsurance.ca by no later than May 31, 2020.

This option allows your clients to defer their premium payment for a period of 60 days and it will not affect the protection offered under the policy.

The deferred premiums will be required on September 30th, 2020. As such, we will send a reimbursement request and unless otherwise stated, any outstanding premiums shall be paid by the client within 30 days after September 30, 2020, in order to maintain the policy(ies) in force. Note that SSQ Insurance is not charging any interest expense on these payment deferrals.

For any questions or additional information, we invite you to contact us at clientservices@ssqinsurance.ca (for in-force business) or contact your general agent for new business.

Recent investment changes

Applications and electronic signatures

Digital applications

Investment applications with a handwritten signature that are scanned must continue to be submitted via our secure advisor site.

For the documents to be accepted :

  • use the Fillable PDF version of our application available on the secure advisor site.
  • all handwritten text and signatures remain legible once scanned.

There is no need to send us the originals, we simply ask that you keep them in your files.

Fillable PDF application (PDF, 315 kB)

Electronic signatures accepted

In addition to scanned handwritten signatures, we will now accept electronic signatures from the following applications: DocuSign, Adobe Sign, Onespan, Insuresign and IGeny.

In Ontario, an electronic signature is now accepted for a change of beneficiary on registered plans.

Financial markets and investor concerns

When markets are volatile, it is natural to worry about the impact on your portfolio or those of your clients.

Here is some advice from our investment team.

New contributions

Please make your new contributions in a single preauthorized payment. Simply complete and send us the FRA1394A Pre-authorized Transaction Program form along with a personalized cheque specimen via our secure advisor site.

You can also transfer funds via your financial institution’s website. Select SSQ Insurance - Investment and enter your 8-digit application number.

External transfers to another institution

We recommend limiting external transfers to other institutions as much as possible.

We cannot guarantee processing times or be held responsible for postal service delays caused by the current situation. Additional delays should also be expected between the time of withdrawal from SSQ Insurance and the time of deposit at another institution, and vice versa.

Redemptions

Please send us your redemption requests via our secure advisor site. Be sure to include a cheque specimen as these payments will be made by direct deposit from now on. We will no longer be issuing cheques.

The documents required to process death benefits may be submitted via our secure advisor site. A cheque specimen for each beneficiary will be required so that the benefits can be paid via direct deposit.

Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs)

Temporary relief measure for Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs)

On March 18, 2020, the federal government announced a COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for Canadians and Businesses.

Reduced minimum amount

Effective immediately, the required minimum amount from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF) is reduced by 25% for 2020. The purpose of this is to reduce the impact of withdrawals on the fair market value of RRIFs in light of the recent stock market plunge.

Since the required minimum amount is the same for Life Income Funds (LIF), this measure applies to them as well.

Following the adoption of this measure, please note that the current payments will not be modified. The client will therefore continue to receive the current payments even if the withdrawals made will exceed the reduced minimum amounts for 2020.

However, your clients can request to modify the payments by sending us a written request, which must comply with one of the following options:

  1. Continue to receive current payments until the new reduced minimum amount for 2020 is reached. Once this amount is reached, stop payments until December 31, 2020;
  2. Reduce future payments until December 31, 2020 in order to withdraw an annual total amount equal to the new reduced minimum amount;

It will not be possible to contribute the excess of the reduced minimum amount for 2020 to the RRIF. Please refer to the CRA reference document for details.

Daily statements of transaction

Daily statements of transaction will no longer be mailed.

All transaction information is currently available to clients and advisors on our secure advisor site and all statements are archived there. If you are unfamiliar where to find this, we invite you to contact your SSQ Insurance representative who will be happy to review where to find this information on the secure advisor site.

Please note that you can always request to receive a hard copy of the statement by contacting our Client Services.

We invite you to contact us at service.inv@ssq.ca for any investment questions or additional information.

News for you and your clients

Free psychological support services for your clients

Effective immediately, a free 24/7 COVID-19 distress hotline is available.

SSQ Insurance offers access to a free psychological assistance hotline to all of its Canadian clients.

This help service, delivered in crisis intervention mode, is set up temporarily. It is provided by specialists at Optima Global Health, a group of professionals specialized in psychological health who have the necessary expertise in evaluation and intervention.

Regardless of the type of product held at SSQ Insurance, your clients can benefit from this help service.

For our general COVID-19 news, please refer to our information page.

For more details, please contact your SSQ Insurance representative.

Despite the fact that our sales teams are currently working from home in an effort to protect our collective health, they are still totally dedicated and ready to serve you with utmost diligence and professionalism.

Your needs and those of your customers are our top priorities.

This page is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to describe all of the provisions, exclusions and limitations applicable to a guarantee or to a specific insurance policy. For a full description of the provisions, exclusions and limitations, refer to the contract.