Canadian Underwriter

What happens when a broker schemes to drive uninsured…

March 24, 2022   by David Gambrill

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A former B.C. broker has been disciplined after she cancelled an auto insurance transaction and then affixed the cancelled sticker to her car’s licence plate, essentially allowing her to drive uninsured for several months.

The former broker, whose licence has been revoked, has informed the Insurance Council of B.C. that she has moved to Alberta and does not plan to return to the property and casualty insurance industry. Council’s decision means she would not be able to renew her broker license in the province for a minimum of two years were she to re-apply.

The broker was caught when someone from her brokerage photographed the licence plate of her car while it was parked in the company lot, and sent the photo to the public insurer, the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC).

The public insurer investigated the matter; by February 2021, it ordered a one-year suspension against the former licensee, which prohibited her from conducting ICBC Autoplan auto insurance transactions. Kelsie Dawn Lang’s broker license was terminated Aug. 4, 2021.

Lang was a Level 1 salesperson for four years. Her primary job at the brokerage was to process ICBC-related auto insurance transactions. Her brokerage (unnamed in ICBC’s discipline decision) caught onto her when they could not find the decal to a cancelled licence plate they were returning to ICBC.

“In the [brokerage’s] submissions [to the regulator], it explained that a staff member at the brokerage was searching for a missing licence plate decal but could not locate it,” the regulator wrote in its final decision, released Mar. 15, 2022. “The staff member suspected that the former licensee might have taken the decal for personal use. Subsequently, the staff member located the former licensee’s vehicle at a public parking lot and took a photo of the former licensee’s licence plate.

“An internal inventory search connected the decal on the former licensee’s licence plate to a cancelled plate. The transaction was processed by the former licensee before she resigned from the [brokerage] and the plate was returned to ICBC without the decal attached to it. The [brokerage] provided a copy of the photo of the former licensee’s licence plate to [Insurance] council staff.”

Lang admitted to council she had printed a copy of the decal and attached it to her vehicle and expressed remorse for her actions. She explained that, at the time, she was going through personal and financial difficulties.

In assessing the penalty, council noted aggravating factors such as a past discipline history with the insurance regulator.

“On July 11, 2019, council issued an order against the former licensee for failing to complete the Council Rules Course before completing her 2018 annual filing,” the council decision reads. “Council determined that the former licensee was aware of the requirement prior to filing, as multiple reminders were sent out. As a result, the former licensee was fined $500.”

On Oct. 4, 2019, council issued an order reprimanding Lang for failing to disclose a conviction in a Criminal Code offence. “In June 2018, the former licensee was charged with committing theft under $5,000,” council found. “She was convicted in August 2018 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of $100 and complete community service and counselling as per her probation officer.”

Council ultimately found Lang’s misconduct “illustrated a flagrant disregard for the laws governing the conduct required of a licensee” and that “she demonstrated a clear intention to misappropriate and attach the licence decal to the licence plate of her vehicle.”

What’s more, the council ruled, Lang “did not demonstrate a clear ability to self-correct as the matter was brought forward by the [brokerage]. Also, since she was driving uninsured, she derived a financial benefit by not paying premiums to ICBC. Lastly, council considered the public harm she would have inflicted had she been involved in a car accident while driving uninsured.”


Feature photo courtesy of Burrell