12 life-insurance agents, exposed as exam cheats, have licenses revoked

The agents, all from the same firm, conspired to commit a ‘very unusual level of cheating’

12 life-insurance agents, exposed as exam cheats, have licenses revoked
The Insurance Council of BC has revoked the licences of 12 life-insurance agents from the same brokerage for cheating on their qualification tests. The council called their scheme, revealed after a national audit of past qualifying exams, a “very unusual … level of cheating” not seen in any other part of Canada.

The audit was conducted by a third party last fall, reported CBC News. After checking results of Life License Qualification Program (LLQP) tests from across the country, the auditing party found an “odd” group of multiple-choice exams with nearly identical right and wrong answers.

The discovery raised nearly two dozen red flags in BC, prompting the provincial board to immediately suspend the licenses of 21 brokers whose exams were flagged. The council found that all of them worked at the same brokerage — a World Financial Group (WFG) branch in Surrey — and appeared to have used the same answer keys.

Following the investigation, the council moved to cancel 19 of the certificates. Twelve agents, who took their tests between October 2016 and June 2017, have accepted the ruling, while seven have appealed it. Two other licence cancellations are still pending.

“[A]nyone who cheated on this exam, we didn't consider to be qualified,” Janet Sinclair, executive director of the insurance council, told CBC News. “You expect [agents] to conduct themselves with the utmost of integrity and cheating on an exam does not meet that characteristic.”

“Anyone who wants to practice in this area should be able to pass it without needing to cheat,” she added.

Sinclair said the scheme was “frustrating” for regulators and agents alike. In the wake of the scandal, the exam board has resolved to tighten security with security cameras, extra supervisors, and a policy requiring all candidates to give up their phones during the exam.

The life insurance policies issued by the disgraced agents are still in force, according to the executive director. WFG will assume liability for the packages, which it would’ve approved during the time of sale.

The 12 brokers “provided no explanation” for their collusion and cheating when investigators contacted them, according to their cancellation notices. Their licences were cancelled by default because they failed to appeal for a hearing within two weeks of the ruling.

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