What licences do I need to be an insurance broker?
To achieve your aspirations of becoming an insurance broker in Canada, you have to first successfully complete a licensing exam. The licensing requirements you need will be specific to each province – you can turn to your provincial insurance associations to help prepare you for the exam through licensing courses. These associations are also good resources for finding out about the licensing levels that you can aim for as you advance in your insurance career.
There are usually three levels of licensing courses and exams you can take that develop your insurance knowledge and equip you for a variety of careers in the industry:
- Level 1 licensing – recommended to insurance newcomers that hope to learn the fundamentals of insurance
- Level 2 licensing – intended to progress your career in insurance and required to have a supervisory role in a brokerage
- Level 3 licensing – permits the licensee to have management duties in a brokerage
Most provinces will let you choose between taking instructor-led online courses, in-person classes, or self-study depending on the licensing level, but your provincial association will often have a full list of options as will the Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC).
Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB)
There’s more than one way to become a broker. The Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) designation, which involves a program compromised of four courses that conclude with a national examination, is another option that might align with your career goals. Once all four courses are successfully finished, candidates can receive the recognized college-level professional CAIB designation, which is on par with a Level 1 or General insurance broker licence.
To find out more about CAIB courses, the benefits of going down the CAIB road, and the other professional designations you can get as an insurance broker, click here.
The Insurance Brokers Association of New Brunswick (IBANB) holds courses for CAIB 1 and other CAIB levels, and the Fundamentals of Insurance course as well as the accompanying exam required to achieve a Broker’s Licence, Class I. This licence is issued to residents of the province who are employed by the holder of a broker’s licence as a customer service representative, according to the Financial and Consumer Services Commission for the province. A Class II licence is issued to an employee who is working under a broker’s licence holder and training for a Class III broker’s licence. They must qualify for and obtain the Class III licence within three years of obtaining their Class II licence. A Class III licence allows its holder to underwrite all classes of insurance other than life for more than one licensed insurer. Finally, a Class IV broker’s licence is issued to a proprietor or manager of an insurance brokerage business. If you’re applying for this level, you must have met the educational requirements and have a Class III licence for at least two years before applying.
Prince Edward Island
Those planning to become licensed in Prince Edward Island must successfully complete the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada’s Fundamentals of Insurance course. Applicants can also complete C11 (or C81 and C82 as an equivalent) of the Insurance Institute of Canada syllabus. In PEI, the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance regulates the business of insurance, and those interested in becoming a licensed insurance broker in the province can contact the Consumer, Corporate & Financial Services Division of the Department of Justice and Public Safety for information on the application process.
To obtain a licence in Nova Scotia, you must be working in a brokerage, though you can complete the education required to obtain this licence without working in the industry. Once you’re looking to obtain the actual licence, you must however at that point be working for a brokerage.
For a Level 1 licence, you can start with the Fundamentals of Insurance course or the first module of the CAIB program. According to the Insurance Brokers’ Association of Nova Scotia (IBANS), Fundamentals focuses mainly on the consumer’s insurance needs. You follow the lives of a hypothetical family that illustrate a variety of insurance concepts, and the intent of this is to remove the barriers to learning that often exist in technical or specialized disciplines, like insurance. The Fundamentals course, which is available through the self-study option, touches on the history of insurance, and the definitions and functions relevant to the insurance industry. Topics covered include insurance contracts, the role of the government in the industry, the insurance process, property insurance policies, personal property insurance, principles of legal liability, and an introduction to liability insurance.
The exam for the Fundamentals course is coordinated through the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance. An exam form comes with the textbook you need for the course. Complete it and forward the form to the Office of the Superintendent. Once you successfully finish the course, you can apply for a General or Level 1 licence.
The CAIB program is meanwhile available through self-study, immersion, or evening classes via IBANS. Upon completion of the first module and the exam, students can apply for a General or Level 1 licence.
Newfoundland & Labrador
Programs for professional insurance designations and the Fundamentals of Insurance course (via self-study) are organized by the Insurance Brokers Association of Newfoundland (IBAN). The course topics are similar to other Fundamentals courses, covering basic principles and practices of general lines insurance, and are designed for those with little to no experience in the industry. The Insurance Institute of Newfoundland and Labrador also offers courses and exams required to attain Level 1 licensing in the province.
The CAIB 1 course is meanwhile offered either via self-study or in class, and IBAN has an online learning centre where students can take courses for all four levels of the CAIB designation.
As in other provinces, there are three levels of licensing for brokers in the province. Service NL regulates insurance matters in the region and those interested in becoming a broker must have completed the educational requirements as outlined, and must be sponsored by an agent, broker or insurer licensed in Newfoundland and Labrador to complete the forms required by Service NL in the process of obtaining a property and casualty insurance representative licence.