Become an Insurance Broker
A career as an insurance broker offers opportunity for advancement, flexibility and variety.
Obtain Your Licence
Level 1: General Insurance Salesperson's Licence
To be an insurance broker in B.C., you must be licensed. General insurance licences are obtained through the Insurance Council of B.C. In order to qualify for a licence, you must have passed one of the approved pre-licensing exams offered exclusively by IBABC.
The knowledge prerequisites for a Level 1 license require candidates to:
The IBABC administers both of these courses as well as the exams.
A Level 1 license qualifies you to work in any of several positions in an insurance brokerage: handling auto, home and other personal lines transactions, or as a mobile road agent (visiting car dealerships to insure newly purchased vehicles). Level 1 salespeople operate under the supervision of a Level 2 or 3 broker.
You do not need to be employed in the industry to take pre-licensing courses; however, licences will only be granted to those individuals who are employed by an insurance brokerage. In most cases, employers file license applications on behalf of new employees.
The Council will verify that the applicants' educational and experience requirements have been met and will review all applicants for suitability.
Once licensed, if you leave or lose your job, your licence will be deactivated, but you will retain your licensable status for a period of one to three years (depending on the level of license you had and how you qualified for it).
Advance Your Licence
Level 2: General Insurance Agent's Licence
For positions such as commercial lines representatives or personal lines supervisors, a Level 2 license is needed. A Level 2 license allows you to complete policies outside of the office and without the supervision of a senior broker. A Level 2 license also gives you the opportunity to supervise Level 1 brokers in the office.
Level 1 licensees wishing to advance to a Level 2 license must pass the CAIB 2 and CAIB 3 exams.
Level 3: General Insurance Agent's Licence
A Level 3 license allows you to manage a brokerage.
To obtain a Level 3 licence, along with having met the educational requirements for a Level 2 licence, you must:
- Pass the CAIB 4 exam, and
- Have held a general insurance licence for five of the last seven years, with at least three of those years as a Level 2 license
Completion of all four CAIB exams (CAIB 1, 2, 3 and 4) earns you your CAIB designation - the mark of professional recognition for clients and employers.
The Canadian Professional Insurance Broker (CPIB) program is also available through IBABC for completion. The CPIB allows you to apply credits from some post-secondary courses towards completion of the program.
Maintain Your Licence
All licenses issued by the Insurance Council of B.C. are continuous; they no longer expire, but licensees are required to file by June 1 each year to demonstrate that they have met licensing requirements. Licensees are still required to transfer licenses between employers and to amend licenses.
To maintain your General Insurance license, you must meet the Insurance Council's current Continuing Education (CE) requirements.
- Licensees are required to complete eight (8) CE credits, regardless of the number of years licensed or additional professional designations
- CE credits cannot be claimed for developing, leading, teaching, or presenting a course or seminar.
- If you receive your licence in the three months before the end of the licence period (i.e., between March 1 and May 31), the CE requirements for that first licence period is waived.
- You can carry over up to one year’s worth of CE credits to the next licence period.
- CE credits for a course can only be used once towards your CE requirements every three licence periods, unless the course content has substantially changed to warrant retaking the course.
- There is no maximum amount of course credits that can be claimed, and no daily credit maximum.
- Partial credits can be claimed in increments of 15 minutes for courses that are less than one hour in length. A minimum of 15 minutes of instruction time amounts to 0.25 credits.
For detailed information on licensee CE requirements, please refer to the Insurance Council of B.C. Continuing Education GuidelinesMoving to B.C.?
Pre-licensing and licensing courses, including the Fundamentals of Insurance and the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) program, are largely standard across Canada, with some regional content added to reflect differences in provincial regulations and insurance products. Brokers with an active license from another Canadian province are usually able to transfer their license as long as they have found employment at a brokerage in B.C. For more information, contact the Insurance Council of B.C.
Have questions or comments about IBABC Continuing Education? Contact Ileana Toledo, email@example.com@ibabc.or .