One of the most challenging aspects of the RIBO exams are the Case Study or Narrative (Short Answer) questions. These questions are difficult because they test more than just memorization. They test your ability to apply the concepts and theories you learnt while studying into real world scenarios similar to the ones you might face working with clients.
Now, I can keep talking but the best way to understand how they work and how to prepare for them is to see one for yourself.
Example RIBO Case Study Question
Your client Billy Ship runs an e-commerce business selling holiday decorations out of an older office and warehouse space in Mississauga, Ontario which he owns. Briefly describe 3 property coverages you would recommend for Billy Ship. (6 marks)
Example RIBO Case Study Answer
There are many possible answers to this question but I’m going to walk you step-by-step through the thought process.
Step 1: Analyze the question
The first step to answering these RIBO case study questions is to figure out what they’re actually asking you about. First, note that they want to know about property coverages so you can forget about any CGL or product liability coverages. The second thing to note is that there are 6 marks in this question but they’re asking you for 3 coverages. That means there would be 1 mark for the coverage recommendation and 1 mark for each description.
Step 2: Answer the question
So there’s a lot of possible answers here but we have to pick 3 to talk about.
The first and most obvious coverage to recommend to Billy is Blanket coverage for his commercial property: building, stock & equipment (← the recommendation). By combining all 3 into 1 total limit, it allows for more flexibility within each class of property compared to setting strict individual limits for building, stock and equipment (← the description). This coverage is extra important because it says in the question that he owns the building.
The 2nd coverage I might recommend is the Peak Season Endorsement. Since Billy sells seasonal products, he would have more stock during certain times of the year than others. Rather than getting a high limit year round, the Peak Season Endorsement would allow him to save money without sacrificing coverage by automatically increasing his stock limits during peak season. It also saves time because there’s no need to contact the broker every time to increase limits manually.
The 3rd coverage I would recommend is the By-law Endorsement. Since Billy’s building is quite old, there likely has been new bylaws put in place since it was first constructed. If it were to be damaged to the point where it requires reconstruction, new bylaws would come into effect and push up the cost of construction. A Bylaw Endorsement would help cover that increased cost.
Replacement Cost Endorsement is also a good answer here because it removes the issue of depreciation meaning Billy could potentially receive more indemnity.
As a bonus tip: try to answer these questions in point form whenever possible so it’s very clear what your first point is and which description goes with which point.
This type of case study question will show up on nearly all of your RIBO exams from the Entry Level 1 exam to the Unrestricted Technical exam and finally even in the Unrestricted Management exam. Make sure you study this example well and understand the process.
How would you answer this question? Contact me and let me know!
PS. Even though it says RIBO in the title, this same advice applies for the CAIB exam short answer questions.