November 27, 2019

Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by Jacques Wong, B.Sc.

If you want to become an insurance agent in Ontario, you would need to pass the OTL exam with FSCO (brokers in Ontario should attempt the RIBO exam). Here’s some OTL exam information that answers some common questions and makes sure you’re prepared for the exam.

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What’s the difference between an insurance broker and an insurance agent?

Although the terms are used pretty interchangeably in real life, there are some technical differences between the two. They’re both in the business of selling and advising the public on insurance matters but an insurance agent works for only 1 insurance company and can only represent and sell products from that company.

On the other hand, an insurance broker works at an independent brokerage and can represent and sell products from many insurance companies. Once isn’t necessarily better than the other and the license you need to get depends on the job you’re looking for.

You can also easily switch between the 2. Someone with an OTL just needs to take a small 20 question RIB Act RIBO Equivalency exam to get their RIBO license.

OTL Exam Exemptions

If you hold a CIP Designation, you may be exempted from writing the exam.

If you hold an insurance license from another province, you may also be exempted from the OTL exam but may be required to write a smaller auto insurance equivalency exam.

What Should You Bring to The Exam?

You are allowed to bring a copy of your exam confirmation, a pencil/pen/eraser, a non-programmable calculator (no graphic calculators), and some government issued ID with photo like a passport or driver’s license to verify your identity.

OTL Exam Breakdown

The OTL is a closed book exam containing 100 multiple choice questions to be answered within the 2 hour time limit. Students need a 75% to pass.

The exam is heavily focused on personal insurance (think: home and auto) and the breakdown is as follows:

  • Industry Knowledge (30%): this section covers things like ethics/professionalism, risk management, claims handling, insurance contracts, and the laws governing insurance (Insurance Act).
  • Habitational Insurance (32%): this section covers the different habitational insurance policies, endorsements, liability insurance, etc.
  • Commercial Insurance (5%): this section is small and covers commercial property and liability insurance (CGL).
  • Automobile Insurance (33%): this section covers auto insurance policies, endorsements, and conditions.

If you do not pass the first time, that’s OK. You can rewrite as many times as you want or need.

OTL Exam Registration

To register for the exam, go to the Insurance Institute of Ontario website and complete their exam registration form and pay the $105 exam fee via credit card. You can also fax the form or mail a cheque. From there, you’ll receive a receipt via email containing your exam confirmation and information on location, time, and what to bring.

If you are writing in Toronto, make sure you send in your exam registration form no later than 10am EST on the business day prior to the exam.

If you are writing outside of Toronto, make sure you send it in at least 3 business days prior to your ideal exam date.

Exams are booked on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Exam Schedule

If you are inside Toronto, the OTL exams are held every Monday and Wednesday morning except holidays.

If you are outside Toronto, they are held on the 3rd Monday of each month at Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Owen Sounds, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Timmins.

OTL Study Materials

If you’re looking for materials to help you prepare for the OTL exam, check out our online OTL course.

Starting a new career in the insurance industry can be exciting, scary, and confusing all at the same time. Hopefully this article was helpful and helped you understand the licensing requirements and gave you some idea of what to expect as you begin this journey.

If you still have questions or require more OTL exam information, don’t hesitate to contact us.

i’m ready to start studying!

Great! Sign up for our online OTL course and begin preparing for the OTL exam right away. We look forward to seeing you in the course.

Jacques Wong is the CEO and Director of Education at PNC Learning. An award-winning licensed insurance broker with over 15 years of experience in both education and the insurance industry, Jacques is recognized for his expertise and effective communication strategies. He achieved the highest provincial scores on his CAIB* 3 and CAIB* 4 exams and contributes to leading insurance publications. Jacques is dedicated to making insurance knowledge accessible for everyone through his unique approach and online content.

Jacques Wong

 Jacques wong


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