December 10, 2021

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by Pichada Wangsangthong

The insurance industry in Canada is highly lucrative, flexible, dynamic, and best of all – thirsting for talent. However, in order to work in the insurance industry, you need an insurance certification in your main province of operation.

History of Insurance

Insurance is a way for individuals and businesses to eliminate risks by spreading the financial consequences from the few to the many. One of the first instances of insurance took place in ancient China when traders would split their cargo amongst multiple ships when passing through dangerous territory so that if one ship was lost, they would not be wiped out. To make the protection even better, the surviving cargo owners would chip in to compensate the people that lost their cargo.

Over time, as global trade got more complex, they needed a more formal way to organize insurance. From there, the insurance industry as we know it developed.

Today, the insurance industry is a network of participants. Insurers provide capital to pay for losses. Adjusters work to determine the cause of loss, insurability, and the amount. And brokers and intermediaries work to connect insureds with insurers.

Insurance is placed through this complex network and businesses can thrive. Without insurance, the economy would grind to a halt. Think about it like this: would a bank loan you money to buy a house if they had no way of getting it back should it burn down?

Insurance reduces risk allowing people to take more risk by starting businesses or getting loans.

Getting Your Insurance Certification in Canada

Getting your insurance license in Canada involves a 3 step process:

  1. Study for the insurance licensing exam in your province
  2. Pass the insurance licensing exam
  3. Apply for a job in the insurance industry and your employer will sponsor your license and help you complete the rest of the paperwork

The licensing process involves a background check to make sure that you are trustworthy enough to advise the public on insurance matters.

Insurance Certification in British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Atlantic Provinces

There are generally 2 ways to get your insurance certification in these provinces: by passing the Fundamentals of Insurance (FOI) exam or the CAIB 1 exam.

in Alberta

Getting your insurance certification in Alberta involves passing the Alberta Insurance Council Level 1 exam.

in Ontario

The Ontario insurance certification involves passing the RIBO 1 exam.

[April 30, 2024 UPDATE: Starting April 1, 2023, level 1 licensees are classified as brokers holding Entry Level Broker or Level 1 competency (previously Acting Under Supervision and Acting Under Supervision (No A&S or Travel or Including Travel, No A&S)).]

Regardless of which province you are in, PNC Learning’s insurance exam prep courses can help.

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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PNC Learning was started by insurance professionals for insurance professionals.

Our goal is to help you get a strong start in the industry and assist you as you seek to learn more and move up in the industry.