tldr; Insurance broker training programs in Canada varies from province to province but almost every province follows a 3 level licensing system: entry level, working without supervision, and finally, managing broker.
Insurance is the concept of spreading the burden of a risk from the few to the many. In essence, it is a way of supporting each other in a time of need. The first “insurance” contracts were not contracts at all; they were implied agreements of mutual assistance. For example, if your crop or home burnt down, other members of your tribe or village were expected to jump in and help you and you were obligated to do the same for others.
Insurance brokering is an ancient profession that has hundreds of years of history. Starting off in ~1750 BC, the first insurance-type law was laid out in the Code of Hammurabi to protect ships on trade voyages. From these beginnings, insurance has evolved and is now an invisible but integral part of our everyday lives. Nowadays, nothing flies, rolls, floats, or gets made without insurance.
Because insurance is so intertwined with the modern economy, there are tons of regulations put in place to protect the public and ensure business is conducted properly. If you want to become an insurance broker in Canada, you will need to undergo training and pass licensing exams.
Getting Your Insurance License in canada
In Canada, almost every province (except Quebec) follows a 3-step licensing program.
- Level 1 – This license is called “entry level”. It allows you to work as an insurance broker/agent to the general public. With this license, you are restricted to working under the supervision of a Level 2+ agent.
- Level 2 – This license is your “unsupervised” license. It is the same as your Level 1 but now you do not need to be supervised in your work. That means you can supervise others or visit clients at their home or business to discuss insurance matters.
- Level 3 – This license is your “management” license. With this, you can own or manage your own brokerage as the “principal broker”.
Below, we will outline the training requirements for each level in Canada’s most populous provinces.
Insurance Broker Training in BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba & Atlantic Provinces
Level 1 License
There are multiple paths to getting this license in BC, SK, MB and the Atlantic provinces (NS, NFL, PEI & NB):
After obtaining your Level 2 license and completing the required work experience, you need to pass CAIB 4 to become a managing broker (aka Principal Broker or Nominee depending on the province).
Insurance broker training in Alberta
The Alberta Insurance Council (AIC) has special courses and rules specifically for Alberta. To become a Level 1 broker in Alberta, you need to complete the Alberta General Insurance Level 1 course with an AIC-approved education provider (like PNC Learning), receive a GLQP certification, and then pass the Alberta General Insurance Level 1 exam.
After you get your Level 1, you need to pass the Alberta General Insurance Level 2.
After earning your Level 2 license and meeting the required work experience requirements, you need to pass Alberta Level 3.
Insurance broker training in ontario
In Ontario, they make the distinction between being an insurance agent vs insurance broker.
- To become an insurance agent in Ontario, you need to pass the OTL exam. There is only 1 level to worry about as an insurance agent.
- To become an insurance broker in Ontario, you need to pass the RIBO 1 exam.
Once you get your RIBO 1 license, you can go on to complete RIBO 2 – Unrestricted Technical to earn the ability to operate without supervision.
Once you have had your RIBO 1 license for at least 2 years, you qualify to write the RIBO 3 – Unrestricted Management exam to become a Principal Broker.
As the Principal Broker of your brokerage, you are responsible for understanding all the regulations that apply to you and you may be held personally responsible for improper acts of the firm and/or employees.