Insurance Brokers

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   What is an Insurance Broker?

A registered Insurance Broker is an independent insurance professional in Ontario governed by the Registered Insurance Broker Act.  Brokers sell general insurance including coverage of your home, business, automobile, boat, etc.  They offer product choice from a variety of companies and offer independent advice.  Insurance brokers are employed by brokerage firms, or may work in partnership or hold sole proprietorship.  Any individual and/or firm who deals directly with the public on any property and casualty insurance transaction must be licensed.

   Are Insurance Brokers regulated?


The profession of Insurance Broker is regulated by the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO).  You must register with RIBO before you can work as an insurance broker in Ontario.

Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO)
Address: 401 Bay Street, Suite 1200, P.O. Box 45, Toronto, ON M5H 2Y4
Phone: 416-365-1900
Toll Free: 1-800-265-3097
Fax: 416-365-7664
Email: [email protected]

          What is the difference between an Insurance Broker and an Insurance Agent?       



An Insurance Agent works for one company and can only offer the products of that company.  An Insurance Broker has access to the products of several insurance companies.

What are the steps to become an Insurance Broker? 

1.   Research the profession in Ontario

The first step is to research the profession in Ontario to determine if it is right for you.  This would include looking at the other professions within the insurance industry such as Insurance Agent.

2.   Review the licensing criteria and make note of all documents, tests, and requirements that are necessary to obtain

The Licensing section of the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO) website provides the requirements to obtain an Insurance Broker license in Ontario.  If you are starting, you will particularly want to pay attention to the entry level (Acting under supervision) individual license and the examination process for that level.  Individuals who are currently licensed in another jurisdiction or who are licensed as “Other Than Life (OTL)” with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) may qualify to write equivalency examinations.
Some insurance brokerage firms will hire prospective employees without a license on a conditional basis of obtaining the necessary license within a prescribed amount of time.  Review the job posting to see whether or not a license is required at the time of hiring.

3.   Consider the added benefits of a professional designation

There are several professional designations available for those in the field of Insurance Broker.  Although, they are not necessary to act as an Insurance Broker some employers and clients require them.  Employers will often help or encourage their employees to pursue a professional designation.  Obtaining one or more designations can increase your opportunities for advancement and income growth.
The Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) from the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) and the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) from the Insurance Institute of Canada are two of the most recognized designations in the field.  They both offer online learning for the required courses.

4.   Select and undertake a study method

Once you decide that you are interested in becoming an Insurance Broker, you should select your method of study for the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO) license examination.  The Entry Level Exam section of the RIBO lists the available self-study resources.
For example, the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) offers a Basic Broker Preparation Course to both members and non-members.  This course is available online for self-study or in-class in limited locations across Ontario through the local IBAO chapter or community college.  The Insurance Institute of Ontario also has a self-study package called “Ontario Broker Licensing Kit”.  Some local chapters of the Insurance Institute of Ontario occasionally offer an intensive licensing preparation program (Agent/Broker Basic Licensing Program or Agent/Broker Licensing Course).  These seminars are often for both Insurance Brokers and Insurance Agents with the examination at the conclusion of the program.  There is also additional study material available from other sources.

5.   Register and undertake examination

Once you are ready or if it does not occur at the end of a training program, you will need to apply to write the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO) examination.  Please note that employment or sponsorship is not required to write the examination.

6.   Complete employment and other requirements

If successful at the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO) examination, employment with a RIBO registered general insurance brokerage firm and other licensing criteria are required to be officially registered with RIBO to act as an Insurance Broker.  Afterwards, you might want to revisit your professional designation options.  Certain professional designations allow participants to take courses towards a designation before being licensed.  However, participants do have to be licensed to use the designation upon completion of the program.

What is the difference between the OTL & the RIBO license?  


Both the RIBO (Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario) and OTL (Other Than Life) license allow you to sell home and auto insurance, however the OTL qualifies you to be an Insurance Agent while the RIBO license qualifies you to be an Insurance Broker.

What is the difference between the RIBO License and the LLQP license? 

The RIBO (Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario) license qualifies you to sell habitational and auto insurance while the LLQP (Life License Qualification Program) license qualifies you to sell life insurance (Life includes accident and sickness).

   Is it possible for my international work experience and credentials to help me become an Insurance Broker?



Your international work experiences and credentials can enhance your competitiveness.   However, you still need some relevant Canadian work experience and credentials to become an Insurance Broker in Ontario.

   What are soft skills and are they important for this profession?



Soft skills refer to a set of non-technical or interpersonal skills that influence how individuals interact with each other.  They are important for all professions.  Canadian employers across all fields and industries have identified the lack of Canadian-specific soft skills and professional workplace communication as the greatest barrier to employment for internationally-trained professionals, regardless of the individual’s qualifications and education.  Understanding the local language and customs of business is the key to success in any workplace.

   What are some Professions North/Nord (PNN) services that can help?


Portfolio Development
Sign Post
Intercultural Communication for the Canadian Workplace (ICCW)

Is there financial aid available?   



Since the profession of Insurance Broker is a professional or industry program, financial aid is often not available.  However, certain employers subsidize in part or in full the cost of licensing for their employees.

   Where can I find an occupation profile for this profession?



Ontario Job Futures
Working in Canada
Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC)

What are some other useful resources/links for this profession?     


Insurance Institute of Canada
Local Chapters of Insurance Institute of Ontario
Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC)
Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO)