Since insurance is a unique subject, the FSCO or Financial Services Commission of Ontario oversees the licensing process for agents. Aspiring agents and brokers who want to work with insurance companies as their representatives must obtain a license for taking up the profession. It is necessary to pass an examination to obtain the license for OTL insurance products or Other than Life Insurance products or RIBO insurance brokers who can sell life products too. To know more about the licensing procedure, click here for insurance license Ontario. In addition, licenses are also necessary for independent adjusters.
Before taking a license, you must choose the operational area or the scope of work because OTL insurance agents, RIBO insurance brokers, and Independent Adjusters play entirely different roles in the insurance industry. The regulatory bodies for the agents and brokers are also different. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority or FSRA is the authority that governs the licensing of insurance agents and adjusters. Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario or RIBO is the regulatory body for insurance brokers.
OTL – Other Than Life Insurance Agents
To become a general insurance agent, you must pass the OTL agent’s exam to obtain the license to start the profession. The Insurance Institute of Ontario is the coordinating agency for the OTL agent’s exam. At the same time, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority or FSRA is the regulatory body for overseeing the activities of licensed insurance agents. Besides passing the exam, the aspiring insurance agents must arrange for a sponsorship from a licensed insurer. The Insurance Institute offers virtual classes, recorded classes and study kits, and online tutorials that examinees can enroll with to prepare for the examination. The current edition of the textbooks in the study kit comprises the course of the examination. After obtaining the license, the agent is responsible for maintaining the license.
Insurance Brokers license – RIBO
While insurance agents are only individuals, firms and individuals can both qualify for the license of insurance brokers that act as an intermediary and coordinate the activities in executing contracts between the insurance companies and insurers. Passing the RIBO exam is mandatory for obtaining the license for insurance brokers. The insurance brokers in Ontario come under the Registered Insurance Brokers Act, and the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO) arrange for issuing the license. Brokers sell all insurance policies within the purview of the Property and Casualty (P&C) Insurance like policies for businesses, homes, and automobiles. They can offer insurance products from various companies and provide professional advice independently to the clients.
Even after obtaining the license, the brokers must fulfill the continuing education requirements stipulated by RIBO and follow a code of conduct.
The RIBO exam
The structure of the RIBO exam consists of 4 levels – RIBO1 is the entry-level exam, RIBO2 is the technical exam, RIBO3 is the Management exam, and RIBO4 is the Out of Province Equivalency exam.
As the agents progress in their careers and acquire more knowledge and expertise to operate at higher levels, they must enhance the license by passing the respective RIBO exam about their level of operation.