There are many ways to buy insurance. However, most people understand there’s no substitute for the expertise that an insurance broker provides in helping clients make well-informed decisions about personal and business insurance. In this article, we are going to look at how to become an insurance broker in Manitoba.
Becoming a Manitoba insurance broker
The Insurance Council of Manitoba (ICM) is the regulatory body responsible for the licensing and discipline of insurance brokers, agents and adjusters within Manitoba.
As an Insurance broker, you will need to adhere to all of their licensing rules, regulations and code of conduct, as well as The Insurance Act of Manitoba.
First steps and certification
Before you can start your journey to becoming an insurance broker, you’ll likely need to get a background check if you’re a first-time applicant. You can learn more about this process here.
Next, you’ll need to find a certified educational institution where you’ll complete the necessary coursework to become an accredited insurance broker.
Here are some of the insurance certification providers you might consider:
You will also need to know what coursework is required by ICM to become an insurance broker, so we will cover that in the next section.
Licensing and levels
There are three different levels of licensing available to insurance brokers. The following will define each level, including the restrictions and authorized power that each level possesses within the insurance industry.
Insurance license – Level 1
If you want to get your Level 1 Brokers License, you will need to complete one of the following:
- Canadian Accredited Insurance Brokers course (CAIB 1)
- Fundamentals of Insurance course
- ILS Level 1 General and Adjuster Insurance Licence program (ILS L1)
- Property and Casualty Insurance Certificate program from Red River College (including successful completion of the IIC exams)
- General Insurance Essentials: C81 Part 1 and C82 Part 2
- C11 Principles and Practice of Insurance and C130 Essential Skills for the Insurance Broker and Agent
You can also challenge the brokers level 1 exam through the Insurance Council of Manitoba’s program called Council’s Challenge Level 1 Examination.
After you have successfully completed your courses and receive your level 1 license, you’ll be able to start working. However, level 1 brokers are:
- Prohibited from selling outside of the office of a certified insurance agency
- Only certified to work under the supervision of at least a level 2 insurance broker
- Only authorized to sign insurance policies
The next step in your career as an insurance broker is to study for your level 2 brokers license.
Insurance license – Level 2
To get your Level 2 Insurance Brokers License in the province of Manitoba, you will need to complete one of the following:
- Canadian Accredited Insurance Brokers course ( CAIB 2) and (CAIB 3)
- Essential Skills for the Insurance Broker and Agents (C130) and Advanced Skills for the Insurance Broker and Agents (C131)
Or you can also challenge the exam through the Council’s Level 2 Challenge Examination.
Also ICM will deem you eligible to become a Level 2 licensed insurance broker, if you have one of the following designations:
- Chartered Insurance Professional
- Associate of the Insurance Institute of Canada
- Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional
- Fellow of the Insurance Institute of Canada
- Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker
- Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping
- Canadian Risk Management
After you have successfully finished your courses and examination, you’ll be ready to start working as a Level 2 insurance broker.
As a level 2 broker, you will be able to:
- Sell within or outside of a general insurance office
- Sign insurance policies
- Supervise level 1 brokers
Next up, you’ll want to take the final step in becoming a complete insurance broker by obtaining your level 3 insurance license.
Insurance license – Level 3
To apply for a level 3 Insurance Broker Certification, you will need to have held your level two brokers license for at least two years.
After that, you will need to complete one of the following:
- Canadian Accredited Insurance Brokers Course (CAIB 4)
- Practical Issues in Broker Management Course (C132)
- Obtain a designation that the council deems eligible
Or you can also challenge the exam through the council’s level 3 challenge examination.
After completing your level 3 courses and passing the examination, you will be a full-fledged insurance broker.
As a level 3 insurance broker, you’ll be able to:
- Sell policies within or outside of an office or general insurance agency
- Sign insurance policies
- Manage an insurance agency office
Now that you know what it takes to become an insurance broker, it’s time to get started with your career.
Launching your (possibly solo) career
Once you have obtained your level 3 brokers license, you have a number of options open to you.
You’ve likely worked for an insurance agency while you had your Level 1 and Level 2 brokers licenses, but now you are able to take advantage of new opportunities. This includes starting your own insurance office.
You don’t need to rent office space to become an insurance broker as this job can be done from home. But you will need a plan to start an insurance business.
Here are the steps to setting up an insurance business in Manitoba, along with resources:
- Create a business plan
- Choose the legal structure of your company
- Register your company name
- Apply and receive a Tax ID number
- Get the business licenses and permits required by Manitoba
- Buy errors and omissions insurance for your business
- Get a client management system to manage your clients
Getting your first client is a matter of networking. Many brokers find it useful to join relevant groups on social media networks and answer any questions that come up around insurance. Such “soft” sell tactics tend to be far more successful than cold-calling or other hard-sell approaches.
How to become an insurance broker in summary
Now you know how you can become an insurance broker through:
- Educating yourself
- Obtaining the required licensure
- Joining an agency or starting your own company
A career as an insurance broker presents an array of opportunities and privileges that you may not otherwise have. If you enjoy meeting new people, creating your own work environment and working in a helping profession, then a career as an insurance broker might be perfect for you!
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