Insurance is needed everywhere. Your experience and education as an insurance broker can easily be transferred to new locations – across the province, country or world. Whether you prefer small-town or big-city living, a full- time career or the opportunity to job-share or balance work and study, insurance provides that flexibility.
Follow your passions. Many brokers have become specialists in insurance coverage for activities of particular interest to them, such as sports and entertainment, or marine and aviation. You could find yourself working with people and pursuits you’ve always dreamed of – as an insurance broker.
Some professions have a high turn-over, but many people entering the insurance industry soon recognize the potential for advancement and long-term prosperity available to them. New positions are constantly being posted on the IBABC Job Board, including many entry-level positions. Brokerages are especially seeking individuals with developed managerial, communications and customer-service skills. Individuals eager to progress into higher-level positions and willing to put in the required effort will find opportunities to advance.
As you gain technical knowledge and experience, you’ll take on more challenges. Instead of insuring one car at a time, you might be handling corporate fleets or commercial haulers. From home insurance, you could in time provide course-of-construction coverage to builders and developers. If you choose the world of commercial insurance, you’ll learn about a wide range of businesses so that you can provide solutions for their complex risks.
Everyone needs insurance. Society couldn’t function without it. Most people want the guidance of a professional when they arrange for insurance, and our laws ensure that the highest level of consumer protection is available to them. Being one of the licensed professionals who help British Columbians stay protected and secure is more than a job for many – it’s a calling.
Nearly everything we do – from driving a car or owning a home to starting a business, travelling or even just going to a movie – is only possible because insurance is there to remove some of the risk. Simply put, insurance enables people and businesses to be compensated when unfortunate situations arise. Insurance protects people’s assets against financial loss.
One of the most critical skills in today’s (and tomorrow’s) economy is problem-solving. Insurance is a legal contract with fascinating complexity, and every client’s needs are unique. It’s more than finding coverage for the assets your client owns today. You’ll be a valued advisor helping them with their plans to build a house or start a business. You’ll also help them through some of the most challenging events of their lives, such as recovering after a major loss.
in their community
Insurance brokers are among people’s key financial advisors, along with their banker, lawyer and accountant. As a licensed insurance broker, you’ll be a recognized by friends, family and neighbours as a trusted advisor for the things that matter most to them.
Insurance is about caring for people. Brokers help their clients through some of the biggest joys and sorrows of their lives, like when they buy a new home or when they suffer a loss. Brokers are also frequently on the front lines, helping people in emergencies.
Insurance brokerages are a core service in communities, and most brokers are active in community events. They’re well known and respected, and often influence decisions that go beyond insurance.
Insurance brokers are the link between insurance companies and customers. They recommend coverage based on the client’s stated needs, helping clients manage their risks and ensure that their assets are adequately protected, now and for the future.
General insurance brokers:
- Provide auto, property, liability, marine, aircraft and other types of insurance to their clients
- Recommend and implement clients' insurance coverages, premiums and methods of payment
- Provide information on varying insurance policies, including risk coverages, limitations and other features
- Work with clients to manage and reduce their risk
- Respond to emergencies and assist clients with their claims
Most insurance brokers act as independent business people, and they occasionally offer additional financial products and services such as financial planning, real estate and life insurance (though separate licenses are required to do so).
Yes! A career as an insurance broker offers flexibility, stability, professional credibility, opportunities for advancement and variety.
Insurance is needed throughout all areas of B.C. There are many entry-level opportunities and room for advancement.
People enter the insurance industry from all walks of life and with a variety of academic backgrounds. People who have experience in hospitality, retailing, paralegal work, nursing or teaching will find many skills are transferable.
Although there are no formal education requirements for insurance brokers, courses in finance/accounting, economics, mathematics or statistics, business law and/or management and marketing can be beneficial. However, greater emphasis is placed on individual characteristics such as communication skills, honesty, integrity, compassion and a solid work ethic. A good understanding of computers and popular software programs is also essential.
Brokerages are especially seeking individuals with developed managerial, communications and customer-service skills. Individuals eager to progress into higher-level positions and willing to put in the required effort will find opportunities to advance.
There are usually two main areas of business in a brokerage: personal lines and commercial lines of insurance.
Personal lines insurance involves client’s personal homes, vehicles recreation property, pleasure boats and other recreational items. Brokers who deal in personal insurance generally operate out of an office and have their clients meet them there. Typical jobs include:
- Entry-level Customer Service Representative: as new brokers with Level 1 licenses learn about office systems and workflow, they assist customers with auto insurance and home insurance.
- Personal Lines Representative: As brokers’ knowledge of policy wordings increases, they progress to handle more diverse insurance contracts.
Commercial lines insurance covers businesses for risks such as fire, theft, legal liability and errors and omissions. Much of the work is done outside of the office. And, because there needs to be a deep understanding of the complexities of business, many commercial brokers are specialists in certain industry sectors. Typical jobs include:
- Commercial Lines Representative: Level 2 licensees are able to manage insurance accounts for businesses and commercial property. Visits to clients' places of business or to assess a commercial property are a routine part of the job.
- Producer: Manages the larger commercial accounts and acquires new clients for the brokerage.
- Account Executive: Manages relationships with large commercial accounts.
As licensees gain experience, supervisory and management roles may become available. A Level 3 licence is required to manage all activities within a brokerage including operations, marketing, sales, and administration.
Regulations require insurance brokers to be licensed. Successful completion of the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) 1 course (or the Fundamentals of Insurance course) AND the Council Rules Course will qualify you for a Level 1 General Insurance Salesperson's License in British Columbia. This includes the ability to sell ICBC’s Autoplan.
After you’ve obtained a Level 1 license, you must successfully complete both CAIB 2 and CAIB 3 to upgrade to a Level 2 license.
Once you’ve obtained a Level 2 licence, you must complete CAIB 4 to upgrade to a Level 3 license.
The CAIB program is a national, professional designation program that's provided by the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC). If you’re employed by an Insurance Brokers Association of B.C.-member brokerage, completion of all four CAIB courses will earn you a CAIB designation.
A CAIB exam is written online or, in a few locations on certain dates, on paper.
The CAIB 1, 2 and 3 exams are made up of multiple-choice, definitions and short-answer questions. The CAIB 4 exam is made up of long-answer questions.
You have 3½ hours to complete a CAIB exam.
A minimum grade of 60% is required to pass a CAIB exam.
You can choose to study for a CAIB exam through one of the following five options to fit your budget and schedule:
- Option 1 – Textbook Only
The fee for each CAIB textbook is $295 for IBABC members and $395 for non-members, including GST.
How to order a textbook
- Option 2 – Textbook + Online CAIB Exam Preparation Course
The fee for each Online CAIB Exam Preparation Course is $49 + GST for IBABC members and $99 + GST for non-members. Plus the cost of the textbook.
- Option 3 – Immersion Course
The fee for a CAIB Immersion Course is $995 for IBABC members and $1,065 for non-members, including GST. This includes a textbook. (There is no CAIB 1 immersion course.)
Check available Immersion Course dates
- Option 4 – Online CAIB 2 Classes
The fee for the Online CAIB 2 Classes is $879 for IBABC members and $979 for non-members, including GST. This includes a textbook.
Learn more about the Online CAIB 2 Classes
- Option 5 – Exam Only
If you don't need study materials and just want to challenge a CAIB exam, this option is for you. The fee for first-time CAIB exam-only is $395, including GST. The fee for all CAIB exam re-writes is $195, including GST.
Click here to register for a CAIB exam if you live in Metro Vancouver.
Click here to register for a CAIB exam if you live outside Metro Vancouver.
You have one year to find employment with an insurance brokerage and obtain your Level 1 license. If a year passes and you're still unemployed, you must pass the Fundamentals exam again.
You may register for your exam by mail/courier, by fax or email PDF. Registration forms are available here.
CAIB exams are written in over 45 locations around the province. We'll do our best to provide a convenient location for you. Within the Lower Mainland, exams are only written in downtown Vancouver and Abbotsford.
Yes. For your convenience, the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C. accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Are you looking for a career that provides opportunity to grow, both personally and professionally?
To meet people from all walks of life and to be an important part of your community? To use your own ideas and expertise to help people? To build a rewarding career with no limits in where it might take you? It’s all here in the general insurance industry. And the industry is looking for people like you.
Let’s get started.