I’ve heard I need to wait 2 years after getting a Level 2 General Insurance License before I can take CAIB 4 – is that True?
Absolutely not! Completing your CAIB (Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker) designation and earning a Level 3 General Insurance License are linked by only in a small way.
The Insurance Council of Manitoba (ICM) does require that a broker has their Level 2 General Insurance Brokerage for at least 2 years before they can be granted a Level 3 license. This is to help maintain the professionalism of the insurance industry by ensuring that a person has a minimum of 2 years of insurance experience before being granted a license that would permit them to own and manage their own brokerage.
The completion of your CAIB designation can, alternately, be done as quickly or as slowly as you would like. I have seen people complete all 4 exams in under a year which I think is crazy but they were up for the challenge. You will receive your CAIB certificate and can begin using the designation once all 4 exams are successfully passed.
If you do the accelerated method of earning your CAIB’s, ICM will note in their system when you have earned your Level 2 General Insurance License. Once 2 years has passed, because IBAM has already notified them of your successful completion of CAIB 4, your license will be automatically upgraded to a Level 3 license.
So this means… Go for it!! You can always be working towards your designation as education should be a big goal of any insurance broker professional. You just can’t own or manage your own insurance brokerage at this time but there is plenty of time for that – these are the years for you to be learning all you can about the industry.
This is a great question that I am often asked by entrepreneurs who are interested in getting involved with a stable industry such as insurance. Unfortunately, owning your own insurance brokerage is not as easy as it may at first seem. When looking to open your own insurance brokerage, a few basic considerations you need to make are:
- Do you have a Level 3 General Insurance License? This can take a minimum of 2 years to achieve and is required by the Insurance Council of Manitoba (ICM) before they will grant you the proper licenses to get your brokerage off the ground. Without the proper licenses, it is illegal to be transacting insurance.
- Did you want to sell Autopac to the General Public? For many years, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has not issued any new brokerage appointments (permissions to sell their Autopac product) to anyone who wishes to open up an insurance brokerage. Instead, a person would have to buy out an existing insurance brokerage in order to have the use of their Autopac Appointment. And this is not as simple as it seems – with many rules regarding how MPI manages Autopac Appointments, all business changes will require their blessing before it can be confirmed.
- Can you get an Insurance Company to sponsor you? Every insurance broker needs to have at least one insurance company on board before they can open their doors. This means that, no matter what, this insurance company will agree to issue insurance based on policies that you submit to it.
In all of these cases, the big item needed to start-up your own brokerage is experience. Owning an insurance brokerage is a great dream for anyone to have but I personally would recommend that you work hard at getting experience and learning from senior brokers around you before taking this big leap.
Do not be in a hurry to succeed. What would you have to live for afterwards? Better make the horizon your goal; it will always be ahead of you.
William Makepeace Thackeray
While I have only been working in the IBAM office for a few short months, I often hear people get confused with how the licensing system in Manitoba works. I just thought I would take a moment to explain the different levels to you.
In Manitoba, there are 4 different General Insurance Licenses that are issued by the Insurance Council of Manitoba (ICM). A potential insurance broker must fulfill the required educational steps in order to qualify for a license which means passing an accredited insurance exam.
*Note – CEC stands for Continuing Education Credits which are required by your license renewal date of May 31 each year in order to maintain your insurance license.
Many brokers may find that they have earned a new license level during the course of the licensing year. This concerns them as most people want their license to be upgraded as soon as they pass the qualifying exam. If you have passed an IBAM course, IBAM always submits the successful marks to ICM who will note the update their system. This will trigger a revised license to be sent to the insurance broker showing their new license level at no charge to the brokerage.
For more information on how licensing works in Manitoba, simply contact Katrina at the IBAM office or you can visit the ICM Website at www.icm.mb.ca.
Terminology can be a bit of a bugger in the insurance industry. Whenever I am teaching my students, I always give them the Sneeze Paradox to explain this problem. Think of what happens when someone sneezes. For many, their first reaction is to offer the person a Kleenex. But are they really offering the person a Kleenex or are they actually offering them a tissue? Yep – they are offering a Tissue. We have just become very programmed as a society to always call tissues “Kleenex” thanks to successful marketing and branding campaigns.
What does that mean for insurance?
Ultimately this means that some of the common every day terms that we tend to use are not always used 100% correctly – even in an insurance office. Along with that, it also means some of the terms we use in everyday business transactions are different from the terms that someone like an accountant may use.
Whenever studying for an insurance course, always be sure to keep the Sneeze Paradox in mind. Exams will always ask for the true insurance definition of what something means, not just how it is used every day whether on the street or even in an office.
Looking for all the major insurance definitions? Contact the IBAM office to purchase a Glossary of Insurance Terms book which has all major insurance terms with their definitions clearly laid out in it.