When you registered for the course, you were provided with a text, a study guide and, if you did the self-study option, the answers to the chapter checkpoints. If you did discussion group or an immersion course, your chapter checkpoints were handed out in class. What should you do with these 3 things?
Text – Be sure to read the text carefully. No chapter is weighted higher or lower than another so give them all your utmost attention. And be sure not to read for too long at one time or you stop remembering what you are readying. Studies show that for every hour of studying you should take a 10 minute break to clear your head and refocus. Between chapter are sample policies and wordings – you are not tested on these items but they will show you how the information you learned in a chapter is published in the insurance industry as a reference.
Study Guide – I beg you to not leave this book until a week or two before the exam to use it as your last minute study system. The questions asked in the study guide are very detailed and it will take you a substantial amount of time to complete the book. If you haven’t already, get started on this book now as you need all the time you can find to work on it. This is great if writing out answers helps you to remember ideas.
Chapter Checkpoint – These questions are a great resource for you to see what types of questions are going to be on the exam. While they may not be exact, many of the Chapter Checkpoints highlight the important areas of the chapter so use them to ensure you understand the most important concepts that were taught. The format of the questions also makes them excellent examples of how the short-answer questions are going to be laid out.
Your Notes – The final piece of material you should be using to help you study will be your own notes. Reading is not always enough so making notes to summarize important topics and to list information such as key terms are great way to work on your final review before the exam.
If you still feel like you need more guidance and material to review for the course, a great aid is the IBAM CAIB Online Study Tool. This online course is available for all 4 levels of CAIB and was authored by experienced instructors where each course contains extensive multimedia lectures, downloadable tools, progress quizzes to consolidate your learning, and a discussion board where you can interact freely with a qualified instructor and other learners.
This tool will enhance the learning experience of your Self Study, Discussion Group or Immersion CAIB course. For only $49.00, you will receive 12 weeks of online activation. For more information on how to register for this tool, please visit the online education area of the IBAM Website (found on the member side of the site).
Time to get reading!
A well-known saying is “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Planning and time management is a key to success. It helps you to complete your course in time and save time for revision. If you don’t plan and study haphazardly, there are more chances that you may not be able to complete your course before the exam. We all have busy lives and sometimes that means that certain tasks can fall to the bottom of the list. I would love to say that studying for an insurance exam is the most riveting task in the world but surprisingly not everyone seems to think so.
If you are planning to write your exam in December, you have hopefully already been dedicating time to studying. But if you haven’t been giving your exam as high of a priority as you should be – don’t worry!! It is absolutely not too late if you start making your exam part of your daily routine.
One of the first important steps you must do in the planning process is to discover your time commitment. Pull out your text book and look at the number of chapters as well as their length. Just as us facilitators do in the discussion classes, separate the information into manageable segments. This might mean each chapter is a segment or it may mean that each section of a chapter is a segment. Do what works for you.
Now that you have broken up the book, get out your calendar. Looking at your upcoming commitments, schedule yourself time to work on each of these segments. The next step is easy and difficult all wrapped in one – write this schedule down!!! It is easy to say that you will commit one hour per day after dinner on studying but unless it is written down and you are accountable for it, it is easy to just let the time get away from you. Sharing this schedule with your family and friends will also help others remember when to give you quiet time to work on your course.
If you are struggling to find focused time to study, look into registering for the IBAM Study Groups coming up to give yourself some of the dedicated time that the exam requires for successful results.
Studying for your CAIB or CPIB exam can be a stressful for insurance brokers. The main thing to remember is to always approach and exam seriously and to commit to the process. These are all university level courses that will need time and effort dedicated to them to in order to ensure success.
Over the next few weeks as you prepare for your upcoming exams, I will let you know some key pieces of information that you should keep in mind when you are preparing to write. Do you have a hint or trick that has worked well for you in the past? Please let me know!! I would love to pass the idea onto other brokers to help them make the best of their CAIB experience.
Looking for individual help preparing for the CAIB or CPIB exams? IBAM is hosting informal study groups building up to the December 2013 exam sitting. Contact the IBAM office for more information on how to register.
Happy Halloween Everyone!
Scary Halloween Fact for the Day – The upcoming CAIB and CPIB exams are a mere 34 days away!! Have you been on top of your studying for your exam? Don’t worry… if you are nervous about the exam, you are not alone.
IBAM wants to help ensure that you have the best possible chance at success. Are you struggling with a chapter that you missed a discussion group class for? Preparing for the exam via Self-Study and are unsure of the exam format? Working on a rewrite and want to bounce ideas off someone to ensure that you are giving yourself the best outcome? If so, you should thing about registering for one (or all) of the upcoming Study Group Sessions being held at the IBAM office located at 205-530 Kenaston Blvd in Winnipeg.
These sessions are informal group work periods where an accredited CAIB and CPIC facilitator will be on hand in a quiet environment to help you with any questions or problems that you may be encountering. The cost is $30 per session and is payable by Visa, MasterCard and Company Cheque.
The upcoming session times are:
To register for these session, select the registration form below and once it is complete you can send it to Katrina Hueging at the IBAM office. If you have any additional questions about the Study Sessions, please feel free to contact the IBAM office at 204-488-1857.
Best of luck on your exam!
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.
Back when I was working in a brokerage, I was constantly hearing people refer to us as Agents and / or Brokers. It occurred to me that many do not realize that there is actually a difference between the two. Do you know how to tell them apart?
Well the first thing to realize is that there are only minor differences between the two. Both sell various types of insurance to the public. The real difference is who they are selling for.
An Agent works on behalf of the insurance company by selling only one product. If you have seen insurance company advertising from other provinces, you may have heard of State Farm. In a State Farm office, they can only sell State Farm Products thus making them State Farm Agents. These are also referred to as Direct Writers in the insurance world.
A Broker works on behalf of the client to ensure that they are able to find the best product that fits the clients’ needs. In many insurance offices across Manitoba, you will find that the office represents many different types of companies. This is to ensure they can find a product that best meets their clients’ needs.
In these offices, they tend to be independently owned and operated by individuals – not insurance companies. It is important to know this so you understand why brokers are working for you. While they always keep the insurance companies needs in mind, at the end of the day it is their clients who they really work for.
By using an Independent Insurance Broker, you know that you are getting trusted advice and that your insurance policy is being priced with more than one company to ensure you are getting the best coverage available to you.
I will be brutally honest – most people involved in the insurance industry did not grow up thinking that, when they grew up, they wanted to be an insurance broker. Myself? I was going to be a race car driver, which definitely did not pan out. (Refer to the fact that I now drive a toaster looking car – definitely not built for speed) The only exception to this observation seems to be people who knew that when they were older, they wanted to take over the family business which happened to be an Insurance Office.
But why is this? Insurance is a fundamental need of EVERYTHING!! It makes me chuckle to think how something this crucial is never really talked about when kids are growing up. Now you might be thinking, “What do you mean be fundamental? Isn’t insurance just a bunch of boring people pushing paper in an office somewhere”?
Well I can’t argue that it is primarily an office job but aren’t most jobs based somewhat in an office? The big difference with insurance is that it is a job where we provide something that everyone needs. Think about it. Movies can’t be made without insurance on the actors and sets. Homes cannot be purchased and mortgaged without insurance to protect them in the event of a fire. Cars cannot be on the road without protection on them.
Insurance is an industry that is recession proof, depression proof, and mundane proof. The world is not able to operate without insurance. It is this simple fact that makes is not only a stable profession but also one that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the public. No two individuals, claims or policies are ever the same.
Know I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty interesting industry to me…