Tag Archives: Business

CAIB Study Tip #9 – Relax to Ensure No Silly Mistakes Are Made

Silly mistakes are 100% avoidable on exams so do not become a victim of them. One of the most head shaking mistakes that I see on exams is in regards to multiple choice questions. Students are in such a rush to get through the questions, they accidentally go:

13. D
14. A
16. C
17. D
18. B
19. A
20. B

Notice anything? Like the fact that #15 was skipped?? When this happens, even though I know that the person is answering #16 as though it is #15, I have to mark it wrong. It is such a waste when the person obviously knew the material.

Next important thing to remember is NEVER leave any blank questions. Even if you do not know what the answer is, write down anything even if it is just a definition of what the question is answering or an example of when that situation may occur in real-life. Exams within a few marks of passing are remarked and it can be partial marks for these snippets of information that can make the difference between a pass and a fail. Nothing is worse than failing someone who is only a few marks shy of passing but because they didn’t write enough information down, I can’t find them any ½ marks to help boost their grade.

And if you find yourself stumped on a question, skip it, and maybe a different question will unknowingly give you information that you can use for the one you were stuck on. As exams are computer generated from a bank of premade questions, this can happen more often than you think!


Read the questions carefully. Read the questions at least twice, in case you missed something before. Underline the keywords in the question. Don’t rush. If possible, read the entire exam through before beginning to work. This will give you an idea of what is in store and will help you to manage your time better. It also prevents any nasty surprises with only a few minutes left.

Go with your first answer. Your first answer is probably correct and if you go back and change your mind several times, you are likely to make a mistake due to self-doubt.

Use logic when you’re stuck on a multiple choice question. Usually 1 or 2 of the question choices are sometimes wrong, so take those away. Now you should have two answers, so now there is a bigger chance of you getting it right. Now go over everything and find the best answer out of the 2. The key to multiple choice isn’t thinking “Which one is right?” but instead “Which of these are not right?” and using that until you have one answer left.

Simple suggestions but when it comes down to those last few marks to pass, they can make all the difference in the world!

CAIB Study Tip #5 – Understand the Exam Breakdown

If this is the first CAIB exam that you have ever written or if it has been a while since you last wrote, you will want to refresh yourself on the format of the exam.

The CAIB Pass Mark is 60%. All ½ marks are rounded up and anyone who it within a few marks of passing is remarked to see if any additional marks can be found. This is one of the main reasons why I tell my students to never leave a question blank! A partial mark on a couple of questions could be just enough to bump you up to that 60%.

For CAIB 1, 2 & 3 Exams

This exam is made up of:

12 Key Terms – These are the definitions that are found at the end of the chapter. Each CAIB level has about 80 key terms so you are absolutely encouraged to learn as many of these definitions as possible – 12 marks can be a substantial part of the exam marks needed to help you pass.

10 Multiple Choice Questions – These 10 questions are A, B, C and D answers. Be sure to read the questions very carefully as a small NOT buried into the question can lead to an absolutely different answer than what you are thinking it is. A great trick is to watch the multiple choice questions as they may be repeated later in the exam which can help you remember what the answer is.

26 3-Mark Short Answer Questions – The simple thing to remember with the 3 mark questions is that you can never be asked for more than 6 points on any given topic (as each point would be worth ½ mark each). So if you find a list of 15 items in the book, you only would need to remember a maximum of 6 of them. Many times the question will not use all 3 marks on one thing but will make 26a worth 1 mark, 26b worth ½ mark and 26c worth 1 ½ marks or something similar. The question will all be on the same topic but this will allow the exam to cover as much information as possible.

For the CAIB 4 and CPIB Exams

These exams are composed of all essay style questions. You may have 2 mark questions mixed in with 10 mark questions as you are expected to have a more advanced knowledge of the material at this point of the game. When studying, look for lists of items as they make great long essay style questions such as a 10 mark question of “What could you do in your office to enhance your risk management offerings to clients”. Being able to list the methods you could enforce as well as a brief explanation of each will help ensure your success on the exam.

CAIB Study Tip #4 – Can you Say the Answer Out Loud?

When studying for an exam, we all tend to read something and think “I totally understand that concept.” Two minutes later however, when someone asks you to explain it to them, you are struggling to find the words to get the message across.

I see this problem all the time when marking exams. In insurance, you probably know what a deductible is but can you quickly write out a proper definition of it? Sometimes it can feel like you mind is pulling an absolute blank on an easy question.

To help combat this, study while talking aloud. You may look silly to anyone around you but by needing to find the words and say them out loud, you are prompting your brain to make associations with the idea you are trying to learn as well as the words needed to write the concept down on the exam.

If you find yourself struggling with finding the words when you are writing the exam, a fallback idea is to use an example. This will allow you to explain a situation and, while it may not hit on all of the key points a marker is looking for, it can at least lead to part marks which can easily make the difference between a pass or a fail.

Study Group Poster

Waiting 2 years to take CAIB 4…

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.

How do I open my own Insurance Brokerage?

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

Subrogation, Endorsement, Tortfeasor…. What?!?!

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.

Insurance Agent vs Insurance Broker – What is the difference?

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.

Thinking About the Industry

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…

Opening the door to your Future

Starting on any new career can be intimidating.  Where do I start?  Is this for me?  Can I even do it?  The real question that you should be asking yourself is – Why Not.  A career in the insurance industry can mean a great stable future with the possibility of true success.

In this blog, I want to be addressing some of the common questions and conflicts that I have heard over the last 14 years of being in this industry.  Whether or not it is how to get started, the training a person is required to do and even where it can take you, I can help.  While I will admit to not know all the answers, I am sure that I can at least help steer you in the right path.

Along with that, if you have any questions or comments about anything that you read on this site, please do no ever hesitate to reach out to me.  Comment on a post, email (katrinahueging@ibam.mb.ca) or even call me at the office (204-488-1857).  Helping someone gain success in their life is a true passion of mine so let me help you be the best you can be.

-Katrina Hueging