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How to Become an Insurance Broker in Vancouver, BC

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You must have a license from the Insurance Council of British Columbia (ICBC) if you wish to work as an insurance broker in Vancouver. There are several different kinds of licenses available, but all brokers must start out by obtaining a Level 1 insurance license. With that license, you can determine which specialty licenses and licensing levels best match your career goals.

Earn a high school diploma. Although college courses, particularly business, finance and economics classes, may be helpful in getting a job, a high school diploma is a minimum. According to the Insurance Brokers Association of British Columbia (IBABC), some insurance companies hire aspiring brokers right out of high school and supervise their training.

Meet requirements for a Level 1 insurance license by passing either Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker 1 (CAIB) exam or the Fundamentals of Insurance exam. IBABC gives these exams several times a year. They also offer courses and study materials to help you prepare for the test.

Submit an application for a General Salesperson Level 1 insurance license to the ICBC. Obtain an application for from their website and submit it along with the application fee, copy of your exam scores and a criminal background check. As of 2010, the application fee was $250. According to the ICBC, the means for obtaining your criminal background check depends on where you live. Check their website for location specific criminal background check rules. (See resources.)

Take Level 2, 3 and 4 licensing exams, if desired. Although you are an insurance broker after receiving your level 1 license, obtaining higher licensing levels gives you more freedom in terms of the kinds of policies you can sell independently. Further licensing also allows you to manage a brokerage or start your own brokerage. These exams are available through IBABC, as are courses and study materials you need to prepare. After completing each exam, you will need to apply for the matching license via ICBC.

Tip

The IBABC and ICBC websites both offer information about the work you can and can't do at various licensing levels as well as specializations you can achieve once you have your initial Level 1 broker license.

About the Author

Lily Welsh is a freelance writer from North Carolina, though she has spent much of her adult life living abroad. She is the About.com Guide to Music Careers, and her work appears frequently in other Web-based and print publications. Welsh has worked in the music industry for 15 years and counting and holds B.A.s in international studies and economics.

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