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How to Become an Insurance Agent in Canada

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Insurance sales may not be a glamorous or high profile job, but insurance agents provide products that aid consumers in all stages of their lives. For someone with a knack for selling, a career in insurance sales can be lucrative. In order to protect Canadian consumers, insurance agents and brokers are licensed and regulated by provincial governments. While the specific process for becoming an insurance agent will vary by province, the general process is similar across Canada.

Complete your education at least through the high school level. Insurance can be a competitive field and most employers will not be interested in applicants who do not have a high school diploma. Many will prefer to hire agents who have completed college.

Become employed by a company willing to sponsor you. Typically, you must be sponsored by an employer to become licensed as an insurance agent, and your license is only active while you are employed. Search for an insurance agent position at insurance agencies, financial agencies, or brokerages. Often positions will be listed in regular job listings, but you can also call employers of interest to you and inquire about current job openings.

Determine what training you must complete to apply for a license in your province. Requirements vary by province and by the type of insurance you will sell. Contact your provincial insurance ministry, or provincial department of finance, or an industry association for a specific list of courses required in your province.

Apply for a license to sell insurance in your home province. Be prepared to provide documentation proving that you completed the required coursework and to pay an application fee.

Pass the provincial exam, if your province requires one. Some do not require an exam, or some require an exam only for certain types of insurance sales. You may also need to pass a criminal background check.

Renew your license before it expires. Typically, you must renew your license every two years. If your license is terminated by your employer or expires, you may need to re-apply for a license as if you were a new insurance agent.

Tip

If you are already licensed to sell insurance in any Canadian province, you usually need not sit additional exams or courses to apply for licenses in other provinces. In most cases, you can qualify for additional licenses by providing a Certificate of Authority from your home province to the province in which you are applying for an additional license.

In some cases, you may also follow the same procedure to apply for an insurance license in a Canadian province if you are licensed in any U.S. state.

Warning

You may sell insurance only in the province in which you are licensed. If you wish to sell insurance in more than one province, you must apply for a license in each province in which you will sell insurance.

About the Author

Based in Seattle, Catlin Tidwell has been writing professionally since 1999. Her articles have appeared on websites and for professional blogs. Tidwell is a certified usability analyst, an experienced technical writer and a published short story author. She earned a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Washington.

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