Selling life insurance may not come immediately to mind when considering one’s career options but for some, it may be a dream career. Life insurance is considered an integral part of the foundation of a long-term financial plan, so it’s a product that people need, whether they know it or not. Life insurance is designed to help loved ones from the financial insecurity that may occur upon the death of a family income earner. It falls to the life insurance agent to help clients understand their individual needs, and guide them toward choosing appropriate life insurance policies to help fill those needs while being mindful of the client’s budget. Becoming a life insurance agent in Canada can be a great career choice, with many opportunities and lots of room for personal growth and advancement.1
The insurance industry in Canada is regulated at the national and provincial levels.
The federal level is focused on ensuring the financial stability of insurance companies, while the provincial level deals with the licensing of individuals.2 Each province and territory has its own insurance regulator, who determines which insurance roles require a license, and the requirements to earn that license.2 The specific process for becoming an insurance agent will vary by province, but the general process is similar across Canada except in Quebec, which follows different training and licensing procedures.2
Some common general steps to become a life insurance agent in Canada:
CertificationThose wishing to sell life insurance products in Canada must complete and pass the Harmonized Life License Qualification Program (LLQP), a national exam implemented across Canada, including Quebec.3
Register for the exam in your provinceAlthough implemented across Canada, you must register with your provincial insurance council, where you can find information on local course providers.2
There are five modules to the LLQP:4
- Life insurance
- Accident & sickness insurance
- Segregated funds & annuities
- Ethics & professional practice
- Ethics & professional practice (Quebec)
Depending on the license you want to obtain, you must complete a combination of the five modules. To become certified, you must pass all modules associated with the license you are seeking. Once you are certified, you need to register for the licensing exams with your provincial insurance regulator.4
SponsorshipOnce you pass the LLQP exams, you need to find an insurance provider to sponsor your license application in your home province if you are not sponsored prior to this point.4 The insurer is responsible for making sure you have met the criteria and are a suitable candidate for licensing. They are also responsible for overseeing your activity to make sure you comply with the rules and regulations governing insurance agents.
Individual provincial requirements
Individual provinces may have their own specifications you must meet.
You can only sell insurance 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. But, if you are already licensed to sell insurance in any Canadian province, you usually won’t need to take 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.5
Most provinces will require ongoing Continuing Education (CE) hours each year to maintain your license. Check with your province’s insurance regulator website for information on how to get the CE hours you’ll need.2
Do your homework!
Although the process for becoming a life insurance agent in Canada is similar throughout most of the provinces (except Quebec), it’s always a safe bet to get the most current information regarding certification and licensing through your provincial insurance regulator. Doing so will ensure you are on the right path to achieve success in your new career selling life insurance!
- Alberta Insurance Council
- Insurance Council of British Columbia
- Insurance Council of Manitoba
- Financial and Consumer Services Commission (New Brunswick)
- Superintendent of Insurance (Newfoundland and Labrador)
- Superintendent of Insurance (Northwest Territories)
- Superintendent of Insurance (Nova Scotia)
- Superintendent of Insurance (Nunavut)
- Financial Services Commission of Ontario
- Superintendent of Insurance (Prince Edward Island)
- Autorité des marchés financiers (Quebec)
- Insurance Councils of Saskatchewan
- Superintendent of Insurance (Yukon)
- Center for Life Insurance & Financial Education, How to Become an Insurance Agent, (October 16, 2020)
- Insurance Institute, Insurance Licensing in Canada (October 16, 2020)
- ILScorp, LLQP – Life Insurance Qualification Program, (August 26, 2020)
- IFSE Institute, How do I become a life insurance agent in Canada? (October 20, 2020)
- Career Trend, How to Become an Insurance Agent in Canada (October 20, 2020)
Categories: Careers in Insurance, Insurance Agents