All individuals, including non-residents, whose applications are received by Council on or after March 1, 2019, must complete the Council Rules Course to qualify for licensure with Council, except those that qualify for licensure under Reactivation Provision in Council Rule 2(19). Please refer to Council Notice ICN 18-003 Revision of Council Rules Course Requirement.

Processing times: Council is currently reviewing applications, licence amendments and authority to represent (ATR) update requests, received May 24, 2019.

Please note, suitability, corporate, and equivalency applications may take longer.

What Class of Insurance Licence Are You Applying For?

First-time Licence Applicant or Former Licensee Reapplying for a Licence

To work as a licensed agent, salesperson, or adjuster in BC, you must submit a fully completed application to Council, and Council must approve the application. You may not conduct insurance activities in BC if you do not hold an active licence, even if you have completed the education requirements and have obtained employment or a contract.

If you are applying for an insurance licence for the first time, or are returning to the industry after an absence but do not meet the requirements of the Reactivation Provision outlined in Council Rule 2(19):

  • Applicants must submit a fully completed application, including, as required, a criminal record check, fees, and proof of completion of the required education and experience requirements.
  • According to Council Rules, applicants must first satisfy Council they are suitable to hold an insurance licence.
  • Council reviews your application for issues that may affect your suitability, such as criminal convictions, bankruptcy, or any prior discipline or licence refusals. When considering a licence application, staff review the information provided in accordance with the Financial Institutions Act, Council Rules, and Council policies to determine whether a licence may be issued or further investigation is required.

Criminal Convictions and Charges

  • Criminal record check: Applicants must obtain a criminal record check and disclose all convictions and pending criminal charges, including where an absolute or conditional discharge has been granted.
  • Discharged offences: Where the applicant has committed an offence for which a discharge has been granted, and the offence is considered relevant, Council may review the circumstances in assessing the applicant’s suitability.
  • Outstanding criminal charges: Council will not consider first time applicants charged with a relevant offence, until the charge has been dismissed. If convicted, the applicant will then be subject to Council’s guidelines regarding convictions.
  • Partnerships and corporations: Council considers criminal charges (including pending charges) of partners, officers, directors, controlling shareholders, employees, and nominees in determining the suitability of the partnership or corporation. All disclosure requirements and reviews are similar to those of individual applicants and licensees.
 

Financial Reliability

  • Individuals, partnerships, and corporations: Applicants must disclose filings, arrangements, or other proceedings under bankruptcy and insolvency legislation in which the applicant was involved, whether it is related to the sale or trade of financial products or services.
 

Prior Disciplinary Actions or Refusal of Licence

  • Disciplinary actions: Applicants must disclose any disciplinary actions taken or proceedings commenced against them by any financial services regulator (insurance or otherwise), or any professional or occupational body, in any jurisdiction.
  • Licence refusals: Applicants must also disclose previous refusals of licences or registrations by any financial services regulator (insurance or otherwise), or any professional or occupational body, in any jurisdiction.
  • Individuals applying for a Restricted Travel Agent licence and individuals applying for a non-BC resident licence, are not required to obtain police information checks.
  • Original police information checks must accompany first applications for licensing that are received by Council, where:
    • The person has never previously held a general, life, accident and sickness, or adjuster licence with Council; OR
    • The person has not held a general, life, accident and sickness, or adjuster licence with Council within the past 5 years.
  • Police Information Checks provided to Council must be dated within 90 days of the date Council receives the licence application.
  • In addition to providing a Police Information Check, you must still disclose your criminal record and details on your licence application form, as required. Ensure you read the application instructions carefully.
  • You must have your Police Information Check completed by the municipal police or RCMP detachment for your residence address. Please download, complete, and print out an Open Letter to All Police Agencies form. Police detachments will not process your request if you do not bring this form with you. Contact the police agency before attending its office to confirm hours of operation, fees, and method of payment. Council does not have this information. 
  • Carefully read the licence qualifications and requirements section of the class of licence you are applying for. Take the time to understand the whole process. The application package can be downloaded by selecting the licence class above.
  • Ensure you complete the application accurately yourself, and submit all the listed requirements. Submitting an incomplete or inaccurate application will delay your licensing.
  • Check the status of your application through searching Council’s Licensee Directory.
  • If you cannot confirm your licensing status through Council’s website and it has been more than ten business days since Council has received your complete application, contact us.
  • Once you have a licence, you have responsibilities and obligations. Setting high standards of practice can only help both you and your clients.
  • Read Council Rules and the Code of Conduct carefully.
  • Review the Licensee Resources section.

If you have trouble locating the Rules or the Code, or have questions on practice issues not covered in Council’s published material, please contact us

Applying Under the Reactivation Provision

For individuals who previously held an insurance licence with Council:
Applicants who held an insurance licence in British Columbia within 2 years preceding the current application date are not required to re-take the qualifying education if:
 
  • The current application receipt date does not exceed 2 years of the prior licence termination date; and
  • The application is complete; and
  • The applicant is currently applying for the same licence class they held previously; and
  • The applicant meets ONE of the following conditions:
    • The applicant held the same licence class as the current application, for at least 5 of the 7 years preceding the current application date; or
    • The applicant held the same licence class as the current application, for the 2 years preceding the termination date of the licence, and can show that the applicant was actively engaged in the business of insurance authorized under the licence for that 2-year period.
Applicants who held an insurance licence in British Columbia within 1 year preceding the current application date are not required to re-take the qualifying education if:
 
  • The current application receipt date does not exceed 1 year of the prior licence termination date; and
  • The application is complete; and
  • The applicant is currently applying for the same licence class they held previously; and
  • The applicant held the same licence class as the current application continuously for the 1 year preceding the termination date of the previously held licence, and can demonstrate that the applicant was actively engaged in the business of insurance authorized under the licence for that 1-year period.
  • Carefully read the licence qualifications and requirements section of the class of licence you are applying for. Take the time to understand the whole process. The application package can be downloaded by selecting the licence class above.
  • Ensure you complete the application accurately yourself, and submit all the listed requirements. Submitting an incomplete or inaccurate application will delay your licensing.
  • Whether you are a resident of British Columbia, or a non-resident of British Columbia whose home jurisdiction does not have a mandatory continuing education requirement, you must have met the continuing education requirements for your last held licence. A completed Continuing Education Form must be included with your application.
  • Check the status of your application through searching Council’s Licensee Directory.
  • If you cannot confirm your licensing status through Council’s website and it has been more than ten business days since Council has received your complete application, contact us.

Criminal Convictions and Charges

  • Criminal record check: Applicants who apply under the reactivation provision are not required to provide a criminal record check unless requested. Applicants are required to disclose all criminal charges and convictions on their application.
  • Discharged offences: Where the applicant has committed an offence for which a discharge has been granted, and the offence is considered relevant, Council may review the circumstances in assessing the applicant’s suitability.
  • Outstanding criminal charges: Council may not consider applicants charged with a relevant offence, until the charge has been dismissed. If convicted, the applicant will then be subject to Council’s guidelines regarding convictions.
  • Partnerships and corporations: Council considers criminal charges (including pending charges) of partners, officers, directors, controlling shareholders, employees, and nominees in determining the suitability of the partnership or corporation. All disclosure requirements and reviews are similar to those of individual applicants and licensees.
 

Financial Reliability

  • Individuals, partnerships, and corporations: Applicants must disclose filings, arrangements, or other proceedings under bankruptcy and insolvency legislation in which the applicant was involved, and whether it is related to the sale or trade of financial products or services.
 

Prior Disciplinary Actions or Refusal of Licence

  • Disciplinary actions: Applicants must disclose any disciplinary actions taken or proceedings commenced against them by any financial services regulator (insurance or otherwise), or any professional or occupational body, in any jurisdiction.
  • Licence refusals: Applicants must also disclose previous refusals of licences or registrations by any financial services regulator (insurance or otherwise), or any professional or occupational body, in any jurisdiction.
  • Once you have a licence, you have responsibilities and obligations. Setting high standards of practice can only help both you and your clients.
  • Read Council Rules and the Code of Conduct carefully.
  • Review the Licensee Resources section.

If you have trouble locating the Rules or the Code, or have questions on practice issues not covered in Council’s published material, please contact us

Equivalency Request Applicants

Applicants who do not have the required education for their licence class can request that Council consider granting a licence based on alternate education and experience that is equivalent to the licence qualifying education. These are reviewed on a case by case basis and may take longer to review. Application fees will not be refunded if the application is declined.
Applicants must provide:
  • Specific details showing how the alternate education provides the same level and depth of knowledge provided by the BC insurance licence application education requirements.
  • Supporting documentation on successful completion of the alternate education.
Applicants must provide:
  • Specific details of job duties
  • Details describing the scope of insurance products or adjusting.
  • Applicants must submit all detailed equivalency requests with a fully completed BC insurance licence application, including a criminal record check and applicable fees. See first-time licence applicant or former licensee reapplying for a licence.
  • Applicants can expect an initial response from staff within ten to fifteen business days of receipt of the application at Council office. Because each request is unique, staff cannot provide an estimated processing time.

Non-BC Resident Applying for An Insurance Licence?

The national harmonized Life Licence Qualification Program (LLQP) was launched in 2016 and consists of four modules:

  • Ethics and Professional Practice
  • Accident and Sickness Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Segregated Funds and Annuities
 

In Quebec, the Ethics and Professional Practice module is based on the civil code, whereas the rest of Canada uses a version based on the common law. The three other modules are identical across Canada.
 

As it is Council's mandate to protect the public by ensuring agents act ethically, with integrity and competency, at its July 2018 meeting Council determined all life and/or accident sickness insurance agent applicants must successfully complete the Ethics and Professional Practice (common law) module, as part of the qualification for a licence.

  • To apply for any form of non-resident licensing in BC, applicants must represent the same agency/firm and have the same class and comparable level of licence in their home jurisdiction.
  • If the applicant's home jurisdiction does not require a licence, appropriate documentation from the governing authority must accompany the BC licence application.
  • If the applicant's home jurisdiction does not have a website where Council may confirm their current licence status, a Certificate of Authority must accompany the BC application and be dated no more than 90 days prior to receipt of the licence application in Council's office.
  • If the applicant's home jurisdiction has a website where Council may confirm their current licence status and the classes of insurance authorized, a Certificate of Authority is not required.
  • Effective March 1, 2019: All individuals (BC residents and non-residents) wanting to obtain an insurance licence in British Columbia are required, in accordance with Council Rule 2(14), to complete the Council Rules Course to qualify for a licence, except those that qualify under the Reactivation Provision in Council Rule 2(19). Those who apply for a licence prior to March 1, 2019, who do not qualify under the Reactivation Provision, must complete the course prior to June 1, 2020. For additional details view Council Notice ICN 18-003
  • Excluding the Council Rules Course which is mandatory for all new BC insurance licensees, non-resident licensees whose home jurisdiction has a mandatory continuing education requirement may not be required to meet Council’s requirements, provided they keep their licence in good standing in their home jurisdiction.
  • Except for as noted above, non-resident applicants and licensees are subject to the same rules and requirements as BC residents.

Have Other Business Activities in BC (Other Than Selling Insurance)?

For compliance, refer to this website’s Licensee Resources section as well as:

  • Code of Conduct: Effective January 25, 2015 the Conflict of Interest Guidelines for Insurance Agents, Adjusters, and Salespersons (“Guidelines”) have been incorporated into the Code of Conduct (“Code”) as Appendix A. Council Rule 7(8) requires all licensees to read and to comply with the Council Code of Conduct
  • Most other employment or business activities have no impact on a licensee’s insurance activities. Council addresses most concerns through licence conditions or restrictions.
  • For specific business activities where Council believes the potential for a conflict of interest is so significant it is not prepared to issue a licence, refer to List of Other Employment and Business Activities Considered by Council.

Licence Applicants

 

After your application is approved:

  • Periodically review the List of Other Employment and Business Activities Considered by Council (“the List”) to keep up-to-date with Council decisions.
  • Even if your business activities are not on the List of Other Employment and Business Activities Considered by Council, use discretion to ensure they do not have the potential to create a conflict of interest.
  • If you start a business activity after you get your licence: You don’t have to notify Council, if it’s not a business activity similar to one on the List where Council has declined to issue a licence.
  • If you start or are engaging in business activity similar to one where Council has declined to issue a licence: 
    • Immediately notify Council using the Request for Review of Other Business Activities form. Council will review and determine an appropriate course of action.
    • Immediately modify your insurance activities in accordance with the licence conditions outlined in the List:
      • If a complaint arises that is related to the business activity, directly or indirectly, licensees who do not modify their insurance activities could have their suitability reviewed.
      • If licensees are found to have acted in a conflict of interest based on their business activity, they can be subject to disciplinary or other action as warranted.
  • Licensees are always welcome to submit a Request for Review of Other Business Activities form.

Before applying for a licence

Before considering a career as an insurance agent, salesperson or adjuster, individuals looking to become licenced in British Columbia should be aware of Council's Rule 3(2), which explains that an applicant must satisfy Council that the applicant:

a) has met all of the requirements set out in the Financial Institutions Act and Council Rules;

b) is trustworthy, competent and financially reliable;

c) intends to publicly carry on business as an insurance agent, salesperson or adjuster in good faith and in accordance with the usual practice of the business of insurance;

d) has not in any jurisdiction:
     i) been refused, or had suspended or cancelled, an insurance licence or registration;
     ii) been convicted of an offence; or
     iii) been refused or had suspended or cancelled a licence or registration in any other financial services sector or 
          professional field;
     for a reason that reveals the applicant unfit to be an insurance agent, salesperson or adjuster; and

e) does not hold other business interests or activities which would be in conflict to the duties and responsibilities of a licensee, or give rise to the reasonable possiblility of undue influence.

then the Council may consent to issuing a licence.

See how Council reviews applicant suitability