Suitability to Hold a Licence

Before considering a career as an insurance agent, salesperson or adjuster, individuals looking to become licensed in British Columbia should be aware that they will need to meet the requirements of Insurance Council Rule 3(2), which sets out criteria for suitability to hold a licence.
The requirements consider the applicant’s financial reliability, whether they have had any previous criminal convictions or charges, or been subject to disciplinary action or licence refusal.
Before submitting a licence application, please review the information below. The application process for most licence types requires the completion of a criminal record check, as well as the disclosure of information as noted below.

Criminal Convictions and Charges

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. (See below for more information)

  • Discharged offences: Where the applicant has committed an offence for which a discharge has been granted, and the offence is considered relevant, the Insurance Council may review the circumstances in assessing the applicant’s suitability.

  • Outstanding criminal charges: The Insurance 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 the Insurance Council’s guidelines regarding convictions.

  • Partnerships and corporations: The Insurance 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.

About Criminal Record Checks

The completion of a criminal record check is required for all licence applications except:

  • Individuals applying for a Restricted Travel Agent licence; 
  • Canadian non-residents who are licensed and in good standing in their home jurisdiction; or

  • Individuals applying for a General Insurance Salesperson licence under the age of 18. (Per the Youth Criminal Justice Act.)

Criminal record checks must accompany applications for licensing, where the applicant:

  • Has never previously held a general, life, accident and sickness, or adjuster licence with the Insurance Council of BC; or

  • Has not within the past 5 years held a general, life, accident and sickness, or adjuster licence with the Insurance Council of BC.

Applicants are responsible for arranging for their own Criminal Record Check and any associated fees. ​Criminal Record Checks provided to the Insurance Council must be dated within 90 days of the date the Insurance Council receives the licence application.

In addition to providing a Criminal Record Check, applicants must still disclose their criminal record and details on their licence application form, if applicable.

How to Obtain a Criminal Record Check

  • Criminal Record Checks can be completed online through the Insurance Council approved ScreeningCanada. The secure online platform provides applicants an accessible option to complete their Criminal Record Check.  

    Click on the button to complete your criminal record check online. (Please note there is a $23, plus applicable taxes, fee associated with the service.)

  • ​Criminal Record Checks can also be obtained through the applicant's residing municipal police or RCMP detachment. Please print out the Open Letter to All Police Agencies and provide it when requesting your Criminal Record Check. Police detachments will not process your request if you do not bring this letter with you.

  • The Insurance Council will also accept Criminal Record Checks from other entities that use information maintained by the Canadian Police Information Centre.

Council Rule 3(2) Applicants to Satisfy Council

Requirements for suitability are established under Insurance Council Rule 3(2):

3 (2) If an applicant satisfies 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.

View/download the Council Rules