Issuing of Product-specific Limited Licences Discontinued

Information and Q&A

Published March 1, 2021
Updated July 13, 2022

Updated information is available in our Getting a Licence section. 


The Insurance Council recently identified an issue with the process for granting licences restricted to the sale of one or more specific products.  A legal review determined that while the Insurance Council has the authority to issue these limited licences under the Financial Institutions Act, the current process requires revision in order to be fully compliant with the Act.

As result, the Insurance Council ceased issuing new limited licences with product-specific restrictions.

We are working diligently to address this situation. While we anticipate that this will not be resolved in the short term, this issue is a priority for the Insurance Council and we will be keeping licensees and stakeholders informed as we work to resolve the matter.  

Question & Answer Topics:
General Information   |   Applicants   |   Current Limited (Restricted) Licence Holders   |   Insurers


What’s the issue?

In addition to its regular licensing process, the Insurance Council has for many years also issued limited licences (previously referred to as 'restricted licences')—a type of licence with conditions imposed on it to limit the scope of practice. This is done in occasional circumstances where individuals or companies applying for licensure do not meet the standard requirements for a full licence under the Insurance Council Rules, but their insurance activities are limited to the sale, or adjusting of one or more specific products. 

A recent legal review of the process for granting product-specific limited licences determined that while the Insurance Council has the legislative authority to issue restricted licences under the Financial Institutions Act, the process is not set out in the Insurance Council’s Rules. This makes the act of granting these restricted licences ultra vires, i.e., beyond the scope of the powers currently defined in its rules.  In order to avoid non-compliance with the Act, the Insurance Council has ceased issuing product-specific limited licences until the matter can be resolved.

What does this mean? Who is affected?

There will be an impact on new applicants for licences limited to the sale or adjusting of specific insurance products. No new applications are being accepted for product-specific restricted licences; all pending applications will be closed and application fees refunded.

There is no interruption to those who currently have a limited licence. These licence holders can continue to carry out the insurance activities for which they are licensed. 

There is no disruption to the standard licensing process for insurance agents, agencies or adjusters (General Insurance, Life and/or Accident & Sickness, Adjusters).

There is no disruption to licensing for travel agents or wholesalers with a Restricted Travel Insurance Agent Licence who are also licenced with Consumer Protection BC.

What’s the impact on consumers?

We anticipate that this situation will have minimal impact on consumers, as insurance products continue to be available through current limited licence holders and licensed insurance agents and agencies.

Furthermore, the validity of insurance products sold by limited-licence holders is unchanged as they hold a valid insurance licence.



What’s happening to my application?

The Insurance Council will not be issuing any new product-specific limited licences. If you have applied for a limited licence your application will be closed and your application fees will be refunded to you. All applicants will receive a notification email from us with information about your refund.

What’s my alternative if I want to be able to sell insurance products?

Insurance licensure is available through our regular process of admission. Applicants would need to meet standard qualification requirements, and not be participating in any other conflicting business activity or employment  that prevents them from holding an insurance licence. 


I currently have a licence that’s restricted to the sale of certain product. How does this affect my licence?

Licences previously issued by the regulator continue to be valid, and licence-holders can continue to practice within the parameters of their existing licence conditions.

What does this issue mean for insurance products that I’ve previously sold as a limited licence holder?

The validity of insurance products sold by limited-licence holders is unchanged. Under the Insurance Act, the contractual relationship for insurance products is between the insured and insurer.

Does this affect Restricted Travel Insurance Agent Licences?

Applications for Restricted Travel Insurance Agent Licences for travel agencies or wholesalers who are also licenced with Consumer Protection BC are not affected by this change.

The Restricted Travel Insurance Agent Licence is issued to travel agencies whose employees meet the conditions for licensing exemption under the Financial Institutions Act. This is different to product-specific limited licences.



Are insurers able to continue the distribution of insurance products through limited licence holders?

Licensees who are currently authorized to sell insurance products can continue do so. This includes fully licensed agents, or those with existing limited licences with conditions that allow them to sell that product.

Who can I contact for more information?

To reach our Licensing team, you can contact or 604-695-2007.