OTL And RIBO Licenses – What Is The Difference? (Ontario)



OTL – Other Than Life License for Insurance Agents

Insurance Agents represent the insurer and arrange contracts of insurance on behalf of that one insurance company generally referred to as direct writers.

Insurance Agents must pass the OTL exam.

RIBO – Insurance Brokers Licence
Brokers represent multiple companies within their office. They are intermediaries that represent the best interests of their clients and are able to shop policies with multiple insurance companies to offer the best coverage and price, offering independent expert advice to their clients.
Insurance Brokers must pass the RIBO exam.
The difference between the two exams is the RIB Act. A RIBO licensed broker can move to an OTL License but an OTL License holder needs to write an Equivalency exam – on the RIB ACT to obtain a RIBO License.

See Equivalency RIB ACT for Exam Registration.

Out of Province Agents and Brokers may be eligible for an Equivalency Exam consisting of The RIB Act & Ontario Auto see Equivalency Exam Ont Auto & RIB Act

There are Two Regulatory Bodies that oversee Insurance Licensing in Ontario:
OTL – Insurance Agents – Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)
RIBO – Insurance Brokers – Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO)
Licensing Exams:
RIBO – Courses and Exams taken through IBAO IBAO Become A Broker
Or the Insurance Institute of Ontario Insurance Institute of Ontario Become a Broker

Options available through IBAO:

Broker Launchpad On Demand l For those who prefer studying at their own pace
Broker LaunchPad Weekday Program l Provides the highest success rate
Broker LaunchPad Weekend Program l For individuals who work full–time
Exam Clinic l For individuals who have taken the exam before

IBAO offers Virtually proctored ONLINE EXAMS, conducted either through TopClass or ProctorU. at the Toronto Exam Centre or via a Group Sitting at a Designated Location – see website for details.
COST: $250
Attempts: 2 allowed, then an 8 month waiting period is imposed for subsequent attempts
The Insurance Institute offers Virtual Proctored Online Exams or In Person at an Institute Examination Centre.
COST: $250
The Exam – What to Expect
The RIBO Exam allows 3 hours for completion.
The format is 90 multiple choice questions, consisting of RIB Act, Auto, Property, Travel/Health.
Passing grade is 75%
Eligibility is 18 years old, Valid Criminal Record History, and Satisfy the Only Business of Employment Rule

As of Jan. 1, 2023, all RIBO exams are to be conducted online, or request accommodation for another method.
Exam candidates no longer need to apply to RIBO prior to writing their exam. RIBO applications and criminal record checks can now be completed after successfully passing your exam. (see the website for details) RIBO
OTL – Exams taken through Insurance Institute of Ontario Insurance Institute Exam Prep
They offer a Virtual Class option: live instruction delivered by an experienced, industry professional OR
Study Kit with Online Tutorial: the flexibility of learning on your own, listening to recordings and some guidance from an instructor: choose the recorded class

OTL Exams: The Institute is now offering in-person licensing exams on select days at various Institute examination centres.

You now have a choice – write your exam online using the virtually proctored service or come in to one of their exam centres.

The OTL Agent’s exam is based on learning objectives and content provided in the Insurance Institute’s study kit. You must obtain a minimum of 75% on the exam to pass. Study aids cannot be used during the exam. 

There are 110 questions, and you have 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete the exam.

COST:  $225. 

You may be eligible for exemptions if you hold a CIP, are RIBO licensed, or are licensed in another province, please contact the OTL’s Exam Administrator for more information at otlexam@insuranceinstitute.ca

Any questions should be referred to:

Meredith Howell, VP

JOB-BORN Executive Search Inc.



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