Insurance agents who want to sell property and casualty insurance, including auto insurance, in Ontario must apply for a general agent licence with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). Note that general insurance is sometimes referred to as Other Than Life (OTL) insurance in Ontario.
About the licence
Sponsorship required with an insurer
As a general agent, you must be sponsored by a licensed insurer at all times.
- Your sponsoring insurer is responsible for confirming you meet all licensing requirements, and for managing the application process for your licence.
- As the agent, you are responsible for maintaining your licence.
Fee for a new application
The fee to apply for a new general licence is $150. This fee will cover the first two years of your licence.
Depending on the arrangement you have with your sponsoring insurer, the insurer may pay the fee OR you may be responsible for paying this fee. Check with your sponsoring insurer for details.
What are the requirements for a new licence?
Education requirement for new applicants
Before you apply for a general licence, you must successfully complete the OTL Agent’s Exam from the Insurance Institute. The Insurance Institute offers a range of options to help you prepare for the exam, including virtual classes and study kits that cover all aspects of the general insurance business in Ontario.
Go to Insurance Institute for more information, including a description, fees and registration details.
Once you pass the OTL exam, you will have up to one year to apply for a general agent licence.
Exemption: If you have a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation in good standing or you’ve passed the equivalent Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO) exam, you can bypass the education requirement and apply for the general licence. As proof, you will need to provide:
- A screenshot of the CIP membership page showing the active status and expiry date; or
- An official Insurance Institute letter dated in the last 12 months with the expiry date of your CIP designation; or
- Proof of your RIBO exam completed within the last year; or
- The emailed confirmation of resignation from RIBO, which includes your RIBO registration number and the effective date of the resignation. The date of resignation must be within the last 2 years to be acceptable.
Checklist for a new licence
Review this checklist to ensure you are ready to apply for a new licence.
- Be sponsored by a licensed insurer.
- Complete the OTL Agent’s Exam (or you have a CIP designation in good standing or passed the equivalent RIBO exam).
- Have an Ontario mailing address that can receive registered mail (e.g., no postal boxes).
- Have a personal email address that FSRA can use to contact you.
- Be suitable for a licence.
Once you have met all of these requirements, you are ready to begin the application process.
Ready to apply for a new licence?
1. Ask your sponsoring insurer to set up the new application on your behalf through Licensing Link.
- Your sponsoring insurer will be asked to verify that you are suitable to hold a licence, and disclose any details that may be important for the regulator to know.
- Depending on the arrangement, they may pay the application fee.
2. Your sponsoring insurer will send you an email with two (2) links:
- The first link will lead you to Licensing Link, where you will need to complete the rest of the application.
- You will need to verify your suitability to have a licence by confirming:
- You are familiar with the laws of Ontario relating to the licensing of general agents.
- You will hold yourself out publicly, and carry out business in good faith as a general agent in the name in which you are licensed.
- You are not engaged in any other business or occupation that would jeopardize your integrity, independence or competence.
- You are of good character and reputation.
- You have provided information about bankruptcies, lawsuits, criminal records, decisions from other regulators or licensing bodies and other employment information.
- You successfully completed the OTL exam (you will need to provide the score on your confirmation email).
- You are a suitable person to receive a licence and meet all licensing requirements.
- The second link will take you complete a criminal background check through FSRA’s approved vendor Triton Canada (Triton).
New Criminal Record check process
FSRA is changing its licensing process for criminal background checks to ensure the processes remain up to date. Criminal record checks are part of FSRA’s rigorous licence qualification process to protect consumers by ensuring only suitable individuals sell or offer financial products and services in Ontario.
FSRA now requires new general insurance agent applicants to complete their criminal background checks through one of the two following options:
- Have your sponsoring insurer complete an independent Criminal Record and Judicial Matters check, and have them email a copy of the results to FSRA at [email protected]. This email must include your full legal name and application number
- You will continue to follow the Licensing Link application process above and skip the criminal record check portion, by confirming that your sponsoring company will submit the results of a valid Criminal Record and Judicial Matters check to FSRA directly.
- Note: The background check must be provided within 1 business day of the application being submitted to FSRA, and is valid for up to 90 days.
- Complete a background check through FSRA’s approved vendor, Triton.
- If you are using this option, you must use FSRA’s direct link to Triton’s website provided in the sponsoring insurer’s email to complete the criminal record check. After submitting the background check, you will continue to follow the Licensing Link application process above and provide the 8-digit confirmation number found in your Triton invoice, as well as the date the background check was completed.
- A fee of $19.15 applies for Triton’s service, and the background check is valid for 90 days.
If you have any further questions about the new background check process, please contact us.
3. You will then submit the application to FSRA through Licensing Link.
- If you need to pay the fee yourself, you can do so on Licensing Link with credit card (VISA, Mastercard) or debit cards (VISA Debit or Mastercard Debit).
What happens after the application is submitted:
FSRA will send you an email to confirm it has received your application.
For most applications
If the application requires additional review