The AIC receives many inquiry calls relating to the topics noted below. We have provided answers to most of the common questions asked by Agents, Brokers and Adjusters on the related topics.
Should you have an inquiry which is not addressed below please contact one of the Alberta Insurance Council office and we will be pleased to respond to your question.
Q: Which applications do I use to apply for a certificate of authority?
A: The application you use depends on the type of certificate your are applying for.
Life or A&S agents always use Form 1.
General agents use Form 1 if the recommendation is being made by an insurance company.
General agents being recommended by the Designated Representative use Form 2.
Adjusters use Form 3.
All businesses other than those applying for a Restricted Certificate use Form 6.
Restricted Certificate applicant use Form 5.
Q: How can I find out if an agent or agency is authorized to transact business in Alberta?
A: You may search for the agent/agency’s name on our web site under the link “Agent and Agency License Search”. Please check the correct spelling of the name when you make your search request. Spaces count as a character. You may enter a partial name to make your search request. If your search request generates no search result, this may suggest that an individual or business with that name is not currently licensed. The status must show “License Issued” to confirm if the agent currently holds a valid certificate of authority. If the status shows “Pending License Application”, this means that we are reviewing an application and a certificate has not yet been issued.
Q: How do I change my address information with the Alberta Insurance Council?
A: You may record all residence address changes, including a new email address, by logging on to our web site (www.abcouncil.ab.ca) using your logon id and password, and make the changes under your personal profile information. You may only make business address changes at the time that you renew your certificates online. To change your business address at any other time during the year, you must submit your new business address information, including your new phone number, in writing and under your signature. Please do not email your new address information. The address changes will not be processed.
Q: I am the assistant to a licensed agent/broker. How can I get access to their information to make changes to the personal profile, to enter their CE courses, or to renew their certificates?
A: Only agents and adjusters who are certificate holders will be provided with a personal logon id and password. The Alberta Insurance Council will not provide administrative support staff with a logon id and password. A lot of the information found under the agent’s personal profile is private and is considered to be subject to privacy legislation.
Q: I am an agent/broker that is resident in another Province other than Alberta. Do I need a certificate of authority in Alberta if I wish to do business in Alberta or will my license in my home jurisdiction suffice?
A: You must obtain a valid certificate of authority for the class of license you wish to transact in Alberta. You may review the licensing requirements on our web site under the appropriate link. Although sponsorship is not required in some jurisdictions, sponsorship is always required in Alberta. You must have your application signed by the appropriate authorized appointee before sending it to the Council for processing.
Q: We are a wholesale broker, a third party administrator (TPA), or a managing general agent (MGA) in other province. Do we require a certificate of authority in Alberta to do business in Alberta?
A: Yes, wholesale brokers, TPAs, and MGAs are not exempt from the requirements to hold a certificate of authority. If the activities that you perform are consistent with the definition of an “insurance agent” (see Section 1(bb) of the Insurance Act), then you must hold a valid certificate of authority. If you are not certain, please contact the Alberta Insurance Council.
Q: I am/was an agent/broker in another jurisdiction. How do I "transfer" my license to Alberta?
A: You do not “transfer” your license to Alberta from another jurisdiction. You must obtain a certificate of authority for the class of license you wish to transact in Alberta by completing the appropriate application form and providing the appropriate fee payment. You may review the certification/ licensing requirements on our web site under the appropriate link.
Q: I am/was licensed in another province/jurisdiction. Your information says that I must provide a criminal record check. I have already done this to obtain my license in my home jurisdiction. Do I have to provide one to the Alberta Insurance Council as well?
A: Yes. The criteria to qualify to apply for an insurance agent’s certificate is set out under the Insurance Agents and Adjusters Regulation. One of those criteria is that you must not have a criminal conviction the nature of which would render you “unfit” to receive a certificate of authority. The Council must have the ability to review your convictions in order to make that determination. The criminal record check or security clearance must either state that there are no criminal convictions in existence for you, or that will list all of the convictions in existence.
Q: I have another occupation or employment. Will I still be able to apply for my insurance agent's license?
A: All other occupations or employment are reviewed on a case by case basis. The Alberta Insurance Council does not maintain a list of “approved” or “unapproved” occupations. When you complete your application, you must provide the name of your employer, your title/position, and a brief description of what your responsibilities include. We will need to consider if your other employment or occupation either places you in a conflict of interest position or in a position to use coercion or undue influence to control, direct or secure insurance business. These are the criteria set out in the Insurance Agents and Adjusters Regulation.
Q: What happens to my fee payment for a certificate if my application is not processed?
A: The fees you paid for your certificate will be refunded if your application is not processed. If you have made an overpayment, the Alberta Insurance Council will refund any fees that are not used to process your application. We will not retain overpayments on file for you to use at a future date.
Q: I only obtained my certificate part-way through the year and I paid the full fee. Now my license is up for renewal. Don't I get a partial refund on my license fees?
A: No. Fees for certificates are not pro-rated. All fees are set out in accordance with the Certificate Expiry, Penalties and Fees Regulation. Depending on the date that you apply for and are issued your certificate of authority will determine the amount of fee that the Council requires to process your application. You may amend the name of the business that is currently printed on your certificate, to change recommending insurers, to reinstate, or to “transfer” your license to represent a different business at any time during the year (other than at renewal time) by the submitting the appropriate amendment fee (see our “Fee Schedule”) with an application.
Q: My certificate has been suspended. How long do I have to re-apply before I must re-take the qualifying exam?
A: For previous holders of a Life, Accident & Sickness, General Level 2 or Adjusters certificate of authority, you must submit a completed application with all supporting documentation and fee payment within 24 months of the date you last held the certificate of authority in order to be exempt from having to re-write the qualifying exam. Depending on when you re-apply, you may also be required to provide a new criminal record check with your application. We will need to consider each circumstance for previous holders of the General level 1 certificate in order to determine if you are required to pass the General level 2 exam before submitting an application for the General insurance agent’s certificate.
Requests of this nature must result in the certificate becoming active before the expiry of the 24 month period, the AIC has no discretion to extend this period.
Q: I have gotten married or wish to change my name back to my maiden name. What do I need to do change the name on my certificate of authority?
A: You must provide supporting documentation (e.g., copy of marriage certificate, copy of driver’s license) with an amendment fee per each certificate that will be amended.
Q: What are the Certificate Terms for Continuing Education?
A: In November of 2012 a change to the Insurance Agents and Adjusters Regulation combined all renewal dates for certificates of authority to a common period, accordingly, a common period for the “Certificate Term” following the transitional year are as follows:
As of July 1, 2014 – All Life, Accident and Sickness, General Agents and Insurance Adjusters’:
July 1 of one year to June 30 of the following year.
Q: When is the first reporting period?
A: The initial reporting periods were as follows:
- Life and Accident and Sickness agents first reporting period was at renewal February 15, 2004
- General agents first reporting period was at renewal October, 31 2003
- Adjusters first reporting period was at renewal May 31, 2004
The requirement for the first reporting period is a one year requirement (15 hours/credits per certificate class)
Q: Are there exemptions for Maternity Leave/Long Term Disability?
A: There are no provisions under the Insurance Act or Regulations to allow an exemption for those agents who are on long term disability or maternity leave.
Q: Is there carry over of hours?
A: The Insurance Regulations allow for a carry over of 7.5 hours/credits per year, per insurance class.
Q: What are the required hours for new agents?
A: 1.25 hours per licensed month. Agents who apply for a certificate of status (license) with 3 or less months remaining in the licensed year are not required to complete the Continuing Education requirement.
Q: How do I determined if a course accredited?
A: All courses which have been approved by the Accreditation Committee are listed on the Alberta Insurance Council website.
Q: How many hours/credits do I need?
A: Each certificate holder is required to complete 15 hours per certificate class, per year to renew their certificate of authority.
Q: When do I need these credits by?
A: When you complete your renewal form or application form you will be required to attest to the fact that you have either currently met your Continuing Education requirement, or make an undertaking that you will complete the required number of hours before your certificate expires..
Q: Should we send in the certificates provided to us by the course providers?
A: No, these certificates are only required if the agent becomes part of the random audit.
Q: Do hours/credits earned in 2002 count towards the first reporting period?
A: Approved credits earned in 2002 and 2003 can be applied to the first compliance period. A carry over does not apply until after the first reporting period.
Q: How do I get the course accredited?
A: Only the course provider can apply for accreditation. The request form and instructions are available on the Alberta Insurance Council website.
Q: Can a new agent use credits earned by a course taken before their license was issued?
A: New agents may use credits earned by an approved course towards their first reporting period providing the course was taken in the certificate term.
LLQP – (certified provider approved by the Alberta Accreditation Committee)
New agents – New agents who have taken the full LLQP to obtain their first license may use 22.5 hours towards Life and Accident and Sickness certificates providing the course has been approved for both classes and the course was taken within the certificate term applied for.
Level 1 Life agents – Level 1 life agents who have taken the full LLQP program, have passed the provincial exam and have upgraded their license are deemed to have met their CE Life requirement until 2007 (for both classes providing the course has been approved by the Committee).
Level 2 Life agents – Level 2 life agents who take the full LLQP program earn 22.5 hours Life and Accident and Sickness hours.
Q: Where can I get information regarding Continuing Education?
A: You may address any Continuing Education inquiries to:
- Alberta Insurance Council
- 600, 10104 – 103 Avenue
- Edmonton, AB T5J 0H8
- Telephone: 780-421-4148
- E-mail: email@example.com
Q: What amount of errors and omission insurance must be carried?
A: This coverage is indentified by regulation an extract of the current requirement is included below
35(1) The errors and omissions insurance required in respect of a business that holds a certificate of authority, other than a restricted certificate, must provide coverage of at least $500 000 per claim with a maximum policy payout for all claims of $2 000 000 in a policy year, and the policy must be issued in the name of the business and the insurance must provide coverage for the employees and independent contractors of the business who hold certificates of authority.
(2) The errors and omissions insurance required in respect of a business that holds a restricted certificate must provide coverage of at least $500 000 per claim, with a maximum policy payout for all claims in a policy year determined by multiplying $500 000 by the number of employees of the business who act or offer to act as insurance agents, to a maximum of $2 000 000.
Q: How do I prove to the AIC that I have the required coverage?
A: Every agent or agency must provide a certificate of insurance in the form required by the AIC. The form is available on the AIC web site.
Q: What happens if my errors and omissions coverage is cancelled or not renewed?
A: The regulation requires the issuer of the coverage to provide 30 days advance notice if coverage is canceled or not renewed. If a replacement certificate is not received by the AIC the certificate of authority is suspended until prove of coverage is provided. If this occurs the certificate will be required to complete a new application and pay a fee for reinstating the certificate.
How long will it take to investigate my complaint?
The length of time that a complaint file is open depends on many factors, including the complexity of the complaint, the number of parties involved in the complaint who may need to provide evidence to the investigator, the number of documents involved in a complaint, and the length of time that it takes for all parties involved to respond to the investigator’s questions.
Can you get any money back which I believe is owed to me?
The Councils cannot order reimbursement of any money which you may be entitled to. That is a civil matter, which you should discuss with a lawyer of your choice.
What will happen to the person or company I complained about?
If your complaint cannot be proven, the complaint file will be closed.
If your complaint does not fall within the jurisdiction of the AIC, you may be referred to another regulatory body, the police, or the civil Court.
If your complaint can be proven, the sanctions available to the Councils include a warning, a fine, and the suspension or revocation of the person’s or company’s license. The Councils can also order that a person found guilty take one or more continuing education courses.
How is a person charged with a violation of the Insurance Act or Regulations?
The investigator handing the file can proceed with charges against a license holder in one of two ways: an Agreed Statement of Facts and Joint Submission (“ASOF”) or a Report to Council (“RTC”). For an ASOF, the license holder being charged and the investigator must agree on the facts of the case as well as the proposed penalty before it is submitted to the appropriate industry Council. For an RTC, the investigator compiles the evidence gathered against the license holder, sends it to the license holder for review and so that they can submit a statement and any evidence which they believe supports their version of what happened in the case, and once that documentation has been sent back to the investigator, the RTC and the documentation submitted by the license holder is submitted to the appropriate industry Council. The Council will review the documentation submitted and then make a decision, which will then be posted on our website under the “Compliance and Enforcement” tab.