Difference between OTL & RIBO

The article discusses what is the difference in OTL and RIBO and to what employment these two are tied.
Written by Student Success
Updated 2 years ago

In Ontario, if you want to sell or advise clients on insurance matters, you will need to be licensed as either an insurance agent or an insurance broker. They require different licensed but it’s not always clear what the difference is. In this article, we’ll talk about the differences between OTL vs RIBO.


In Ontario, an insurance agent is someone who represents an insurance company and only that insurance company. That means they are employees of that insurance company and can only sell products provided by that insurance company.

An insurance broker typically works at a brokerage and represents multiple insurance companies. This means they have access to more insurance companies and more products to choose from.

One is not necessarily better than the other so it really just depends on what work you want to pursue in the industry. But for students that aren’t sure, I recommend that they get a RIBO license as there are usually more job openings and the license is more transferrable.


People looking to be insurance agents will need to study for and pass the OTL exam. Students can get OTL study materials here.

People wanting to be insurance brokers, will need to study for and pass the RIBO exam. Students can get RIBO 1 study materials here.

Although the exams are different, the study materials are mostly the same with the RIBO exam requiring you to also study a RIB Act/Regulations/By-laws module.

Students who are unsure about which one to get should get the RIBO 1 license. If you find a job that requires an OTL license, you can just transfer it over without any further examinations.


If you’re currently OTL licensed and want to transition into a RIBO license, you don’t have to write a whole new exam. OTL licensees are generally eligible to write a smaller 20 question exam covering only the RIB Act/Regulations and By-laws module.

Students can prepare for this using the RIBO Equivalency course.

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