In Canadian provinces outside of Alberta and Ontario, the most common question I get from new brokers looking to get their Level 1 license is whether they should take the CAIB 1 or the Fundamentals of Insurance course. There are pros and cons to each path and I’ll outline the choice between CAIB 1 vs Fundamentals of Insurance here.
CAIB 1 FOR LEVEL 1 LICENSING
The reason most people choose this course/exam for their Level 1 licensing is because they want their CAIB Designation. To get this Designation, you need to have passed all 4 CAIB exams. If you take Fundamentals for Level 1 licensing, you’ll need to circle back and do this exam later.
The downside to new brokers challenging the CAIB 1 exam is that it is more difficult (short answers vs multiple choice) and more expensive ($395 vs $195) than the Fundamentals of Insurance exam.
FUNDAMENTALS OF INSURANCE FOR LEVEL 1
For most new brokers, this is the default option. The Fundamentals exam is favoured because it is the cheaper exam and it is easier for most people – especially if English is not your first language.
CAIB 1 VS FUNDAMENTALS OF INSURANCE
For most new brokers, I recommend the Fundamentals of Insurance exam for 3 key reasons:
- The Fundamentals exam is cheaper at just $195 vs $395 in most provinces for CAIB 1
- There is less material to study vs CAIB 1 (ex: no farm insurance & less details overall)
- The exam is easier as well since it’s just 100 multiple choice questions vs definitions and short answer questions in the CAIB 1 exams
While there are definitate advantages to taking the CAIB 1 exam first (especially if you want to get your designation) I typically recommend people prioritize getting industry experience and upgrading their licensing levels over earning a CAIB Designation.
As a result, this is the path I recommend to most students:
Step 1) Pass the Fundamentals of Insurance exam and get your Level 1 license to start working and gaining experience.
Step 2) Pass the CAIB 2 & 3 exams for your Level 2 license. Now you can work independently.
Step 3) Pass the CAIB 4 exam to get Level 3 qualified should the need arise for you to become a nominee (aka supervising broker) or to start up your own brokerage.
Step 4) [OPTIONAL:] Now that you have completed all of your licensing levels, you can go back to do CAIB 1 (which should be easy with your industry experience) and get your CAIB Designation.
If you’re not sure, no worries. There’s no need to make a decision now. Our Level 1 course contains materials for both Fundamentals of Insurance and the CAIB 1 exams. You can start studying first and change your mind at any time.