The LLQP Exam comprises four separate modules and competencies:
- Life insurance
- Accident and sickness insurance
- Segregated funds and annuities
- Ethics and professional practice
Some of the key learning areas include:
- Life insurance products including term life, permanent life, universal life
- Disability, accident, and sickness insurance
- Risk management and needs analysis
- Underwriting, pricing, claims; life insurance applications, policies, the agent role
- Investment products such as common shares, debt securities, mutual funds, and segregated funds
- Canadian tax system, investment income and tax strategies
- Savings and retirement plans, including RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs, RRIFs, OAS, CPP/QPP, Individual annuities and group pension plans
- Legal context and role of the organizations that protect clients
- Insurance ethics and professional practice considerations
Below we provide an introduction into each of the modules:
Life insurance is an important risk management and estate planning tool that can be leveraged to mitigate the financial impact of death. It can help ensure that survivors are financially secure, businesses can continue to operate or help the deceased leave a legacy. Life insurance can also be used to create and protect wealth that can be transferred to the next generation. There are a wide array of life insurance products, riders, and supplementary benefits available that allow agents to customize insurance solutions for almost any client scenario. Agents must gain a thorough understanding of the client’s financial needs, resources, and available cash flow to identify the most appropriate solution for them. Agents also play a critical role is gathering information that helps the insurance company underwrite the risk presented by various clients determining insurability and premium costs. The agent must also help the client understand the contents of the contract being provided to them, including policy limitations or exclusions, its expiry and renewal terms, and any assumptions used in the illustrations. Finally, the agent must remember that insurance is not just about selling a product, but must include ongoing service to the client bringing them piece of mind and financial security to those who survive the life insured
Accident and Sickness Insurance
Accident and sickness (A&S) insurance is a complex and multi-faceted domain. It encompasses a wide variety of products, with variable characteristics, designed to meet an even wider variety of needs. Developing a comprehensive A&S program is a multi-step process involving a multitude of possible product solutions, designed to protect both personal and business income and assets. For many Canadians, their group package with their employer is the core, or the totality, of their financial protection plan. However, it must be remembered that, unless the group plan benefits are convertible to an individual contract (and, in many cases, A&S benefits are not), the group coverage is “owned” by the plan sponsor, not the group member. Should the member leave the group (by leaving the employ of the employer, for example), the group coverage would terminate. It is the responsibility of the life insurance agent to ensure that, within the confines of the client’s financial situation, the client has adequate individually owned A&S coverage.
The process of developing a sound A&S program involves five core steps:
- Identifying the client’s needs
- Comparing those needs with the client’s current situation and resources
- Researching appropriate product solutions
- Developing recommendations
- Consulting with the client
The agent’s responsibilities do not end with the provision of product solutions, either individual or group. They must document all client contacts and recommendations and stay in touch with the client on a regular basis, once a year at a minimum. Client relationships can be a lifetime commitment, for both the agent and the client.
Segregated Funds and Annuities
Segregated funds and annuities are important investment products that help individual and group investors save, accumulate wealth, and create retirement income. Their many benefits include their backing by Canadian insurers, which are among the most financially robust financial services companies in the world. This status can give Canadian investors great confidence in both the products and the companies that create the products. The life insurance agent must always ensure that his recommendation of investments is in the client’s best interests. Regardless of the agent’s belief in the strength of the segregated fund or annuity investment, if the investment is not suitable and does not serve the client’s needs, objectives, and risk tolerance, then the agent must not pursue his recommendation. However, when the recommendation for a segregated fund or annuity is the right fit for the client, the agent can achieve a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that he has provided a valuable service and product to a client that can help achieve financial objectives. Being in the business of providing investments also means the agent needs to keep on top of new developments in investing including the introduction of new products, new trends, new analyses, and new requirements for compliance. Reading this manual has been the start of the learning process. It leads to ongoing responsibility and rewards.
Ethics and Professional Practice
Insurance agents are subject to various ethical and professional practice obligations, which are imposed by applicable legislation, codes of conduct, contracts, etc. Ethics and following the rules of professional practice are fundamental to licensed insurance agents and essential in achieving the common objective of insurance regulators to promote professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of the public. High ethical standards are critical to maintaining the public’s trust in the insurance industry and in the profession of insurance agent. It is very important that insurance agents be familiar with legal aspects and be able to guide clients in the insurance process. Agents should never hesitate to refer clients to other professional (such as lawyers, accountants, and tax specialists) advisors when questions from clients are outside the scope of their insurance practice.