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By: Ronda PaynePublished On: April 3, 2019
In the insurance and financial management world, being able to care for all of a client’s needs is essential to building stable and lasting relationships. The Life Licence Qualification Program known as the LLQP is one of the many tools to help an insurance agent or financial management professional become an increasingly valued partner in their client’s plans for the future.
The LLQP allows a professional to present a range of life insurance-based solutions to their client that wouldn’t be included in their offerings otherwise. To earn the qualification, students must take the program and pass the harmonized LLQP exam.
The harmonized LLQP exam that was introduced in 2016 standardizes qualifications of new entrants to the life insurance industry across the country. Before, each province had its own test and different LLQP exam preparation methods and tools. This meant insurance agents across the country had differing levels of competencies, which is something no client would want.
All LLQP students now must be competent in each of the following harmonized LLQP exam modules:
– Life Insurance
– Accident and Sickness Insurance
– Segregated Funds and Annuities
– Ethics and Professional Practice (Common Law/Civil Code)
– Life Insurance Taxation Principles (though this is an optional module and is not tested, however, it will help insurance agents and financial planners understand life insurance taxation)
The Ethics and Professional Practice module is different in Quebec (Civil Code) than it is in other provinces and territories (Common Law). However, textbooks are the same across Canada.
Achieving the Life Licence Qualification is an excellent strategy for insurance agents, financial security advisors, financial planners and others in insurance or financial management industries to expand their service offerings and be able to help their clients with a complete set of insurance options. Taking the LLQP course gives professionals the ability to assess client needs and situations, analyze and recommend products that fit the client’s needs and provide ongoing customer service including delivering advice on legal aspects of contracts.
Therefore, the LLQP course and exam are a good fit for those looking to enter the insurance industry, those offering clients insurance advice and those working in the financial services industry.
The LLQP is an open-book exam now, which allows students to answer questions as they would in real-life situations: by looking the information up and applying it to the scenario. However, it still requires expertise and skill to interpret and use the information to suit every client’s situation.
Preparing for the LLQP exam requires an understanding of how the harmonized LLQP exam has been set up. The questions on the exam are much more focused on scenarios in possible real-life situations, rather than memorization and recall. Now, to be adequately prepared for the LLQP, students must be able to interpret the information they learn to apply regulations and products to each scenario correctly.
Each of the four mandatory modules noted above (life insurance, accident, and sickness insurance, segregated funds and annuities, ethics and professional practice) represent an individual exam that allows 75 minutes each to complete. Candidates can take the exams separately or in one sitting of five hours.
Taking the LLQP exam in separate chunks is easier for most students in that it can be less stressful preparing for a shorter exam on one topic than preparing for all the modules at once. Alternatively, there is the advantage of “getting it all over with” at one time, so a student should take the exams in the format that makes the most sense for them.
Since 2016, the amount of information has increased to about 800 pages of content for LLQP exam preparation. This increased volume gives students a significant amount of product knowledge than before.
It’s important to know that an additional textbook on taxation is part of the study preparation over and above the 800 pages of content. These taxation questions are not included in a separate exam (as noted above, there is no taxation module exam), but taxation questions may be incorporated into the questions in other exam modules.
Additionally, in preparing, it’s good to know that failing one exam module doesn’t mean failing the entire LLQP exam. Any module that a student fails can be retaken, without having to repeat the exam from the other LLQP modules. A minimum grade of 60% is required to pass each module exam, and you have up to three attempts per module.
Students looking to prepare for the LLQP exam should focus on understanding the logic of the information as they read through it and make notes. It’s far more important to know how things work the way they do and why, to apply them to specific client scenarios, than it is to memorize and regurgitate. Since the exam focuses on helping students use the knowledge in a real-life situation with their clients, reasoning is an essential skill.
It is important also to know the material and where to find key subjects. In an open-book format, being able to locate the right sections eats up a lot of time if there isn’t a system that allows you to find it quickly. Many students preparing for the LLQP exam use sticky notes to label various sections of the textbook to help them find information quickly. You want to be spending the majority of your time in applying the knowledge from the text to the scenarios outlined in the questions rather than flipping back and forth through pages trying to find the details you need.
Therefore, remembering to bring your text and other course materials with you to the exam is an essential element in taking the LLQP.
As is the case with all exams, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep, eat well and avoid getting overwhelmed. Be sure to arrive at your exam location early, listen to the instructions given, focus on each question and try to relax. Good luck in your pursuit of being a better partner to your clients!