The KNF (Polish Financial Supervision Authority) broker exams – how to prepare?

The profession of a broker has become increasingly desirable in recent years. Entrepreneurs, or even individuals, more frequently decide to use brokerage services, which makes it quite a popular choice for a career path among people interested in the insurance industry. Especially since there are more and more tools and programmes available on the market to facilitate brokers’ work – for example, CRM for insurance brokers to support daily work with clients.


It turns out, however, that no specific studies are required to become a broker, although in fact a higher education related to the brokerage subject will certainly prove helpful. In order to obtain a license entitling to practice the profession, however, you have to take an examination for insurance and reinsurance brokers carried out by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF). This exam is regulated by the ordinance of the Ministry of Finance of 24 November 2003.


How to become an insurance broker?

Although, in theory, anyone can become a broker, in practice obtaining a licence may prove to be a difficult task. First of all, you have to prepare for the exam on your own and then score a certain number of points. However, if the score is insufficient, a candidate for a broker must face an oral part. If this stage is also unsuccessful, the candidate may try again only after a period of three months following the publication of the results. The exams are announced no later than two months prior to the scheduled exam date, and the frequency of the exams is actually determined by the number of applications – only when there are at least 25 declared applicants, the PFSA will organise the exam. In order to register for the exam, you must first pay the appropriate amount to the bank account indicated and fill in the application form specified on the KNF’s official website.


If the exam participant obtains 75 points, they receive the appropriate license and are entered into the nationwide list of brokers


How to prepare for the KNF exam?

Various courses offering training in the necessary range of material in just a few days are currently available on the market. However, the costs of such a course often amount to a few thousand. It is also possible, using the literature available on the market, to prepare on your own. The scope of the material covers not only issues such as broker ethics, knowledge of the insurance market, criteria for selecting and evaluating an insurance company, risk management procedures or insurance development features. A candidate for a broker must also have knowledge of the history and origins of insurance, business and civil law.


Is the broker exam difficult?

It is quite hard to provide a definitive answer to this question, although it is generally accepted that it is, especially if you look at the statistics. The pass rate in recent years has been only 20%, but in March this year, for example, 46% of those who took the exam were successful. It may be easier for those who are familiar with the industry and have already worked as brokers, but that doesn’t mean that candidates from outside the industry don’t stand a chance. The greatest difficulties usually occur with issues that do not necessarily relate to everyday knowledge – for example, those concerning the history of insurance. Problems are equally common when dealing with very detailed insurance law case-studies, and the specifics of the questions themselves can seem quite unusual. Fortunately, not only are there  plenty of useful resources on the Internet, but also a database of tests from previous years, which will certainly allow the candidate to get used to the formula of questions.


How many points do you need to pass the broker exam?

To pass the Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers exam, you must score 75% in the written part.Given that the exam consists of 100 close-ended single-choice questions, it is not difficult to calculate that 75 questions must be answered correctly.


How much is the broker exam?

The current examination fee is 600 PLN, but you should also be prepared for the costs of course materials and travelling to the capital to take the exam.


Who can be exempt from the broker exam?

There are cases in which it is not necessary to take the brokerage examination. This applies to graduates of degree programmes which have been approved by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) and which, according to this approval, cover the material required for the broker exam. However, no more than 3 years may have passed since the graduation – otherwise the candidate is still obliged to take the exam.

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