Insurance Careers Certifications

In an attempt to establish uniformity in the training of insurance professionals, several industry associations and institutions have developed certification programs. These programs provide specialized insurance training and establish a standard of care and code for ethical behavior for people employed in insurance careers.

The main benefits of insurance certifications are:

  • Credibility boosters. Certifications are an objective, third-party endorsement of professional knowledge and experience. The initials (and they all go by initials) hold instant recognition by those working in the field of insurance, and they are considered significant achievements. In many career paths, certifications are necessary for advancement. If working directly with clients, certifications demonstrate knowledge obtained.
  • Opportunities for increased earnings. According to the American College, which awards Chartered Life Underwriter certifications, earnings can increase significantly. In the first year after obtaining a CLU, most earn on the average of 27 percent higher production income than their peers.
  • Portability. A designation follows you wherever you go in your career. It is not dependent upon your employment situation.

Insurance certification can be a lengthy and intensive process. Most certification programs entail a significant amount of self-study, work experience, and the ability to pass an exam or series of exams.

Once an insurance certification is awarded, the person must demonstrate participation in continuing education activities. Many programs require a certain number of continuing education credits be obtained annually. Certifications may be valid for a defined period of time or may need to be renewed periodically.

What Is an Insurance Certification?

An insurance certification is a designation awarded by an independent association or institution. They are not government issued, like insurance licenses. Instead, they are awarded to individuals who meet criteria established by an industry organization that offers specialized insurance training.

The criteria needed to achieve an insurance designation vary. Typically the individual must meet job experience requirements, participate in educational courses, and pass an exam or series of exams. The associations publish extensive materials to help one prepare for the examination. In addition, there are a variety of independent third-party vendors that offer study preparation courses, training tools, and software.

The following are some common certifications that can advance an insurance career:

  • Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU). This program has eleven courses of which eight must be completed to receive the designation. The designation signifies that the recipient has been formally trained in the field of property/casualty insurance and has acquired a concentration in either commercial or personal risk management insurance. The CPCU designation is considered to be a gold standard. It is well recognized as one of the most prestigious designations among property and casualty insurance professionals.
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). This designation is similar to the CPCU in stature, although it is for life insurance professionals. To attain the CLU, candidates must pass ten examinations on topics spanning the range of the life insurance field (e.g., estate planning, pension plans, accounting principals, group insurance, etc.) The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, is the recognized leader for offering courses leading to the CLU certification. The American College reports that in the first year after obtaining a CLU, most earn on the average of 27 percent higher production income than their peers.
  • Associate in Underwriting (AU). This program is designed to develop advanced underwriting skills for property and liability insurance, personal lines insurance, and commercial liability underwriting.
  • Associate in Claims (AIC). This program is tailored to individuals who are experienced in insurance claims. The program that leads to certification improves claim-handling abilities, provides an overview of medical terminology, and improves communication and negotiation skills. ?
  • Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF). The courses that lead to this designation are offered by the Insurance Institute of America. This certification indicates that the recipient has the knowledge required to prepare insurance financial statements and to comply with regulatory requirements.
  • Associate in Risk Management (ARM). This designation signifies that a professional has a thorough understanding of the risk management process and had been trained in the latest in advanced risk financing techniques.
Insurance Careers Certifications

This is only a partial list of insurance-related certifications. There are many others. The industry values these certifications greatly, and they are often necessary for career advancement.

There is no hard and fast rule with respect to when someone should pursue an insurance certifications. In many instances, job experience is a part of the process. Career advancement, however, can be contingent upon receipt of the certification. Likewise, when working with the public, insurance designations serve to increase credibility and can contribute to an individualís overall success.

Prepare for Insurance Certification Tests

Many insurance certification programs offer a blend of classroom experiences and self-paced learning. Online and distance learning is increasing in popularity with many individuals seeking professional designations. The programs most often culminate in an exam or series of examinations. Continuing education credit is available for many insurance association certification courses.

Professional certification tests are quite technical. The candidate must know the material very well. The good news is that there are a variety of resources and tools available for those studying for professional certifications.

There are many test preparation software programs and courses offered by third parties that can help a person prepare. The software programs often provide sample tests a person can take as many times as needed. The practice tests are generally based on the actual test questions and give immediate feedback. When a question is answered incorrectly, the software will explain why the answer is wrong and point out the right answer. These practice tests can help raise confidence and reduce anxiety on the big day.

In recognition of the importance of insurance certifications, many employers will grant time away from work to study for a certification test. Many will also cover the cost of any coursework, textbooks, and other materials, especially if the designation is required for the job.

Property and Casualty Insurance Test Video Review

Property and Casualty Insurance Test Approval of New Rates Training:

Property and Casualty Insurance Test Secrets

Last Updated: 04/07/2013

© 2017 Copyright | Insurance Careers Tips | All Rights Reserved