What Are the Different Types of Insurance Certifications?

Many different kinds of insurance industry employees - including agents or brokers who already hold state-required licenses - can pursue professional certification. There are several kinds of insurance certifications available, and they generally have minimum education requirements and work experience requirements. Find out more about various types of insurance certifications here. Schools offering Risk Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

General Insurance Industry Certifications

The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research offers the Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) credential to anyone who works in the insurance industry (www.scic.com). There are five required 1-day courses and examinations on issuing different kinds of insurance. The courses can teach you about agency operations as well as how to issue commercial casualty, commercial property, personal residential and personal auto insurance.

The Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation is offered by The Institutes (www.aicpcu.org). In order to meet the minimum experience requirement, you must have worked in the industry for at least 17.5 hours per week for any two of the last five years. Required courses include general principles of insurance and risk management, insurance operations, relevant business law, finance and accounting, plus a sequence of classes in commercial or personal lines and one elective.

Important Facts About This Area of Study

Job Outlook (2012-2022) -6% (for insurance underwriters)
Online Availability Fully available
Possible Careers Agency principals, insurance litigators, risk managers
Similar Occupations Actuaries, budget analysts, cost estimators, insurance sales agents, loan officers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Insurance Agents, Brokers and Adjusters

As an insurance agent, broker or adjuster, you could become eligible for the National Alliance's Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation after you attend a certain number and combination of training programs and courses and pass their corresponding examinations. Your certification options include programs in agency management, life and health insurance, personal lines insurance, commercial casualty insurance and commercial property insurance, or four of these five plus one Certified Risk Manager course.

Another certification option is available through the Institutes. It offers the Associate in Insurance Services (AIS) and Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI) credentials. The AIS designation requires that you take one course in providing insurance services and choose one course among elective programs in topics such as reinsurance, claims or risk management. The AAI designation requires courses in the basics of the insurance industry, multiple-lines insurance, sales management and agency operations.

Underwriters

The Institutes also offers credentialing options for insurance underwriters, including the Associate in Personal Insurance (API), the Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) and the Associate in Commercial Underwriting-Strategic Techniques (AU-S). As a personal lines underwriter, you can take courses and corresponding examinations in personal underwriting and marketing, personal risk management, personal insurance and personal financial planning so as to earn the API designation. If you're a commercial underwriter, you're required to complete courses in the principles of commercial underwriting, including property and liability and commercial insurance. For the AU-S designation, you also need to complete a course in strategic underwriting techniques.

Risk Managers

Risk managers can pursue the Certified Risk Manager (CRM) credential through the National Alliance. Your required courses cover risk management in principle and practice. The courses conclude with an exam at the end of each two-and-a-half-day program.

The National Alliance offers the specialized Certified School Risk Manager (CSRM) certification. This could be beneficial if you handle risk management in school settings. It requires attendance at five day-long courses and an accompanying examination at the end of each session. You'll learn about the principles of risk management as well as measuring, handling, funding and administering school risks.

Several credentialing programs in risk management are offered by The Institutes. They include the Associate in Risk Management (ARM), Associate in Risk Management for Public Entities (ARM-P) and Associate in Risk Management-Enterprise Risk Management (ARM-E). Candidates for the ARM credential must take a series of courses in topics like risk assessment, control and financing. The ARM-P also requires a class in risk management for public entities (including risk control, risk management administration and disaster planning). The ARM-E credential requires an additional course in enterprise-wide risk management. Examinations are required.

Public Insurance Adjusters

Public insurance adjusters can earn voluntary professional certification through the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (www.napia.com). The credentials available to you are the Certified Professional Public Adjuster (CPPA) and Senior Professional Public Adjuster (SPPA). The CPPA examination is open to you if you have a college degree or can meet the equivalent requirements through a combination of experience, knowledge and education. A minimum of five years of full-time work experience as an adjuster is also necessary. The education requirements are the same for the SPPA exam; however, you must have at least ten years of experience as a full-time adjuster.

The certification examination for both credentials is only offered in-person and given several times per year. You're tested on relevant legal concepts, personal and commercial line insurance coverage and the insurance adjustment process.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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