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IIA and CPCU: Education for the Insurance Professional

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Definitions Last Updated: 05/27/2011

Education within the insurance field to enhance the ethical & technical knowledge of its professionals is just as important as in any other field of business.

Graduating from a IIA or CPCU Course

Insurance professionals enhance their knowledge of insurance by earning IIA certifications or a CPCU designation.

Just like with any other professional field, insurance has its own profession specific education and designations. Unlike in other fields though, this education is not a requirement (like a law degree) to get a job in the insurance field. But, having this education under your belt does present you as a better candidate for open insurance positions and also promotions.

What Is the IIA and CPCU?

The Insurance Institute of America (IIA) and the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation program, provide training and education for those that are in the insurance field. Their training is specific to just property and casualty insurance (homeowners, auto and businesses).

They offer classes in claims adjusting, underwriting, reinsurance, premium auditing and also risk management.

Where did the IIA and CPCU Start?

The Insurance Institute of America was the first of the two that was started and was founded in 1909. It is still the oldest national organization that has provided education in the fields of property and liability insurance on a continuous basis.

The American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter started the CPCU designation program and was founded in 1942. It was a combination of all the parts of the property and casualty insurance industry coming together to promote ethical behavior and competence in the technical aspects of insurance.

Both the Insurance Institute of America and the American Institute for CPCU merged in 1953 to provide education to insurance professionals as one entity.

Is There any Significance to these Acronyms?

For an insurance professional to earn a CPCU designation and be a member of the CPCU Society, it takes hard work and a long series of courses and testing. Once they have earned this designation they can put the acronym CPCU after their name in all of their business correspondence. Because it is an insurance specific designation and not something that is general knowledge, only those in the insurance field really understand and respect being able to put CPCU after you name.

But, this designation is the same as being able to put CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or RN (Registered Nurse) after your name in other fields. In insurance the CPCU designation means that this person has meet the experience requirement, passed their insurance knowledge courses and tests and also met their ethics requirements.

Do the Institutes Do Anything Else?

The institutes also include the Insurance Research Council which collects and analyzes insurance data to provide information through research reports. They also offer executive education programs through The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition, there is also the Institute for Global Insurance Education (IGIE) that the institutes are a part of with the insurance institutes of nine additional nations to “provide a forum for members to discuss educational issues with global implications.”

For more information about the IIA and the CPCU visit their website at: aicpcu.org

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele’s first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she’s earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

Reviews (3)

  • Tarek Obaid

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    There is also the ARM, Associate in Risk Management designation. ARM is a 3 part course and provides you with the basics of risk assessment,control and financing. While primarily a commercial insurance technique I have found it to be valuable in personal insurance as well.

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    • Michele Wilmonen

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      Yes, there is and thank you for adding that. It also looks like our post needs a bit of an update, as the company that provides this education is now called The Institutes.

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  • Houston Texas public adjusting

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    Superb, what a webpage it is! This webpage gives helpful
    information to us, keep it up.

    Reply

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