If you are interested in setting yourself apart from the crowd and showing carrier representatives you subscribe to the highest ethical standards, you should consider going the extra mile and earning the CPCU designation.

The Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation is not just for underwriters. Adjusters, Agents and Risk Managers also benefit from the CPCU designation.

The American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters/Insurance Institute of America, offers the CPCU program.

As a CPCU candidate, you will learn about the financial, legal, operational, and technical aspects of risk management and insurance. You can even choose either a personal or commercial insurance concentration, depending on your professional background and needs.

In becoming a CPCU, you will:

  • Gain in-depth, broad-based knowledge in risk management and insurance.

  • Learn practical skills that you can put to work immediately.

  • Learn how to make better decisions on the job.

  • Distinguish yourself from your peers while demonstrating your commitment to professionalism.

  • Earn the respect accorded those who hold the designation.

The CPCU curriculum balances practical skills with insurance and risk management theory. By learning the why and not simply the what, you will have a better understanding of the p-c business and will be able to make better business decisions.

Earning the designation involves intensive testing. Applicants must pass eight exams. In addition to the four CPCU foundation exams and one elective exam, participants must also pass the Ethics and the CPCU Code of Professional Conduct exam, and three exams in either the Commercial Lines or Personal Lines.

The CPCU designation is easily be explained to potential clients as the highest insurance designation in the industry. The courses focus on giving participants an edge when it comes to education, experience and ethics.

If you obtain the technical designation of CPCU, you must subscribe to the CPCU Code of Ethics. While the code has been in place since 1976, the ethical course was recently added to the program to ensure that participants recognize the need for all insurance transactions to be handled with the highest level of ethics in order to preserve the public’s trust of insurance.

In addition to the benefits, CPCU professionals earn more money. According to a 2008 survey of CPCU Society members:

  • 91% saw an increase in job opportunities, while almost all say earning the designation fast tracked their career;
  • 75% received a salary increase, and nearly a quarter of those attributed 10% or more of the increase to earning the designation; and
  • 97% gained professional recognition.

The Institutes declare that the CPCU designation allows recipients to handle complex commercial property and personal loss exposures with advanced technical knowledge and increase effectiveness and positively affect overall operations with an increased understanding of how different functional areas interact with and relate to each other.

The CPCU program is a very intense. It takes most candidates three years to complete the program and, after all of the course work is finished, the participant’s character has to be approved. An in-depth evaluation into the background of the participant is conducted before the designation is granted. The designation can also help extinguish potentially negative attitudes held by other adjusters when they meet you. When the SIU, CAT or desk adjuster sees your qualifications, they know you have the education, experience, and the ethical standards of the elite.

Of course, you don’t have to have the CPCU designation to be a competent public adjuster, but holding this title can easily help you explain to a potential client what sets you apart from the others who have offered to help. The Institutes offer 100 scholarships for the CPCU designation program each year.

We welcome your comments about the how the CPCU designation has positively impacted your claims. Tell us your story below.