Career advancement and growth within the insurance industry require a certain degree of self-direction and a willingness to commit to ongoing learning. In an industry with a constantly shifting landscape, acquiring additional expertise through professional certifications sets you up for both personal success and the ability to offer the highest level of service to your clients.
There is a broad range of available specializations and certifications available to the insurance industry, all of which present opportunities—interested in expanding your knowledge base?
Below, a brief overview of the top seven professional certifications that can advance your insurance career and facilitate growth. Many of the instructors at Community Educators hold one or more of these certifications. If you have questions about these certifications, please reach out to me at email@example.com and I can help you find the best certification for your business.
- CIC – Certified Insurance Counselor
- CRM – Certified Risk Manager
- AAI – Accredited Advisor in Insurance
- CPCU – Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter
- CISR – Certified Insurance Service Representative
- AINS – Associate in General Insurance
- CWCA – Certified Work Comp Specialist
- CIC – The CIC refers to the Certified Insurance Counselor designation offered by the National Alliance. Considered one of the most credible insurance designations, it consists of 5 exams that focus on and assess the practical application of insurance principles, including commercial casualty, commercial property, personal lines, life and health, and agency management. To acquire the designation, applicants must pass all % exams.
- CRM – A CRM is a Certified Risk Manager, which is also a designation offered by The National Alliance. It’s generally recommended that you complete the CIC prior to the CRM. You’ll also need a minimum of 2 years of professional experience prior to pursuing this certification. CRMs are experts in eliminating, preventing, and minimizing risk. Also covering five areas, the CRM certification includes 80+ hours of coursework. The five focuses include Risk Financing, Risk Control, Risk Management Practice, Analysis of Risk, and Risk Management Principles.
- AAI – Similar to the CIC, the AAI, or Accredited Advisor in Insurance, covers many of the same topics but is ultimately more comprehensive and thus does not require completion of any annual updates. Offered by The Institutes, the AAI certification takes between 9-15 months to complete and acts as a great foundational certification before pursuing your CPCU. The AAI consists of coursework and exams in 3 areas – Foundations of Insurance Production, Multi-Lines Insurance Production, and Agency Operations and Sales Management.
- CPCU – A CPCU or Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter is essentially an expert on risk management, underwriting, and property-casualty insurance. Offered as a certification by The Institutes, it’s a high-level designation and is considered prestigious. More difficult to earn than other certifications due to its extensive knowledge and eight national exams, it’s recommended that you pursue other certifications and a broader knowledge base before pursuing your CPCU.
- CISR – A CISR is a Certified Insurance Service Representative. This National Alliance-based certification has nine available courses, 5 of which you’ll need to complete and pass exams for within three years to achieve.
- AINS – AINS, or Associate in General Insurance, administered by The Institutes, is a foundational certification that acts as a great starting point for general insurance knowledge and principles. Getting your AINS certification is a significant first step toward other more advanced designations.
- CWCA – CWCA, or Certified Work Comp Specialist, offered by The Institute of Work Comp Professionals, is a specialized certification focused on Workers Compensation. Coursework covers premium audits, experience mods, putting the process into action, and anatomy of claims. In order to pursue this certification, you’ll need to be at an agency with at least one currently CWCA in good standing. If you’re interested in dealing with worker’s comp extensively, this certification is ideal.
Along with getting thises insurance certifications, it is also important to keep your continuing education credits up to date. If you have any questions on certifications in insurance or your continuing educations credits please give us a call.
Brandi Brecht is the CEO and Managing Partner of Community Educators, LLC.