Anyone looking to launch a career in the industry or expand their current career path can greatly benefit from the multitude of insurance designations that exist. While each make a great addition to a resume, they additionally help build skills unique to the insurance path you choose, and home your abilities to best meet the needs of your clients.
“Obtaining my AIC designation provided that competitive edge to stand out among other claims professionals while amplifying critical communication skills,” said Kelly Becker, Account Manager at Safety National. “It enhanced my advancement opportunities into supervisory and management roles and continues to be a driving force of my industry knowledge.”
If you are unsure of where to begin, check out these top five industry designations:
Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)
This professional credential is earned by individuals specializing in risk management and property-casualty insurance. Revered as the industry’s gold standard for designations, it can be highly rewarding and is encouraged by senior management professionals. In fact, The Institutes, which issues the CPCU designation states, “87% of CPCU completers who have worked in risk management and insurance for more than 10 years said this designation helped them achieve their goals.”
Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
This designation is reserved for insurance agent professionals, whether they be a licensed agent, broker, adjuster or solicitor. An individual may also be eligible if they have at least two years of full-time experience in the insurance or risk management industry. This highly advanced designation displays an individual’s innovation when it comes to maximizing coverage for their clients. Offered by the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, this certification is unique in that it allows you choose several of the courses to best meet your career needs.
Associate in Claims (AIC)
Granted by The Institutes, this designation is critical for anyone seeking a position in claims handling, signifying specialized training and skills in the handling of various types of insurance claims. As demand for claims professionals continues to grow, having credentials that backup expertise in the field can help distinguish an applicant from the pack.
Associate in Risk Management (ARM)
As another highly recognized certification in the risk management field, this is one of the premier property casualty insurance industry designations. The ARM includes a broader and more holistic study of risk assessment and treatment, and is typically held by risk managers, risk officers, risk advisers, insurance agents, brokers and underwriters. The Institutes, which issues the designation states, “79% of those in their career less than two years said the ARM accelerated their career.”
Associate in General Insurance (AINS)
This designation covers the broad principles of insurance, including its policies, practices and different coverages. The AINS designation is great for anyone in property/casualty insurance, including managers or supervisors, customer service representatives, call center staff, and administrative and support staff. Additionally, this certification offers electives that allow you to gain more expertise in areas relevant to your professional goals.
While these five designations are a great start, there are certifications for just about any direction the insurance industry takes you. There are typically several options fit to match the ongoing education in your specialty. If you are already employed in the industry, reach out to your employer about covering ongoing education and certifications costs, since some offer this additional benefit. Taking advantage of certifications can display your commitment to your specialty and open up management opportunities not available before.