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Top 10 Insurance Consultant Certifications

This article reviews the top certifications for insurance consultants, highlighting the benefits and requirements of each.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for an insurance consultant in the job market because they demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and expertise that employers look for when hiring. Certifications provide proof of a consultant’s qualifications and can help them stand out from other candidates. They also show that the consultant is committed to staying up-to-date on industry trends, practices, and regulations. Furthermore, certifications can open doors to higher paying positions and provide access to professional networks that can be beneficial in finding new career opportunities.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Insurance Consultants and explain how they can help to further an insurance consultant's career.

What are Insurance Consultant Certifications?

Insurance consultant certification is a professional designation that signifies specialized knowledge and expertise in the insurance industry. Insurance consultants are responsible for helping individuals, businesses, and other organizations understand the complexities of insurance policies and products. This includes researching and analyzing different types of insurance plans to identify the best option for an individual or business’s needs.

The certification process requires professionals to acquire specific training and pass an examination administered by a recognized organization such as The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (NAPIA). This ensures that those who receive their certification have a thorough understanding of the insurance industry and can offer valuable advice when selecting the right policy or product.

Having an insurance consultant certification shows employers, clients, and peers that an individual has achieved a certain level of expertise in this field. It also demonstrates a commitment to providing quality advice based on up-to-date industry knowledge. Furthermore, it can open up new career opportunities, such as consulting positions with larger firms or management roles within smaller companies. Having this certification can also help individuals remain current on changes in the insurance industry so they can continue to provide informed advice to their clients.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research and understand what certifications you need to become an insurance consultant. Different states may have different requirements, so it's important to check with your state's department of insurance before beginning the certification process. Additionally, some certifications require continuing education courses, so make sure you stay up-to-date on any changes that may affect your ability to maintain your certification.

Related: What does an Insurance Consultant do?

Top 10 Insurance Consultant Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Insurance Consultants today.

1. Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)

The Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) is a professional designation awarded by The Institutes, a leading provider of risk and insurance education. It is the highest level of recognition for professionals in the property and casualty insurance industry.

The CPCU program consists of eight courses covering topics such as insurance operations, finance, law, accounting, ethics, and management. Each course requires approximately 80 hours of study and can be completed online or through traditional classroom instruction. To earn the designation, individuals must pass all eight exams with a score of at least 70%.

It typically takes about two years to complete the entire program. However, some people may complete the program in less time if they are able to dedicate more time to studying each course.

In order to get your CPCU designation, you will need to register for the program on The Institutes’ website and pay an application fee of $150. You will then need to purchase textbooks for each course and register for exams as you complete them. Exam fees vary depending on the exam but range from $125-$225 per exam.

Once you have completed all eight courses and passed all exams with a score of at least 70%, you will receive your CPCU certificate and be eligible to use the CPCU designation after your name.

2. Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)

Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and experience in the insurance industry. CICs are recognized as having expertise in all areas of insurance, including property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits, risk management, and agency management.

To become a CIC, an individual must complete five courses from the CIC Institute's curriculum and pass five examinations. Each course consists of 10 hours of instruction over two days. The courses cover topics such as personal lines insurance, commercial lines insurance, life and health insurance, agency operations, and risk management. The exams are administered by Prometric Testing Centers throughout the United States.

The cost to become a CIC varies depending on the number of courses taken at once. Generally speaking, it costs between $1,500-$2,000 to complete all five courses and exams required for certification.

Once certified as a CIC, individuals must maintain their certification through continuing education credits every three years. This ensures that they remain up-to-date on industry changes and best practices.

3. Associate in Risk Management (ARM)

Associate in Risk Management (ARM) is a professional credential offered by the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (AICPCU). It is designed to provide individuals with an understanding of risk management and insurance principles. The ARM designation is one of the most widely recognized credentials for risk management professionals.

The ARM program consists of four courses and two exams that must be completed before the credential can be earned. The courses cover topics such as risk identification, analysis, assessment, control, financing, and communication. Each course takes approximately 10-12 hours to complete.

To get the ARM designation, applicants must first become a member of AICPCU by completing an application and paying a membership fee. Once membership is approved, applicants can register for the ARM program and pay the associated fees. After completing all four courses and passing both exams with a score of 70% or higher, applicants will receive their ARM designation.

The cost to obtain the ARM designation varies depending on whether you are an AICPCU member or not. For non-members, it costs $1,095 for all four courses plus $90 per exam ($270 total). For members, it costs $895 for all four courses plus $90 per exam ($270 total).

4. Associate in Reinsurance (ARe)

Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) is a professional designation offered by The Institutes, a leading provider of risk management and insurance education. It is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful reinsurance professionals.

The ARe program consists of three courses: Principles of Reinsurance, Property & Casualty Reinsurance, and Life & Health Reinsurance. These courses are designed to provide students with an understanding of reinsurance principles, practices, and procedures. Upon completion of the three-course program, students will be eligible to take the Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) examination.

The ARe program typically takes about one year to complete depending on whether you are taking the courses online or in a classroom setting. To get started, you must first register for the program through The Institutes website. Once registered, you can purchase your course materials either online or through The Institutes bookstore.

The cost for the ARe program varies depending on how you choose to take it. If you take it online, it costs $1,950; if you take it in a classroom setting at one of their locations across the United States, it costs $2,400; and if you take it in an international location outside the US, it costs $3,000.

5. Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI)

Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI) is a professional designation offered by The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research. It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and understanding in the field of insurance.

The AAI program consists of two courses: Principles of Insurance and Risk Management, and Commercial Property and Liability Insurance. To earn the AAI designation, an individual must complete both courses and pass the corresponding exams.

It typically takes six to twelve months to complete the AAI program, depending on the individual’s commitment level and study habits. To get started, individuals should register for the courses through The National Alliance’s website.

The cost of the AAI program varies depending on how many courses are taken at once. For example, if both courses are taken together, it will cost $1,195; however, if only one course is taken at a time, it will cost $595 per course.

Once all requirements have been met, individuals will receive their official certificate from The National Alliance recognizing them as an Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI).

6. Certified Risk Manager (CRM)

Certified Risk Manager (CRM) is a professional certification program offered by the Global Risk Management Institute (GRMI). It is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge, skills and abilities required to effectively manage risk in their organizations. The CRM program focuses on developing a comprehensive understanding of the principles of risk management, including identifying, analyzing, controlling and monitoring risks.

It typically takes between six months and one year to complete the CRM program depending on the individual’s study habits and commitment. To get started, individuals must first take an online assessment test to determine their eligibility for the program. Once they have passed the assessment test, they can then register for the CRM program and begin studying for it. The cost of the CRM program varies depending on which version you choose; however, most versions cost between $1,500 - $2,000 USD.

The CRM exam consists of multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as risk management fundamentals, financial analysis, operational risk management, legal aspects of risk management and more. Once an individual has successfully completed all requirements for the CRM exam and passed it with a minimum score of 80%, they will receive their official Certified Risk Manager designation from GRMI.

7. Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR)

Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the insurance industry. It is conferred by The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, an organization dedicated to providing quality education and training for insurance professionals.

To become a CISR, you must complete at least five of the eight required courses in the program and pass the corresponding exams. Each course takes approximately 15 hours to complete and can be taken online or in person. The cost of each course varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $200-$400 per course.

Once all five courses are completed and the exams are passed, you will receive your CISR designation along with a certificate of completion. The certification does not need to be renewed; however, it is recommended that you take continuing education classes to stay up-to-date on changes in the industry.

8. Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)

Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) is a professional designation awarded by The American College of Financial Services. It is designed for individuals who want to specialize in life insurance planning and practice. It is the most widely-recognized designation in the life insurance industry and is highly sought after by employers.

To earn the CLU designation, you must complete eight courses through The American College of Financial Services. These courses cover topics such as life insurance contracts, estate planning, retirement planning, income taxation, and financial planning. You must also pass a comprehensive exam at the end of each course. The entire program takes approximately two years to complete if you take one course per semester.

The cost of the program varies depending on how many courses you take at one time and whether or not you are eligible for any discounts or scholarships. Generally speaking, it costs around $2,000 to $3,000 for all eight courses plus exam fees.

Once you have completed all eight courses and passed the exams with a grade of 70% or higher, you will be awarded your CLU designation from The American College of Financial Services. This designation will demonstrate that you have achieved a high level of expertise in life insurance planning and practice and can help open up doors to new career opportunities in the field.

9. Certified Professional Liability Underwriter (CPLU)

Certified Professional Liability Underwriter (CPLU) is a designation offered by the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (AICPCU). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated an advanced level of knowledge and expertise in professional liability underwriting.

To obtain the CPLU designation, applicants must complete a minimum of five courses within the Professional Liability Underwriting curriculum. The courses cover topics such as legal principles, risk management, and underwriting techniques. Applicants must also pass an exam with a score of at least 75%.

The time it takes to obtain the CPLU designation depends on the individual's experience and background. For those without prior experience in professional liability underwriting, it can take up to two years to complete all of the required courses and pass the exam.

To get started, applicants should contact AICPCU directly to register for their first course. The cost of each course varies depending on whether or not you are an AICPCU member. In addition, there is a one-time fee of $100 for registration into the program.

10. Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) is a professional designation awarded by The American College of Financial Services. It is a comprehensive financial planning credential that requires the successful completion of nine courses and exams covering topics such as insurance, investments, income tax, retirement planning, estate planning, and financial analysis.

It typically takes three to five years to complete the ChFC program depending on the individual’s prior experience and education. To be eligible for the ChFC designation, individuals must have at least three years of full-time financial services experience or a bachelor’s degree in any field plus two years of full-time financial services experience.

To obtain the ChFC designation, individuals must first complete all nine required courses and exams. After completing these requirements, applicants must also pass an ethics exam administered by The American College of Financial Services. Once all coursework and exams are completed successfully, applicants will receive their ChFC certification from The American College of Financial Services.

The cost of obtaining the ChFC designation varies depending on the individual’s educational background and experience level. Generally speaking, it costs around $4,000-$5,000 for tuition and materials for each course in the program. Additionally, there are fees associated with taking each exam which range from $100-$200 per exam.

Do You Really Need a Insurance Consultant Certificate?

No, you do not need an insurance consultant certificate to practice as an insurance consultant. However, having a certificate can help demonstrate your expertise and knowledge in the field. It can also be helpful for those who are looking to advance their career and increase their earning potential.

The insurance industry is highly regulated and requires that all consultants have a certain level of knowledge and professionalism. While it is not required to have a certificate or license, it may help you stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs or vying for promotions. Having a certificate or license also shows potential clients that you take your profession seriously and have invested in yourself by taking classes or seminars related to insurance consulting.

In addition, having an insurance consultant certificate or license can open up opportunities for higher-paying positions within the industry. Many employers prefer applicants who have taken the extra step of obtaining certification because it shows they are committed to staying current on the latest industry trends and regulations.

Overall, while having an insurance consultant certificate is not necessary, it can provide many benefits including helping you stand out from other candidates, increasing your earning potential, and demonstrating your commitment to being knowledgeable in the field.

Related: Insurance Consultant Resume Examples

FAQs About Insurance Consultant Certifications

Q1. What is an Insurance Consultant Certification?

A1. An Insurance Consultant Certification is a professional designation that demonstrates knowledge and proficiency in the field of insurance consulting. It typically involves completing courses, passing examinations, and gaining relevant experience within the field.

Q2. How do I become an Insurance Consultant?

A2. To become an insurance consultant, you will need to obtain your certification from a recognized institution or organization. This may include taking courses and passing examinations related to topics such as risk management, insurance laws and regulations, claims handling, actuarial science and more. You may also need to gain relevant experience in the field before being eligible for certification.

Q3. What are the benefits of becoming an Insurance Consultant?

A3. Becoming an insurance consultant can provide many benefits including increased job security, greater earning potential, and access to better career opportunities in the insurance industry. Additionally, having a certification can give you credibility when dealing with clients or employers and allow you to provide more professional advice on matters related to insurance coverage and risk management strategies.

Q4. Are there any special requirements for obtaining an Insurance Consultant Certification?

A4. Depending on the program you choose, there may be certain prerequisites required prior to enrolling in a certification program such as having a bachelor’s degree in business or law or several years of experience working in the industry. Additionally, some programs may have age restrictions or require applicants to pass certain examinations prior to enrollment as well as during their coursework in order to maintain their certification status.

Q5. How long does it take to complete an Insurance Consultant Certification?

A5 The amount of time it takes to complete an insurance consultant certification will vary depending on the program chosen and other factors such as prerequisites met prior to enrollment as well as any exams taken during coursework that must be passed in order for completion of the certification process . Generally speaking however most programs range from 6 months up to two years for completion depending on individual circumstances