nickie asked in Business & FinanceInsurance · 10 years ago

Insurance Professionals Only: Should I take the AU (Associate in Commercial Underwriting) before or after?

taking the CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter with a commercial concentration) program?

I am currently in the commercial department of a very well known insurance & financial services company. My current duties include making auto/property/gl/inland marine changes to existing policies, quote & issue new business umbrella policies with insured specific underwriting approved information, research and produce loss run letters, and answer call center questions from insureds/agents/oas on an occasional basis. My ambitions are to become a higher level of an insurance professional, something along the lines of an underwriter or even a commercial insurance lines expert. I have a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration General Management & have obtained the INS (Program in General Insurance) & the AIS (Associates in Insurance Services) designations. I am currently studying for the ACS (Associate in Customer Service) & will be taking it very soon. I'm on the fence as to what insurance designation I should go for in the next testing window. The AU is only 2 tests while the CPCU is 8 tests. Obviously the CPCU would require a lot more work & effort and a much longer time frame but it's more highly recognized than the AU so I would rather get it first. But if the AU class work would help to better understand everything in the CPCU program then I should go that route. Any suggestions will help me with my career track please! Thank you in advance.

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  • lucy
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I also obtained my INS and AIC (Associate in Claims) years ago. I had previously worked for a big insurance company that was very proactive on taking insurance classes, to the degree that they stated was the only way to move up. While taking these classes, I was also going to school at night while working full time for them to get my para legal degree.

    The CPCU is very intense and can be difficult to pass. Since your current objective would be to go into underwriting, it would make more sense to go after the AU 1st since only 2 classes and will help you understand your job more effectively. Then after that, go for the CPCU.

    Also if you were to change jobs thu your choice or due to the economy get laid off, it will look good to list all the degrees you have gotten to your resume that you have accomplished. Even if you complete the others and only have certain parts of the CPCU passes, can list those also.

    good luck

  • Alease
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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    Like anything else, if you study and prepare they are not not too bad. When I worked on my general certificate, it was still essay. Now it's multiple choice. Depending on your testing strengths/weaknesses, that could be good...it could be bad. Personally, I'm much better at essay. At any rate, I really buckled down hard for about a weekend before the exam. But, I had the advantage of working in the industry. So it was not all new to me. Just make sure you understand the major concepts and know the vocabulary words. If you are properly prepared, the exams will seem like a piece of cake. Just like with any test. I have my: AIC, AINS, API, AIS, CPCU and I'm not stopping there. Working on getting approval to start the Claims Law program (a competitors answer to the CPCU). Of these, the CPCU (Charter Property Casualty Underwriter) is the big one. It took me about 5 years to complete. But I got burned out and took a year off in the middle of the 5 years. Some people take longer and some take less time to complete it. For a career in insurance, getting a designation is not going to hurt you. Start out with the AINS (Associate in General Insurance). It's the easiest and will give you a good overview of insurance. Should help you determine if it's something you think you would like. Not everyone is cut out for an insurance career. Insurance companies have 3 main branches. Underwriting, Claims and Sales. The AINS will give you a very basic introduction to each. It would also show a potential employer that you are willing to pursue additional education/designations. If you do pursue an insurance career - do plan on getting your CPCU. But that's something you can do once you get hired and learn your job. Most employers will pay for it (either directly or on a reimbursement basis). But having the AINS will show employers you are serious about an insurance career and willing to go after you CPCU. That could be just enough to put you ahead of others interviewing for the job.

  • 3 years ago

    Associate In Commercial Underwriting

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  • 10 years ago

    If you're going to get both ANYWAY, take the AU first. If you're only going to get one, go for the CPCU. It's SO hard, and so few people finish the program, that it's worth a lot more in the long run.

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