What Is an Associate In Fidelity And Surety Bonding (AFSB)?

Associate in Fidelity and Surety Bonding (AFSB) is a certification earned by professionals in the insurance industry. To obtain this certification, candidates must complete a series of exams that cover different aspects of surety and the surety industry.

Although the AFSB is ultimately bestowed by the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (AICPCU), the coursework and exams are overseen by The Institutes, a subsidiary of AICPCU which provides educational resources to insurance professionals.

Key Takeaways

  • AFSB is a professional designation earned by insurance professionals.
  • It is focused on a portion of the insurance party focused on counterparty risks.
  • To earn the AFSB, candidates must pass a series of exams taking approximately 15 to 21 months to complete.

How AFSBs Work

Fidelity and surety bonding is an area of insurance whereby one party is insuring itself against the risk that another party will fail to complete an act or refrain from doing something it promised not to do. Surety bonding refers to bonds that involve three separate parties, while fidelity bonds are insurance policies that can involve just two parties.

To signify their knowledge and competence in this area, candidates can obtain the AFSB by enrolling in a series of courses. These introductory courses cover the principles of suretyship, contract surety, commercial surety and crime insurance, business law for insurance professionals, and finance and accounting for insurance professionals. The applicant must also pass a fifty question exam on either ethical guidelines for insurance professionals, or on ethics and the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) code of professional conduct.

Typically, it takes candidates between 15 and 21 months to complete this coursework, including the exams that need to be passed for each course. Each exam takes about 2 or 3 hours to complete, and can include both multiple choice questions and essays. Once the candidate has obtained their AFSB, they can further enhance their credentials by pursuing the Associate in General Insurance (AINS) or Associate in Insurance Services (AIS) designations.

Real World Example of an AFSB

Candidates wishing to pursue the AFSB can do so using either in-person or online classes. In either case, the material used in the courses must be purchased from The Institutes. Although professional experience in the insurance industry would be an asset, The Institutes does not formally require the applicant to have any higher education or experience requirements to earn the designation.

The AFSB coursework provides a broad range of industry knowledge on subjects such as the commercial surety industry, the legal landscape of the insurance industry, and the methods used to assist corporate decision making. It also features specific skills and techniques, such as financial statement analysis, insurance underwriting, and credit investigation practices.