What is Associate In Personal Insurance (API)

A Associate In Personal Insurance designation earned by professionals looking for training in personal lines insurance, and conferred by The Institutes. The Associate in Personal Insurance (API) designation indicates that the holder has demonstrated knowledge of non-commercial insurance, including an understanding of underwriting, pricing, marketing, and portfolio management.

BREAKING DOWN Associate In Personal Insurance (API)

The Associate in Personal Insurance designation is the perfect "starter" designation when beginning to pursue additional education. Two of the three API exams count toward the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation, which is the most prestigious designation of the property casualty industry. It also helps lead to advanced education while providing insurance knowledge to help enhance current job performance. 

The API designation requires candidates to memorize a number of policy specifics such as various endorsements, conditions and underwriting criteria. This knowledge is useful in describing to a customer, for example, why his premium increased, how he can adjust his policy for better coverage, and how he can adjust insured property to reduce exposure to loss.

Earning the Associate in Personal Insurance (API) designation requires an individual to take a series of exams that cover different aspects of personal insurance contracts and the personal insurance industry. The designation is recommended for insurance brokers, agents, claims adjusters, underwriters, and customer service personnel that may work with personal insurance lines.

Candidates take a series of self-taught courses before taking final exams, with the materials available for purchase from the test-taking authority. In some cases, instructor-led classes may be available, depending on the area. The Associate in Personal Insurance does not have continuing education requirements.

Associate in Personal Insurance Paths

In order to earn the API, an applicant must complete one of two paths covering personal insurance foundations, as well as an exam covering ethics. One path of four courses includes classes on underwriting and marketing practices in the personal insurance industry, portfolio management, property and liability insurance, and personal insurance. The other path consists of three courses, covering underwriting and marketing practices in the personal insurance industry, risk management and property-liability, and personal financial planning.

The amount of time it takes to complete this course is estimated at 12 to 18 months. Candidates are not required to complete the course examinations all at once, and may spread them out over a longer period of time if necessary. The tests are taken on a computer.

A number of the courses are also used for other designations, including the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in General Insurance (AINS) designations. Professionals earning this designation may also consider earning the Associate n Insurance Services designation.