What Is the Associate in Personal Insurance (API) Designation?

The Associate in Personal Insurance (API) is a professional certification in the insurance industry. As its name suggests, the API is focused on personal lines insurance, which is the type of insurance that protects against personal injury, death, or loss of property. It is one of many designations conferred by The Institutes, an organization dedicated to providing accreditation and continuing education to insurance professionals.

Key Takeaways

  • The API is a professional designation that is popular in the personal lines insurance industry.
  • It is administered by The Institutes, and typically takes between 12 and 18 months to complete.
  • Many candidates choose to add to their API designation by pursuing a more advanced credential, such as the CPCU.

How the API Designation Works

The API designation is popular among professionals who wish to begin or advance their careers within the field of personal lines insurance. By obtaining the API, professionals can demonstrate that they have knowledge of non-commercial insurance products, including critical skills such as insurance underwriting, premium setting, marketing, and portfolio management.

For professionals wishing to obtain more advanced certifications, such as the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation, the API can be a popular option. This is because many of the conditions required to obtain the API also count toward the requirements of the CPCU. Specifically, two of the three exams associated with the API can be reused toward CPCU accreditation, which is one of the most prestigious designations in the property casualty industry.

To obtain the API, candidates must develop extensive knowledge about the kinds of insurance policies sold in the personal insurance market. This includes a wide education in subjects such as contract endorsements, conditions and underwriting criteria, and industry regulations. The API is often recommended for insurance brokers, agents, claims adjusters, underwriters, and customer service personnel who serve personal insurance customers.

Real World Example of the API Designation

There are two paths that candidates can take when completing the API. The first of these includes courses on underwriting and marketing practices in the personal insurance industry, portfolio management, property and liability insurance, and personal insurance. The second path consists of three courses, covering underwriting and marketing, risk management and property-liability, and personal financial planning.

Typically, candidates take between 12 and 18 months to complete these course materials, which are accessed on a self-serve basis. For those preferring in-person instruction, classes may also be available offline in select regions. Once they have passed their exams, holders of the API are not required to meet ongoing educational requirements in order to maintain their designation.