What Is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)

Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) is a professional credential earned by individuals who specialize in risk management and property-casualty insurance.

The CPCU credential is most likely to be earned by insurance agents and brokers, insurance claims representatives, risk managers, and underwriters. It is offered by The Institutes, an industry organization that provides educational support, resources, and research to risk management and insurance professionals so they can better serve the public.

Key Takeaways

  • Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) is a professional certification issued by The Institutes and earned by risk management and insurance professionals.
  • To obtain the CPCU credential, an individual must pass a number of classes covering insurance and risk management topics.
  • The required coursework and curriculum of study is designed to provide professionals with in-depth information on concepts related to their line of work and can take two to three years to complete.

Understanding a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)

To obtain the CPCU credential, an individual must pass a number of classes covering insurance and risk management topics. Required coursework includes four core courses: foundations of risk management and insurance, insurance operations, business law for insurance professionals, and finance and accounting for insurance professionals.

Additionally, three courses must also be taken in either commercial lines or personal lines, and an elective course chosen by the candidate must be completed. Electives courses include those related to techniques, practices, and strategies used in the insurance and risk management industry.

Candidates are also required to pass an exam focused on ethics. Those who obtain the credential must agree to abide by a professional code of conduct, which directs professionals with the CPCU credential to conduct business ethically. Failure to abide by the code of conduct can result in the CPCU being subject to disciplinary measures and potentially having their credentials suspended.

Insurance and risk management professionals pursue the CPCU credential to set themselves apart from other industry professionals. The required coursework is designed to provide professionals with in-depth information on concepts related to their line of work and can take two to three years to complete.

Designee Benefits

Professionals who earn the credential are given the opportunity to join the CPCU Society, a professional organization that allows members to network and receive more technical education. The CPCU Society was founded in 1944 and claims more than 18,000 members affiliated with 130-plus chapters across the globe.

The CPCU is one of 28 professional designations offered by The Institutes, self-described as "the industry’s trusted and respected knowledge leader." The Institutes says it is "committed to meeting the evolving professional development needs of the risk management and insurance community," and is concerned with "preparing people to fulfill their professional and ethical responsibilities by offering customer-focused and innovative educational solutions."

The organization offers the following other professional designations, among others: Associate In Loss Control Management (ALCM); Associate in General Insurance (AINS); Associate in Claims (AIC); Associate in Risk Management (ARM); Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU); Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI); Associate in Reinsurance (ARe); Associate in Insurance Data Analytics (AIDA); Associate in Insurance Services (AIS); Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF); and Associate in Management (AIM).