DEFINITION of 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 Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, also called 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.

BREAKING DOWN 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 relating to techniques, practices, and strategies used in the insurance and risk management industry.

Course Work for Credential

Candidates are required to pass an exam focusing 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 a possibility that his/her credential may be 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 relating to their line of work, and can take two to three years to complete.

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 organization was founded in 1944. The CPCU Society claims over 25,000 members affiliated with 130 chapters across the globe.

The designation is offered by The Institutes as one of 25 professional designations. The Institutes calls itself "the industry’s trusted and respected knowledge leader, The Institutes and our affiliates are committed to meeting the evolving professional development needs of the risk management and insurance community. We prepare people to fulfill their professional and ethical responsibilities by offering customer-focused and innovative educational, research, networking, and career resource solutions.

The organization offers these other professional designations:  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); and Associate in Management (AIM).