What Is the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) Designation?

The Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation is an influential professional accreditation within the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry. It is administered by the Insurance Institute of Canada, a non-profit organization headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

To obtain the CIP, candidates must complete 10 courses and pass their exams, while also obtaining at least one year of full-time professional experience in the insurance industry.

Key Takeaways

  • The CIP is a professional designation commonly pursued by Canadian property and casualty insurance professionals.
  • Candidates in the CIP program must complete 10 courses, of which 5 are mandatory and 5 can be customized depending on the candidate’s specific interests.
  • In addition to the CIP designation, the Canadian Insurance Institute also offers several other programs focused on more experienced insurance professionals.

How the CIP Works

The Insurance Institute of Canada created the CIP as a way to ensure that new professionals entering the property and casualty insurance field would be equipped with a consistently high standard of professional competence and conduct. In this sense, the CIP is similar to the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation overseen by the CFA Institute.

To meet these standards, CIP applicants must complete a series of ten courses in areas such as loss adjusting, the economics of the insurance industry, and specific types of insurance such as automobile and cargo insurance. After completing these courses and passing their exams, the candidate must then agree to abide by the Insurance Institute of Canada’s Code of Ethics, while also maintaining regular membership in good standing at one of the Institute’s local chapters. Lastly, the candidate must demonstrate at least one year of full-time professional experience in the insurance sector.

The CIP designation is a coveted certification among insurance professionals in Canada and is sought after by many employers. According to the Conference Board of Canada, a not-for-profit research organization, most professionals who enter the property and casualty insurance business gain only a limited understanding of specific industry issues in their general post-secondary education. Meanwhile, their research found that 80% of employers in the insurance industry view Chartered Insurance Professionals as being more successful in establishing trust with their clients.

Real World Example of the CIP

Applicants to the CIP program have five mandatory courses to complete, which are then followed by five additional courses. The five mandatory courses cover general principles and practices of insurance and more specific types of insurance including property, liability, and automobile insurance.

Applicants then choose one of three specific tracks for courses based on industry specialization. These tracks focus on different career paths, including working as an agent, a claims professional, or an insurance underwriter. Each track includes three mandatory courses specific to that track. The last two courses are electives with choices including both general topics and various specialties including reinsurance, surety bonds, and special hazards.

In addition to its well-known CIP designation, the Insurance Institute of Canada also offers an Advanced Chartered Insurance Professional certification which requires successfully completing four additional courses. Another level of certification, the Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional designation, requires six more courses and was created to recognize insurance company senior executives for their knowledge of management and leadership strategies.