WHAT IS 'Chartered Insurance Professional - CIP'

A Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) is a designation the Insurance Institute of Canada grants to agents and other professionals in the property and casualty insurance industry. This certification recognizes expertise, knowledge and compliance with ethical standards. The Institute created this designation as a way for agents to demonstrate professional standing to both employers and clients.

BREAKING DOWN 'Chartered Insurance Professional - CIP'

A Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) must meet several requirements to earn this designation. One is to complete and pass exams for 10 courses, which are offered at various colleges and institutions throughout Canada or through distance learning programs. Each applicant must also have at least one year of full-time employment experience in the insurance and financial services industry, agree to the Institute’s Code of Ethics and maintain membership in one of Canada’s local insurance institutes.

Although other courses of study are available to gain the knowledge and expertise to work as agents, underwriters and claims adjusters, a Canadian not-for-profit research organization surveyed the industry and reported that 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.

That organization, The Conference Board of Canada, also reported that 80 percent of employers in the industry generally view Chartered Insurance Professionals as more successful in establishing trust with their clients.

Chartered Insurance Professionals Program Requirements

The curriculum for the Chartered Insurance Professional program includes both mandatory and elective courses.

There are five mandatory courses covering 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 are based on different career paths, including working as an agent, a claims professional or an 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.

Once an applicant meets the academic requirements and gains one year of full-time experience working at an insurance or financial services organization, they are eligible to apply to be certified as a Chartered Insurance Professional. The Institute honors successful applicants at a ceremony, which is held in May and October each year.

The Institute also offers an Advanced Chartered Insurance Professional certification that 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.

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