What is 'Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)'

A chartered life underwriter (CLU) is a professional designation for individuals who wish to specialize in life insurance and estate planning. Individuals must complete five core courses and three elective courses, in addition to successfully passing eight 100-question, two-hour examinations in order to receive the designation. The required course titles include Fundamentals of Insurance Planning, Individual Life Insurance, Life Insurance Law, Fundamentals of Estate Planning and Planning for Business Owners and Professionals. Other course topics include financial planning, health insurance, income taxation, group benefits, investments and retirement planning.

BREAKING DOWN 'Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)'

Financial planners with a CFP designation will often earn the CLU designation to demonstrate their expertise in the areas of life insurance and estate planning. Having additional knowledge in these areas gives financial planners a competitive edge over other planners with fewer credentials. The CLU designation is one of the oldest and most respected credentials in financial services, dating back to the late 1920’s. It represents a thorough understanding of a broad array of personal risk management and life insurance planning issues and stresses ethics, professionalism, and in-depth knowledge in the delivery of financial advice.

A CLU must adhere to The American College of Financial Services’ Code of Ethics, which includes the following professional pledge: “I shall, in light of all conditions surrounding those I serve, which I shall make every conscientious effort to ascertain and understand, render that service which, in the same circumstances, I would apply to myself.”

Maintaining the designation requires 30 hours of continuing education every year, and the designation may be removed for unethical conduct through the certification committee of The American College’s Board of Trustees. The American College is an accredited non-profit educational institution founded in 1927. It confers the CLU and has the highest level of educational accreditation—regional accreditation—through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The college has a full-time faculty of industry experts and is the leading educator of financial professionals in the United States.

How Chartered Life Underwriters Help Clients

Subject matter areas include:

  • Life insurance
  • Business planning
  • Estate planning

    According to the college, financial professionals holding a CLU designation can average 51 percent greater income than their counterparts because they have the specialized skills to help clients: 

    • Set and reach financial goals by analyzing their financial life and identifying life and health insurance needs as well as personal property and liability risks
    • Achieve financial security through life insurance and annuity products
    • Manage successful businesses with strategic organizational and preventive planning
    • Enhance estate value, conserve existing assets, and provide for financial security during retirement. 
    1. Chartered Insurance Professional ...

      A Chartered Insurance Professional is a certification given by ...
    2. Advanced Life Underwriting

      The process of integrating the complex insurance issues of estate ...
    3. Associate In Personal Insurance ...

      The Associate In Personal Insurance designation is earned for ...
    4. Term Life Insurance

      Term life insurance, also known as pure life insurance, is life ...
    5. Life Expectancy

      Life expectancy is a statistical measurement of how long a person ...
    6. Associate In Commercial Underwriting ...

      Associate In Commercial Underwriting - AU - is a person with ...
    Related Articles
    1. Insurance

      Tips for Helping Clients with Life Insurance Needs

      Life insurance needs will likely change over the client’s lifetime and again financial advisers can provide an objective sounding board.
    2. Financial Advisor

      Is Life Insurance From Your Employer Enough?

      Covering the needs of the ones you would leave behind is not easy. But efforts to secure a life insurance policy outside of work should pay off.
    3. Financial Advisor

      CFP, CLU Or ChFC - Which Is Best?

      The designation you choose will depend on which areas of financial planning you want as your focus.
    4. Insurance

      Choosing Between Whole and Term Life Insurance

      For most people, term life insurance is more suitable than whole life insurance. Here's why.
    5. Insurance

      The Qualifications of a Life Insurance Specialist

      These are the qualifications you should look for in a life insurance professional.
    6. Retirement

      Why Own Life Insurance in a Qualified Retirement Plan?

      What are the pros and cons of owning cash value life insurance in a qualified retirement plan?
    7. Insurance

      3 Things to Know About Life Insurance

      Many life insurance salespeople would prefer you didn't know these three things.
    8. Insurance

      Life Insurance: Foundation to a Solid Portfolio

      Life insurance should be a foundation of an overall financial portfolio. Here's why.
    9. Financial Advisor

      Why Financial Advisors Sell Life Insurance

      Life insurance has a part in almost any serious financial plan, and a financial advisor can both advise and sell policies as part of an overall strategy.
    10. Insurance

      Term Life Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

      Term life insurance is an affordable way to financially protect your loved ones after your death. Here's what you need to know before purchasing a policy.
    Hot Definitions
    1. Investment Advisor

      An investment advisor is any person or group that makes investment recommendations or conducts securities analysis in return ...
    2. Gross Margin

      A company's total sales revenue minus its cost of goods sold, divided by the total sales revenue, expressed as a percentage. ...
    3. Inflation

      Inflation is the rate at which prices for goods and services is rising and the worth of currency is dropping.
    4. Discount Rate

      Discount rate is the interest rate charged to commercial banks and other depository institutions for loans received from ...
    5. Economies of Scale

      Economies of scale refer to reduced costs per unit that arise from increased total output of a product. For example, a larger ...
    6. Quick Ratio

      The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets.
    Trading Center