The Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, or CPCU®, designation is conferred by the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (The Institutes). Insurance professionals seeking to become a CPCU are required to pass a rigorous series of exams, meet an experience requirement and agree to be bound by a strict code of professional ethics. The Institutes reports that the completion timeframe for the designation is typically two to three years.
“Becoming designated as a Charted Property Casualty Underwriter was certainly a challenging process,” said Timothy Treweek, CPCU, AAI, president of the North Central Florida CPCU Society chapter. “But, it’s given me the breadth of knowledge and experience to make a positive impact on my clients’ businesses and lives.”
The bottom line is this: A CPCU is an insurance professional with the best education, ethics and experience to help you prepare for the worst.
After passing the extensive designation process, a CPCU may join the CPCU Society, a community of like-minded insurance professionals.
According to the CPCU Society, “Insurance is a knowledge business. The body of knowledge is substantial and the concepts abstract and challenging. Competent professionals who can adequately assess risk and perform autonomously are essential to success.”
Locally, the North Central Florida CPCU Society Chapter is a community of 133 credentialed property and casualty insurance professionals who promote excellence through ethical behavior and continuing education.
Why should I care?
Business leaders live in an alphabet soup of acronyms with our titles, credentials and designations, as well as our own insider lingo that is as varied as the industries they represent. So, why should we pay any of our coveted attention to the letters CPCU®?
For this point, let’s clarify what we’re talking about with property and casualty insurance, which is more easily defined by what it isn’t: It’s not health insurance, nor is it life insurance. It is just about everything else, including your business.
Depending on your policy, it can protect your assets against a variety of catastrophes including fire, theft, accidents, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and a vast array of other unfortunate events.
You’re probably thinking, “Isn’t that what my agent does already — help me mitigate risk?” Hopefully, the answer is yes, but…
Before you read on, to all the insurance professionals reading this who are not CPCU®-designated, please don’t take this as disrespect or a slight at your work. CPCU® is one of many professional designations insurance professionals can acquire. However, those designated as CPCU® represent just a tiny fraction of those in the industry. So, following the laws of supply and demand, their value is up.
Here’s a top five list of reasons why you should care about CPCU®*:
- CPCUs are highly educated, and it’s not only because of the rigorous designation process; 96 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher. They are equipped to handle complex commercial property and loss exposures through advanced technical knowledge.
- CPCUs have applied knowledge, not just the concept. To earn the CPCU designation, one must have at least two years of property-casualty insurance industry experience. Where education and experience meet, CPCUs are improving effectiveness by learning to apply theory to everyday practice. Education is great, but experience is invaluable.
- CPCUs are committed to the highest level of ethical performance in all of their professional activities. Ethical behavior is critical to establishing and maintaining trust with business partners, in addition to supporting and extending general public trust for the insurance industry.
- CPCUs are leaders. Over half of the CPCU Society members are in management positions within their organizations. Further, approximately 5 percent of CPCU Society members are active in leadership activities at the Society or local chapter level.
- 5. CPCUs give back. For the past several years, the North Central Florida CPCU Society chapter has held an annual golf tournament with proceeds supporting area nonprofits including Friends of Children and Meridian Behavioral Healthcare. To date, $62,089.92 has been donated through the North Central Florida CPCU Society Chapter. CPCUs are leaders in the industry and leaders in the community.
“Giving back could be viewed as an extension of the code of ethics we uphold as CPCUs,” said Jason Neville, CPCU, AIC, golf tournament chair for the North Central Florida CPCU Society chapter. “Supporting our community is the right thing to do.”
So, the real question isn’t, “Why should I care about CPCU® insurance professionals?”; it’s, “Where do I find one?” Visit https://northcentflorida.cpcusociety.org/ for more information.
Kevin Coulson is the director of marketing and business development at Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., where he has worked in marketing communications for seven years. Kevin received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from University of West Florida and is actively with many professional organizations and associations in the area. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @kevincoulson