The insurance agent designations are not noted by rank. This is because a specialist working the senior market might think his insurance designation more important than one selling life insurance. And of course the opposite is very likely. In additional, some designations require very extensive and intense learning to obtain.
Thanks to the continuing education requirements of state insurance department licensing. Continuing Education has become a major incentive for an agent to obtain an insurance designation. Agents must obtain additional Continuing Education credit points or study hours to renew their license. They can take online study courses, attend qualified insurance seminars, or work toward receiving one of the multi-phase insurance designations.
An important sideline of the required ongoing further insurance education applies to agent retention. The industry agent retention rate of agents 4 through 10 years, has improved significantly because of agents obtaining insurance designations. These insurance designations and better retention rate can be directly contributed to the continuing educational requirements to make agents more professional.
These are the certification explanations of related insurance designations. Each certification process for obtaining insurance designations differ, as far as requirements that must be achieved. Some insurance designations may not even be started, until prior experience, of either study or of even other certification is obtained first. Here we will try to provide additional meaning to the insurance designations, as far as to how many may have obtained that certification, course requirements, or notable changes to their income.
You can be an agent with one of the prominent insurance designations and sit on your butt and do nothing. Or it is possible that you obtained one of the insurance designations, and three months later, due to lack of selling skills or prospecting leads was forced to drop out of the profession. Therefore two analyzes tend to hold true. First, insurance designations by themselves do not provide a higher income or professional longevity. Secondly applying the certification skills obtained ambitiously helps agents with insurance designations obtain creditability and knowledge. This in turn, leads to a longer lasting and higher income level.
Insurance Designation of CLU, Chartered Life Underwriter. This is universally the recognized professional advisor certification given in the insurance industry. The study field consists of 8 college level examinations. The 5 required and 3 elective courses including estate planning and pensions, taxation and economics, life and health insurance, along with taxation and income replacement. The American College, is not a dormitory or full time style daily college, but since 1927 is devoted to providing educational certification. The American College currently provides CE studies in at least 8 areas beneficial to the insurance professional. Additional continuing education, experience, and ethics are required to maintain CLU certification. Qver 90,000 agents (included those retired), have achieved the CLU insurance designation. Although we can’t give an exact figure, our internal analysis shows the, income earnings of an insurance professional CLU to be 25% to 35% higher than an agent with out any form of insurance certification.
Insurance Designation of LUTC or LUTCF. 80% of agents earning this certification use the letters LUFC, while the remainder use LUTCF. This is probably the easiest, and first insurance designation most life insurance agents earn. Given in classroom setting, it includes role-playing self-study, and examinations. The required 300 designation credits covers a very broad spectrum of life and financial areas. Many of the over 60,000 LUTCFs obtain their insurance designation within their first 4 years of insurance experience. Although not a significant income increasing factor, LUTCFs have about 35% less career dropout than other agents in their same experience category.
Insurance Designation of FSS. This rather new degree is the Financial Services Specialist. It is often referred to as the financial services counterpart to the life service LUTCF certification. Courses are provided in a classroom format, and consist of 6 total courses with 3 of them being required and a choice of 3 elective courses. Here the emphasis is on financial and estate retirement planning, along with the products and investments used to service their clients. Like many of the insurance designations, retaining certification requires periodically completing ethic seminars.
Insurance Designation of FIC. A Fraternal Insurance Counselor usually represents a Fraternal Insurance Company. The Fraternal Insurance Company is dedicated to the welfare of its members, with the members often having a common work-related, social, or religious bond. The members are required to buy life insurance “certificates”, instead of policies. Meetings and social events reach out to members in need. Many FIC designated agents have already completed LUTCF qualifications and course cover estate planning, and sophisticated financial plans. Some consider the FIC designation as important as the CLU. Financially, our analysis of agent income, shows an agent with FIC certification to have significantly higher income that an agent with the same time experience and no designation. However this income earning tends to be less than a similar CLU.
Insurance Designation of RHU. The Registered Health Underwriter is not the CLU of Health Insurance. An RHU but is a highly trained and respected specialist in the health insurance market. The three required courses the must be successfully completed cover disability income replacement, individual and group health and medical coverage, and long term care insurance. With an exploding population of senior citizens, the long term care insurance market is in dire need of ethical and knowledgeable professionals. Rapidly increasing medical costs require that HSA, Health Savings Accounts, and Worksite Benefit Plans have qualified representatives to help individuals and groups. The RHU is required to complete at least 30 CE hours every couple years. There are over 6,000 RHUs, who have become the knowledge and income leaders in their area.
Insurance Designation of CSA. This certification, Certified Senior Advisor, was relatively unknown until recently. It is very unique, as the focus is not on product knowledge. Instead it builds communication skills, so that both the agent and client understand the financial, health, and social impacts of senior age. Intense training is in senior health, financial, and effects of Social Security. The CSA training has three options: classroom style, self study, or online. The total certification process includes high emphasis on ethics, and the normal time period to complete is 6 months. While we will get arguments here, the insurance agent has 3 key initial directions and courses to start with. The is LUTCF for life, FSS for financial, and CSA for seniors. Expect to seem a big boom in Certified Senior Advisors.
Insurance Designation of CLTC. Certified in Long Term Care is becoming well known. This is one of the fastest growing certifications that we have seen, and there is a reason. The training is not just beneficial to the senior health specialist, but just as important, if not more to the senior market financial specialist Therefore there are many CLUs and RHUs currently expanded their senior market knowledge but advancing toward CLTC certification. Not only do courses focus on selling long term care insurance, it covers governmental programs in effect, home care needs, and financial planning. It requires completing an eight part course and more. In additional, to uphold the high standards, a CLTC must go through a renewal every two years.
Frequent Insurance Designations include: CLU as a Chartered Life Underwriter, ChFC as a Chartered Financial Consultant, LUTCF as a LUTC Fellow Designation, RFP as a Registered Financial Planner, RHU as a Registered Health Underwriter, FIC as a Fraternal Insurance Counselor. Other common related insurance Designations are: CSA as a Certified Senior Advisor, CIC as a Chartered Investment Advisor, FSS as a Financial Services Specialist, and CPC as Certified Pension Consultant.
The insurance designation CLTC as Certified in Long Term Care is increasing in numbers exceptionally fast. This rising amount of designations also apply elsewhere. CEBS is a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist, REBC is a Registered Employee Benefits Consultant, CIC is a Chartered Investment Counselor, AEP is an Accredited Estate Planner, CSS is a Certified Senior Specialist, CPA is a Certified Public Accountant, and RIA is a Registered Investment Advisor. Although the later is not really an insurance designation.
Lesser known financial and insurance designations follow. CAA is a Certified Annuity Advisor, RFC is a Registered Financial Consultant, LIFA is a Licensed Insurance Financial Analyst, CEP is a Certified Estate Planner, AFC is a Accredited Financial Counselor, CFA is a Chartered Financial Analyst, MSFS is a Masters of Science in Financial Service, FLMI is a Fellow Life Management Institute designation, CPC is a Certified Pension Consultant, CAC is Certified Annuity Consultant, RFG is a Registered Financial Gerontologist, FFSI is a Fellow Financial Services Institute designation and CRP is a Certified Risk Professional.