Insurance professionals can choose from several industry designations, including CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) from the American College and CAS (Certified Annuity Specialist) from IBF. Both designations fulfill continuing education requirements for state licensing. IBF and the American College have both been offering certification programs for more than 25 years. Both schools are distance education providers; courses can be completed online.
The CLU designation costs $6,200 and is comprised of 8 courses; there are 5 required courses and 3 electives. The required courses are: Fundamentals of Insurance Planning, Individual Life Insurance, Life Insurance Law, Fundamentals of Estate Planning, and Planning for Business Owners and Professionals. Students must choose 3 of the following electives: Financial Planning: Process and Environment, Individual Health Insurance, Income Taxation, Group Benefits, Planning for Retirement Needs, Investments, and Estate Planning. Students have up to five years to complete these 8 courses; a number of students are able to complete the program in less than 4 years. The CLU designation is offered by the American College (Bryn Mawr, PA).
The CAS designation costs $1,050 and is comprised of 6 modules; each module is roughly 120 pages in length. There are no electives. The CAS designation is offered by the Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) (San Diego, California). The 135-hour CAS program can be completed in a few months, covering the following topics (partial list):