Articles for Financial Advisors

Why Should Insurance Professionals Seek A Designation From IBF?

Why Should Insurance Professionals Seek A Designation From IBF?

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):


  • Fixed-Rate Annuities
  •   Structured Investments
  •   Variable Annuities
  •   State Guaranty Funds
  •   Annuitization
  •   Living Benefits
  •   Contract Structure
  •   Subaccount Selection
  •   Contracts and Estates
  •   Risk Measurement
  •   Tax Treatment
  •   Structured Investments
  •   Equity-Indexed Annuities
  •   Strategic Asset Allocation



CLU courses are considered to be undergraduate and do not count towards the American College’s MSFS. The CAS program is considered to be a graduate class and counts towards IBF’s MSFS graduate degree. CLU is quite broad in its approach, covering a wide range of topics (see description above). CAS has a much narrower focus and does not cover disability or life insurance. Both programs fulfill insurance continuing education requirements.

For Advisors by Advisors. Browse all Programs.