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Thread: Newbie - Understanding CPCU

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    Question Newbie - Understanding CPCU

    Can someone explain CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter) and its relation, if any, to the actuarial field?

    Or perhaps how the actuarial field relates to underwriting (and/or vice versa) in general?

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level V Poster
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    CPCU is a property & casualty insurance agent who has passed extra exams.

    Agents are (or were) called underwriters because of their involvement in choosing the insureds. The designation CPCU (and CLU for life insurance) arose from those early days. They aren't often called underwriters now.

    Actuaries base their rates on underwriting, which is done by those who test risks to see if they're insurable.
    I thought this WAS a real job

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    Do those exams come at any time (or some typical time) during your career? Could you go the CPCU route prior to SOA/CAS route?

    Aside, say if a company has an Actuarial Department and an Underwriting Department; how do you suppose the tasks/work would be distributed?

  4. #4
    Actuary.com - Level VI Poster Ken's Avatar
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    Think of it as the actuarial department writing a guidebook for the underwriting department. The actuarial department prices policies in bulk and the underwriters look at the individual risks.
    Whether you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be running.

  5. #5
    Actuary.com - Level III Poster
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    Cool Cpcu

    Actually, there are many CPCU's that are not agents. Claims and Underwriters are some of the largest members of the group. I hold a CPCU and work in the actuarial field, but I came from Claims. The CPCU courses provide a great broad education of the insurance process for the property/casualty field. Currently it takes 8 courses and 3 years professional insurance experience to earn the designation. The exams, however, are much, much, much easier than the Actuary exams.

    I would say you can take them at any time. I did find that in some of the later CAS Exams(5-7), they include some of the CPCU material. The last I checked, anyway. If you are serious about the Actuary career, however, I would concentrate on the Actuary Exams, because prospective Actuarial employers generally don't give a hoot about CPCU. (Although mine was an exception!)

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