Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

What Do All Those Initials Mean After the Life Insurance Agent's Name?

April 03, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 229

More and more people who advise senior citizens have impressive sounding credentials and initials after their names. Just recently I was given a business card with no less than 5 sets of initials, or designations after the person's name. Since I only have one, I was a little jealous. Then I wondered what all those letters and designations actually were.

Some designations mean something, some don't. To understand what designations are important, some background information is required. To sell insurance, nearly every state requires a license of some kind. Most states also require some kind of class or training to be completed for the license to be issued. In most states, that's somewhere around 40 hours of coursework. By comparison, California requires 1500 hours of training to become a barber, a journeyman electrician requires about 4000 hours, and real estate agents at least 3 college level courses.

In an effort to improve themselves, or for marketing purposes, many insurance agents obtain additional designations. The most common of these who deal with senior citizens are:

CLU - Chartered Life Underwriter

ChFC - Chartered Financial Consultant

CFP - Certified Financial Planner

CLTC - Certified in Long Term Care

CSA - Certified Senior Advisor

A chartered life underwriter is the completion of eight additional courses on life insurance information. There is also a continuing education requirement. This is an old designation, dating back to 1927.

A chartered financial consultant takes eight additional courses on financial issues and financial planning. This is often obtained along with the CLU designation.

The certified financial planner designation requires coursework on more than 100 topics, passing a two day test, and extensive continuing education. This is a demanding designation and difficult to get.

Certified in Long Term Care means the agent has taken additional coursework in long term care policies, which are a specialized product. There is a seven course curriculum to obtain this designation.

The certified senior advisor has taken specialist training in dealing with senior citizens. Much of the coursework is online, although passing a written test is required.

When dealing with insurance agents, look for at least one of these designations; they indicate the dedication to do something more than sitting in the classroom to pass the licensing test. If possible, deal with certified financial planners; of the insurance designations these are the most difficult to get, and that tends to weed out all but the most dedicated of students.

The certified senior advisor designation has its uses. It does indicate an exposure to the needs and requirements of the senior citizen community, but the designation has been used for a long time as a marketing tool for annuity sales people; a CSA alone, without other designations, is far less impressive than the others. For example, the required coursework can be completed in less than a day, and the test took less than two hours to complete and pass.

You are also likely to encounter lots of other designations, such as "senior investment specialists"; "senior advisor"; "senior specialist"; "registered senior investment advisor"; "certified senior investment advisor" and the like. These mean nothing. There is no national standard, accreditation or licensing requirement for these designations. They are marketing material, nothing more. So look for either the "chartered" or "certified" designations; they took some work to obtain. And always ask for experience and references.

Craig Andrews, JD. is a writer who specializes in explaining how legal issues impact everyday life. He has a particular interest in elder law issues, especially financial elder abuse.

His website is

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Initials Mean


Certified Senior Advisor


Senior Advisor


Insurance Agents

Auto insurance is probably one of the most expensive insurance types in Canada. An average car insurance policy in Canada costs approximately $1,200 per year and in Ontario, the largest Canadian

By: Alex Saltykov l Insurance > Car Auto l July 09, 2013 lViews: 552

Your house is often your largest investment that you need to protect via insurance. We created a list of multiple savings tips related to Home insurance and hope that these will help you to save a

By: Alex Saltykov l Insurance > Home Owners Renters l December 27, 2012 lViews: 379

Most auto insurance companies design specific car insurance policies for classic and antique cars. If you think you have a classic car and want classic car insurance, you will need to be sure that

By: Richard l Insurance > Car Auto l October 17, 2012 lViews: 569

Business Overhead Expense Insurance Plans can provide cash flow to the business in the event of a disability to a key employee or owner. For a small, growing company it might make the difference

By: T. Spencer White l Insurance > Disability l July 17, 2012 lViews: 242

Workers compensation costs are rising. According to a recent report by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), indemnity costs per claim (the loss of earning capacity, payments for lost

By: Kelly C. Williams l Insurance > Workers Compensation l July 08, 2012 lViews: 220

One of the most helpful government programs out there is the SSI Disability program. A person that is legitimately disabled, and cannot work to provide an income for themselves for their family

By: Oleg Winter-Burnett l Insurance > Disability l July 04, 2012 lViews: 281

Any responsible person would want that all important events in life are well planned and all expenditures can be met with. But this needs foresight and financial planning. Insurance companies offer

By: Amit K Yadavl Insurance > Agents Marketersl April 19, 2012 lViews: 160

Maximizing your daily productivity is one of the keys to maximizing your success. Whether you are trying to run an office efficiently, increase your sales or stay on top of the latest developments in

By: Daniel Hagyl Insurance > Agents Marketersl April 19, 2012 lViews: 166

Getting motivated can sometimes be one of the biggest barriers between you and the success that you want to experience. And while motivation comes easily for some sales agents, it may not come as

By: Daniel Hagyl Insurance > Agents Marketersl April 19, 2012 lViews: 166

Buying insurance is one of the most personal purchases that someone will ever make. In order to buy an insurance policy, clients have to give some of their most private and personal information to

By: Daniel Hagyl Insurance > Agents Marketersl April 19, 2012 lViews: 155

Your insurance website should serve as the hub of all other marketing activities. What about insurance advertising, tradeshows, email marketing and direct mail? Those should be the spokes that drive

By: Heather Sloanl Insurance > Agents Marketersl April 17, 2012 lViews: 169

Basic work of an insurance agent is to make you feel safe. So, if you are not sure about the agent, just go for the next agent. You cannot afford to do the wrong thing in insurance. There are lots of

By: Dylan S. Barrettl Insurance > Agents Marketersl April 07, 2012 lViews: 170

Debt collectors rely on fear, intimidation and ignorance when trying to collect debt. Most people make one of three simple mistakes when dealing with debt collectors. Here's the three most common

By: Craig Andrews, J.D.l Finance > Bankruptcyl April 02, 2012 lViews: 113

Senior citizens are the most common victim of home repair scams, and home repair scams are among the most common scams used against the elderly. Here is a look at 3 different common scams, how to

By: Craig Andrews, J.D.l Legal > Elder Lawl March 13, 2012 lViews: 164

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus