Chartered Life Underwriter
A Chartered life underwriter is an insurance specialist who works with clients to ensure their life insurance and estate affairs are settled.
The Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation is bestowed upon members accepted into the professional—and nationally recognized—association the Institute for Advanced Financial Education (The Institute) who, through their accreditation process, maintain the professional standards of the discipline.
The Institute is a straightforward organization who is the only Canadian provider—with over 5,000 members—of this unique designation. They are members of The Financial Advisors Association of Canada (TFAAC/Advocis). Additionally, they offer the Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS) and Chartered Financial Consultant (CH.F.C.) designations and have a recognition system for their outstanding members.
Their certification program, provided by Advocis, is primarily accessibly to accountants with over 4 years of financial experience. The designation requires that applicants pass 7 courses: 4 pre-requisite courses and 3 core courses. The 4 pre-requisite courses are Financial Planning Fundamentals, Contemporary Practices in Financial Planning, Comprehensive Practices in Risk & Retirement Planning, and Wealth Management and Estate Planning. The core courses are the Advanced Concepts in Tax & Law for Personal Planning, Tax & Legal Principles for Business and their Owners, and Advanced Estate Planning. It is offered in a self-study format by Advocis with online distance learning; however, Advocis has many educational partners that offer the same courses in universities. Additionally, each course can takes approximately 70 hours on average; however, the approximated hours of study required for this designation is 512 and must be completed in 120 days. The four pre-requisite courses cost between $400 and $600 each and the core courses cost between $500 to $800 a piece.
The advantages of this designation, according to their site, is that it allows you to join a highly recognized professional community while also giving you a competitivte advantage and the ability to meet the needs a wider client base.