What is a CIP?

CIP refers to theChartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation. The courses leading to the CIP designation provide general and technical knowledge specific to the Canadian property and casualty (p&c) insurance industry. Unique to the Insurance Institute, it is a uniform standard indicating that all CIPs have met the same test of knowledge and adhere to a strict Code of Ethics. There are more than 17,000 graduates of the CIP program in Canada.

The CIP program provides skills and knowledge related to several available career paths, including insurance broker,agent, underwriter, adjuster or risk manager.

Why haven’t I heard about the CIP before?

Some parts of the property and casualty (p&c) insurance industry do not conduct business directly with consumers. As a result, the public may not be aware of the standards for professional development within the industry.

Underwriters, for example – the people who write the insurance policies – do not sell the policies to consumers, so the public will not deal with them directly. Similarly, commercial insurance companies will insure businesses, as opposed to individuals, and the main point of contact between a business and its insurer during the insurance purchase may be through a link such as an insurance broker.

Not being directly exposed to what some insurance professionals do, the public may not realize that insurance professionals carry credentials such as the CIP designation to learn their craft.

The CIP designation is well-known within the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry, with 97per cent of employers offering some sort of support for CIP students working within their organizations.

Is an insurance professional required to have a CIP designation? Is it part of any licensing requirement?

Insurance professionals are not required to have a CIP designation to work in the p&c industry, although p&c professionals clearly see the value of the CIP program in furthering their professional development.

In a Conference Board of Canada survey of 91 p&c insurance employers, more than 7 out of 10 employers agreed that the CIP program increases the quality of p&c industry services to consumers.

Employees show a high level of interest in the CIP program. In fact, the Conference Board study shows that nearly 7 out of 10 industry professionals without a CIP designation said they will likely voluntarily take a CIP course sometime during the next year.


Eighty per cent of employees agree that the CIP designation leads to better career prospects. In job postings for experienced professionals, 25 per cent of employers require a CIP designation, while another 45 per cent indicate that it is preferred.

What does an insurance professional have to do to attain the CIP designation? What do you learn in the CIP program?

The CIP program consists of approximately 30 courses, 10 of which are required to satisfy the educational requirements of the designation.

The 10 main courses break down as follows:

Five mandatory courses:

First, the CIP program provides all students with the fundamentals of the p&c insurance industry through the following five mandatory courses:

Three applied professional courses:

Once they complete the five mandatory courses listed above, CIP students develop areas of specialization by taking three applied professional courses. These courses teach the fundamentals to insurance professionals working in the following areas of the profession:

Two elective courses:

After finishing the mandatory and applied professional courses, CIP students can then select two courses from among 30 specialized elective courses covering a wide range of insurance topics.

Industry experience requirement:

Can insurance professionals obtain the same or a similar education from anywhere else?

The CIP is the only educational program that offers a broad overview of the entire p&c insurance industry. It is designed to expand and deepen the understanding of key insurance concepts and practices for professionals working in the entire industry.

Apart from the CIP program, several education/training opportunities are available for insurance professionals, including:

Why can’t insurance professionals learn the same thing through their companies/universities?

The Conference Board of Canada found that “the majority of professionals entering the p&c insurance industry graduate from their post-secondary education with only a limited understanding of the industry.” Based on a comprehensive survey of the industry, the Conference Board estimated that 60 per cent of new entrants into the industry are likely to need some further education and training to prepare them for the demands of the p&c industry. The CIP offers a focused education relevant to those in the p&c industry.

What difference does it make to me as a consumer whether or not my insurance professional has a CIP?

Consumers are well-served by people who have their CIP designation. The Conference Board found in its survey that “almost three-quarters of the 90 employer respondents indicated that CIP employees were either more competent or somewhat more competent” in their work as a result of having their CIP designation As well, almost 80% of employers in the Conference Board study found that the CIP was beneficial to some degree in establishing trust with clients.

What is the Insurance Institute, and what does it do?

The Insurance Institute of Canada is a professional, not-for-profit organization with its roots dating back to 1899. It was created for the purpose of providing professional development for men and women employed in the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry. Based in Toronto, Canada, The Insurance Institute of Canada has more than 39,000 members and is the umbrella organization for a network of 19 institutes and chapters across Canada.

The Insurance Institute is the premier source of professional education and career development for Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry. They offer two formal designation programs for insurance professionals, including the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) and the Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP), as well as numerous certificate programs and continuing education programs.

Do you have any other questions? Contact our Member Services Team at 1-866-362-8585 or email at IICmail@insuranceinstitute.ca.