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The API™ or Associate in Personal Insurance designation is an associate level designation which is highly regarded in the personal insurance industry. This insurance designation focuses on the core topics of personal insurance such as personal lines business, underwriting, marketing, profitability and portfolio management
The API™ Designation helps insurance professionals gain the real-world skills needed to increase their confidence in working with upper management, supervisors, peers, and clients.
The API™ designation should be pursued by all insurance professionals in the personal insurance field. This designation helps all insurance professional increase their overall personal insurance knowledge and advance their career with a highly respected designation. Compared to other designations, such as the CPCU®, this designation is much quicker and is most beneficial for insurance personnel such as underwriters, customer service representatives, marketing representatives, adjusters, analysts and producers who deal in personal lines.
The API™ designation is achieved after the completion of a series of exams which focus on personal insurance topics such as underwriting, marketing, personal finance, property insurance, auto insurance, liability insurance and risk management. There are two options for earning the API™ designation. Option 1 consists of 3 exams and option 2 consists of 4 exams
We highly recommend the API™ designation option 1 since two of the exams (CPCU® 555 and CPCU® 556) count both towards the API™ designation and the CPCU® designation.
API™ Option 1 (Recommended)
API™ Option 2
The API™ exams are tough; the average pass ratio of a API™ exam is around 71%. That means on average 1 out of every 3 will fail the API™ exam. According to publicly published data, these are the pass rates of the API™ exams:
The API™ 28 exam is the first API™ exam in a series of three required exams to complete your API™ designation. The API™ 28 exam is a 90-minute exam consisting of 55 multiple choice questions broken up into two sections, part A and part B.
API™ 28 Exam – Difficulty
The API™ 28 exam questions are tough, these questions focus on the minor details and differences of the underwriting process and personal insurance product. It is extremely important that you memorize all of the underwriting techniques and details for each type of personal insurance product. This is the hardest part of the API™ 28 exam.
API™ 28 Exam – Topics
The API™ 28 exam covers the topics of personal insurance underwriting and marketing including underwriting for auto, homeowners, miscellaneous vehicles, umbrella, watercraft, and inland marine.
As you may have expected, a major focus of this exam is underwriting, in particular underwriting the homeowner’s policy, automobile, watercraft, and miscellaneous vehicles. Be sure to fully understand the underwriting considerations of each line of business. The API™ 28 exam will put you in the shoes of an underwriter, it will be your job to make an underwriting recommendation based on given scenario.
Below we are outlining some important API™ 28 exam topics. We recommend you master these topics before attempting the API™ 28 exam. This is our opinion of the topics that are important on your exam.
API™ 28 RESOURCES
For more information about the API™ 28 exam and the API™ designation, checkout some of our other free resources:
The CPCU® 555 exam is the second API™ exam in a series of three required exams to complete your API™ designation. The CPCU® 555 exam consists of 85 multiple choice questions broken up into two sections, part A and part B.
CPCU® 555 Exam – Difficulty
The CPCU® 555 exam questions are tough, these questions focus on the minor details and differences of the personal insurance product. It is extremely important that you memorize all of the endorsements and coverages for each type of personal insurance product. This is the hardest part of the 555 exam.
CPCU® 555 Exam – Topics
The major focus of the CPCU® 555 exam is insurance and personal insurance coverages. The main topics covered in this exam include auto insurance, homeowners insurance, watercraft insurance, and personal insurance profitability.
Below we are outlining some important CPCU® 555 exam topics. We recommend you master these topics before attempting the CPCU® 555 exam. This is our opinion of the topics that are important on your exam.
CPCU® 555 RESOURCES
For more information about the CPCU® 555 exam, checkout some of our other free resources:
The CPCU® 556 exam is the third API™ exam in a series of three required exams to complete your API™ designation. The CPCU® 556 exam consists of 85 multiple choice questions broken up into two sections, part A and part B.
CPCU® 556 Exam – Difficulty
The CPCU® 556 exam questions are tough, these questions focus on the minor details and differences of the investing and retirement funding vehicles. It is extremely important that you memorize the tax treatment of each vehicle, this is the hardest part of the 556 exam.
These questions will test your application of the information by putting you in the shoes of a financial advisor. These questions will give you a real-life scenario; your job will be to select the best recommendation to solve the given scenario. For example, a question may give you a scenario in which a 55-year-old man is planning to retire but would like to use a retirement funding vehicle with little risk and tax free distributions. You will have to choose from the multiple-choice answers to select the best option for this individual. All of the multiple-choice options may be partially correct, such as Roth IRA, 401(k), Traditional IRA, and Mutual fund, but you must choose the best option.
CPCU® 556 Exam – Topics
The CPCU® 556 exam focuses primarily on personal financial planning including retirement funding, investing, annuities, life insurance, and health insurance. The CPCU® 556 exam counts towards both the Associate in Personal Insurance designation (API™) and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation (CPCU®).
To fully prepare for these types of questions you must completely understand how each retirement funding vehicle operates meaning you should understand the tax treatment, required minimum distributions, contribution limits, age limits, etcetera… Memorize every minor detail. (Yes, the minor details are very important!)
CPCU® 556 RESOURCES
For more information about the CPCU® 556 exam, checkout some of our other free resources:
Remember, every CPCU® exam is different. No single exam is the same. Be sure to study ALL topics (not just our recommendation). This resource is intended to provide you with a general idea of where your focus should be. Make sure to thoroughly study every topic of this exam.
Difficulty rank, importance rank, and the advice provided in this resource are solely the opinion of AssociatePI. This resource is intended to provide you with a general idea of where your focus should be. Each exam administered by The Institutes is different. AssociatePI is not affiliated with The Institutes or involved in the exam writing process. Please be sure to thoroughly study every chapter and every topic of this course.
CPCU® exams are administered by the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (“The Institutes”). AssociatePI does not administer the actual exams, we are an independent resource of free content, advice, and study material for professional insurance education. This blog is intended for informational purposes only, to inform prospective students of the benefit of the CPCU® designation.
CPCU® and API™ are trademarks of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (“The Institutes”). AssociatePI LLC is not affiliated with, associated with, endorsed by or otherwise supported or recognized by The Institutes in any way. AssociatePI LLC is not authorized by The Institutes to offer courses, practice examinations, or any other resources related to the Institutes’ designations or other programs.
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