Monday, January 04, 2010

Procedures for Insurance Credentialing

Credibility is an important factor in the success of your insurance business. Since the insurance industry is saturated with agents and brokers of every kind, you must differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd and demonstrate to your potential clients that you have extensive knowledge, experience and education in the specific areas of their concern.

By obtaining different certifications and credentials, you can quickly and easily separate yourself from those agents and brokers who have not taken the time to prove their abilities, or who simply do not have your same level of education and industry knowledge.

Choose Your Designation

There are several insurance industry designations from which to choose, and each one gives you the ability to add a few letters to the end of your name on corporate stationary and business cards. Regardless of whether prospects and clients actually know the meaning of those credentials, they serve to initially prove that you have demonstrated your knowledge and commitment to ethics to a recognized industry authority.

To make the most of your credentialing efforts, choose a designation that most appropriately suits the bulk of your daily prospecting efforts and existing client base. For example, if you work primarily with senior citizens, consider obtaining the CAS, or Certified Annuity Specialist, designation.

According to the Agent Broker Training Center, the CAS designation “demonstrates the producer’s expertise and commitment to helping individuals work towards their retirement goals with annuities as a suitable option.”

Study for the Exam

After you have chosen the designation that makes the most sense for improving your ability to attract and retain the clients you want, contact the organization that sponsors the credentials. You will have to purchase the materials required to appropriately study and learn the information required for the designation. The course material typically consists of textbooks, CD-ROMs, and DVDs.

You can take most credentialing courses at your leisure using a computer connected to the Internet. However, some designations require a certain amount of in-person classroom instruction. These credentials typically come with a higher price tag but ultimately result in a much more stable understanding of the material required.

Pass the Test

When you are ready to take the final exam required to obtain the credentials, contact the sponsoring organization and inform it that you want to sit for the test. You will be required to visit an independent testing center to complete the test. Some tests can be completed relatively quickly, while others may take several hours or even days.

After you successfully pass the exam, your test results will be forwarded to the sponsoring organization for verification. You will receive notification from the sponsoring organization that it has reviewed and accepted your exam results, along with a welcome kit and other information pertaining to your newly acquired designation and credentialing.

This article is a Twisted Nonsense Exclusive! (01/04/2010)

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