I imagine there were threads for this on the AO but I couldn’t find any here thus:

Any thoughts on getting CPCU after FCAS? It seems like it could be useful as a P&C pricing actuary although it’s difficult to find much online that isn’t published by The Institutes, plus the exam+prep doesn’t seem particularly cheap if I’m going to start paying for that stuff out of pocket. I wonder if anyone has thoughts on doing this?

I think everyone I know that has done this had an employer that supported them in terms of materials and incentives. I think it would be more helpful for an early career FCAS that could use more general knowledge. The materials overall are pretty good.

CPCU exams should be a proverbial cake-walk after attaining Fellow.

The designation can be helpful for moving into an executive position of a large (primary) insurer.

It is helpful for gaining some respect from those who know what it is. Before you open your mouth, you’ll be assumed to know what you’re talking about.

Until you speak and remove all doubt.


It’s definitely helpful if you want to know the products, which is very important for pricing and rate filings.

Actuaries suck at product knowledge, especially P&C products.

Would not pay out of pocket, but if it’s covered by the employer then 100% do it. It should only take ~10-60 hours per exam - depends on your existing knowledge and personal learning abilities. For an FCAS, 60 would seem pretty extreme.

As far as actual value, I see it as a knowledge-rounder. It’s come somewhat in handy, getting me un-silo’d from the roles I’ve been in.

I sometimes fantasize about being one of those dudes with like 10 designations

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I have something like 10 designations . . .

But most are not polite to say in a professional setting.

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like CPCU?

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They’re not exciting and I leave them off of communications to not seem pretentious.

I have the actuarial one, a CPCU and at least 4 others from The Institutes, and the FLMI from LOMA. Everything following the actuarial credential probably took as much time as 1-2 prelim exams.

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Thanks for all the feedback guys, this has been really helpful.

Now to figure out if my firm will pay the expenses on CPCU because it seems like a good idea, although agreed if I had to pay out of pocket it’s probably too steep to be worth doing.

What about the ICAS credential?

It’s not an unreasonable route for people, but for what I’m interested in I think I’d rather be better versed with actively dealing with commercial brokers/underwriters.

I’m also a bit /r/unpopularopinion with the idea that actuaries are going to be displaced by data science if actuaries don’t become near data scientists.

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Oh I don’t disagree with you. I just think the predictive modeling skills, might be good to have.

The CPCU might be helpful. I think a lot of that is easier to learn on the job though.

Yeah I definitely agree with the learn on the job differences. One thought I had though is the signaling benefit. For example I could spend loads of money and go get a masters in statistics which would be great for gaining technical skills, but what’s the value of the signal of being able to say I have a masters when I’m FCAS? Probably very little. To that end I’ve thought of just figuring out a few specific statistics topics I’d like to learn more about (time-series being one that comes to mind) and independently studying that, particularly with the availability of stuff online.

In contrast I think CPCU may have the nice combination of probably not being that hard to get AND might actually have some signaling value where an underwriter/broker who before might have been like :eyeroll: actuary lives in a bubble will instead be more cooperative, etc. and thus be more valuable if all goes to plan and I continue dealing with underwriters/brokers a lot in my career.

I can’t tell you what a CPCU will add.

When I work with the UWs I find they are appreciative when you listen and admit you don’t know things. My limited personal experience is that really communication is key in commercial lines.

Your company might pay for an ICAS… not sure about a masters.

In other words, I am not sure how much an UW would actually care if I had a CPCU. I have a few friends who are an FCAS and a CPCU. I don’t think it really brought them any tangible help on the communication front with UWers. But that’s just a couple one off examples.

Yeah it’s tough to say. I do remember being a young analyst in an office full of underwriters and having cake at the office party when one lady got her CPCU so I’m tempted to think underwriters would recognize/be impressed by it.

Outside of the actuarial profession, masters >> FCAS.

Especially if you’re looking to do any teaching at a community college. (At least, the barriers to do this last are removed with a masters.)

By outside of the actuarial profession do you mean outside of insurance? Because I’m pretty comfortable staying in insurance forever.

Masters is just an egregious amount of money imo.