CPCU Code of Professional Conduct

A little over 3 years ago The Institutes commissioned a task force to analyze the then-titled Code of Professional Ethics of the American Institute for CPCU The objectives of this task force were:

  1. Review the Code to determine if the Code was up to date given the changes in risk practices and the higher level of scrutiny that society currently demands.
  2. Determine if the Code needed to be amended to reflect difference in business practices and customs around the world
  3. Examine the rules, procedures and penalties including the disciplinary process and procedures, to determine if they needed to be updated as a result of the globalization of the industry.
  4. Determine what should be done to make the Code easier to uses as a guide to influence ethical decisions.

The findings of the task force were reviewed by The Institutes' senior staff and then approved by the Board of Ethical Inquiry which is a committee of CPCUs that reviews alleged violations of the Code. The BEI then submitted the recommendations to the Ethics Policy Committee of the Board of Trustees. The EPC approved the recommendations and instructed Institutes staff to implement the changes and communicate them to all appropriate individuals and organizations.

The first recommendation that was implemented was the creation of the new Ethical Guidelines for Insurance Professionals. These guidelines are based on the CPCU Canons and are available in our free online Ethical Guidelines for Insurance Professionals learning module.

The second recommendation that was undertaken was to update the Code, and extract it from the CPCU 510 course. The study of the Code is now a part of the Ethics Requirement to earn the CPCU designation. Those pursuing the CPCU designation must pass the 50-question exam for the free online Ethics and the CPCU Code of Professional Conduct learning module. By separating the study of ethics from other material, The Institutes are providing more practical ethical decision making tools to those aspiring to be CPCUs. The implementation of this change was recently announced.

The approved changes to the Code are as follows:

 Previous CodeNew Code
Title The Code of Professional Ethics of the American Institute for CPCU The CPCU Code of Professional Conduct
Statement of Purpose The goals described in the Code’s Canons direct all CPCUs and CPCU candidates to always perform their professional activities ethically. The minimum standards of conduct that the Code’s Rules support the integrity of the CPCU designation. All CPCUs are obligated to meet these minimum standards. Failure to do so may subject a CPCU or a CPCU candidate to disciplinary measures. The purpose of the CPCU Code of Professional Conduct is to provide standards and expectations for CPCUs. While the canons apply to all insurance professionals, the Rules presented after each Canon apply to holders of the CPCU designation and are enforced by the Ethics Policy Committee of the Institutes’ Board of Trustees
Canons Generally they now all start with Insurance professionals rather than CPCUs
Rules & Guidelines Rules have been consolidated and, in some instances, changed. Guidelines have been incorporated into Rules except for Canon 8. Guidelines are incorporated into Canon 8 using an Appendix
Canon 1 Both of the old rules under Canon 1 were replaced with the new Rule 1.1which summarizes the four guidelines that appeared under Canon 1.
Canon 2 Old Rule 2.1 is replaced with a new Rule 2.1 which summarizes the four guidelines that appeared under Canon 2
Canon 3 Rule 3.3 has been reworded to read: A CPCU shall remain informed of, uphold and not violate any policy, rule, law, or regulation relating to professional activities within the country in which business is being conducted, nor commit any felony, as defined by the country in which committed.
Canon 4 Rule 4.1 is unchanged and the old Rule 4.2 was shortened by replacing the list of insurance functions with the broad term "all aspects of insurance operations."
Canon 5 Old rule 5.1 was removed with the intent that it would be used in the actual teaching of the Code. The remaining 3 rules remain unchanged.
Canon 6 Rules were rewritten to include the guidelines that supported them.
Canon 7 Rule 7.1 was expanded to address the continuing education need. Old Rule 7.2 was removed as it was more connected to Canon 3 and is better used as a teaching tool.
Canon 8 The Guidelines supporting this canon have been put into an appendix and the Rules now specifically reference the appendix.
Canon 9 A new rule was added and appears as Rule 9.3 - A CPCU shall not retaliate against an individual for reporting an activity that the person, in good faith, believes to be a violation of any law, rule, regulation or provision of this code.
Disciplinary Rules, Procedures, and Penalties Section IV C. (1) In cases where the alleged Code violation involves the breach of Rule 3.3 of the Code or the suspension of a business to professional license... Section IV C. (1) In cases where the alleged Code violation involves the breach of Rule 3.3 of the Code due to a felony conviction...
Section IV C (2) If the disciplinary matter involves an alleged Code violation other that the types described in IV C. (1) above... Section IV C (2) If the disciplinary matter involves an alleged R3.3 violation other than a felony conviction or any other alleged Code violation other than the types described in IV C. (1) above...
Section IV D (1) In cases where the alleged Code violation involves the breach of Rule 3.3 of the Code or the suspension of a business or professional license... Section IV D (1) In cases where the alleged Code violation involves the breach of Rule 3.3 of the Code due to a felony conviction...
Section IV D (2) If the disciplinary matter involves a Code violation other than the types described in IV D. (1) above... Section IV D (2) If the disciplinary matter involves an alleged R3.3 violation other than a felony conviction or any other alleged Code violation...
Section VI (3) The President of the American Institute for CPCU or his designee will conduct an audit of Counsel’s activities performed under Section IV C (1) and (2) and D (1) and (2).
IV A (1) All complaints alleging a violation of the Code of Professional Ethics shall be submitted in writing to Counsel and signed by the complainant IV A (1) Complaints alleging a violation of the CPCU Code of Professional Conduct shall be submitted in writing, by US Mail, facsimile or e-mail, as long as the allegation contains the complaining party’s name, address and telephone
IV A (2) If, after the investigation described in paragraph B., it is decided to proceed with formal disciplinary proceedings, a copy of the complaint shall be furnished by Counsel to the person or persons against whom the complaint is lodged. IV A (2) Information regarding an alleged violation received by phone, or other types of communication ( e.g. newspaper articles, publications, etc.) and anonymous complaints may be investigated at the discretion of the Ethics Counsel in consultation with the Executive Council of the AICPCU to determine if there is sufficient information upon which to base a complaint.
IV B (1) Counsel will protect the confidentiality of the complainant to the extent possible. Counsel cannot guarantee complete confidentiality because Counsel may be unable to conduct an effective investigation without revealing certain information to the accused and potential witnesses.

Quick Links