What is a Chartered Life Underwriter?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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The status of a chartered life underwrite, or CLU is granted in recognition of persons who undergo a detailed training program that is concerned primarily with life insurance in general, and personal insurance planning in particular. The actual granting of the status is conducted under the auspices of the American College in Bryn Mawr, with the College setting the standards that are necessary for qualification. Applicants undergo a careful scrutiny and must fulfill all requirements before achieving the designation.

Chartered life underwriters often will already possess degrees from accredited universities that have to do with various aspects of finances in general. In addition, CLUs tend to have successfully worked in positions that involve a great deal of financial expertise. Because the completed courses that are necessary to become a chartered life underwriter are comprehensive in nature, the CLU will have expertise in all sorts of aspects of estate and financial planning, financial management, general economics, employee benefit package structuring, and corporation tax protocols.


One of the career paths that are of special note for persons who achieve the status of chartered life underwriter is in managing the overall finances for a given client. In some instances, this can lead to a lucrative consultant and management career with a focus on a particular industry type or company size. For example, the chartered life underwriter may find that he or she enjoys working with small businesses rather than large corporations. This makes it possible to build a business around the idea of providing assisting in financial tasks that range from creating employee benefit packages to helping with ensuring the company books are in order and taxes are being paid on time.

Along with consulting work with companies, the chartered life underwriter may choose to focus on managing the financial affairs of wealthy individuals. When this is the case, the CLU may be very helpful in managing investment portfolios, setting up family corporations, and establishing working trusts that help maximize the value of the holdings. Because a chartered life underwriter will have a reputation for possessing excellent educational credentials coupled with high ethical standards, anyone who has achieved this status is very likely to find building a successful career much easier.


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