The AFSB designation is the preeminent designation in the surety industry. Our office prides itself on our expertise and knowledge of the surety industry, and specifically on commercial surety. In order to prove and demonstrate our commitment to the surety industry, all employees of O&P pursue insurance designations related to our area of business.

The American Institute For Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, commonly referred to as simply “The Institutes,” offers courses, exams, certifications, and designations for various topics within the insurance industry. Suretyship represents only a small sector of the vast field of insurance, but The Institutes nonetheless offers a designation for surety professionals.

Most surety professionals should pursue the Associate in Fidelity and Surety Bonding designation. This designation requires a student to pass five exams. The first three exams consist of material strictly concerning bonding while the last two concern accounting and law:

  1. AFSB 151 – Principles of Suretyship
  2. AFSB 152 – Contract Surety
  3. AFSB 153 – Commercial Surety
  4. CPCU 530 – Business Law
  5. CPCU 540 – Accounting

AFSB 151 is an overview of the surety industry and covers topics such as rate-making, claims investigation, and underwriting.

AFSB 152 focuses on contract surety and discusses bid bonds, payment bonds, and performance bonds. This course also demonstrates how to carefully underwrite bonds for contractors based on careful analysis of financial statements.

AFSB 153 deals with commercial surety and fidelity bonds. Topics include our specialties, such as court bonds and miscellaneous bonds.

The two additional CPCU courses, 530 and 540, involve general law and accounting principles most surety and insurance professionals need to know in their career.

The surety industry considers Associates with this designation experts in our business by proving their knowledge to pass the exams. These exams require rigorous study and discipline to obtain. Many surety professionals have passed at least one or two of these exams, but could not find the time or commitment to finish the coursework.

However, obtaining the AFSB definitely reaps benefits for any surety professional’s career. Customers, clients, and business partners will more likely trust surety professionals with designations than those without them.

In our office, Bill has obtained this designation while myself and Neil are currently pursuing it.