A critical success - The value of critical thinking

Advanced CIP imageThe value of critical thinking is a no-brainer.

Insurance professionals constantly undertake complex evaluations in their business. They analyze financial or claims data, create and interpret contract wording, and determine the right coverage for clients at the right value. How do you learn to think in ways that will improve your performance in whatever you do at work? Critical Thinking for Insurance Professionals is available as part of The Insurance Institute of Canada’s four-course Advanced CIP certificate program and can be taken as a stand-alone course. The facilitated online offering provides learners an opportunity to hone their skills in business, persuasion, and problem-solving.

“I really enjoyed the critical thinking course, and I took a lot away from it,” says Jennifer Young, a claims assistant at Economical Insurance. “It gave me a whole new outlook regarding thinking critically on a daily basis, whether that be at work or outside of work.”

Young is a relative newcomer to the p&c industry, having joined Economical about a year ago. She finished her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation in two years and pursued the Advanced CIP certificate immediately afterwards. The critical thinking course has translated into more confident and effective performance at work, she said.

“I’ve learned a lot about how to communicate effectively in writing and also in presentations,” Young said. “I feel more comfortable sending out mass emails to the department or to the whole company. I go over what I’m saying, and make sure all relevant information is there before I send it out. And as far as presentations go, I take a lot of time to research and gather information. I’m well-prepared, engage the audience and make myself available for questions before and after.”

Elaine Pohl of SGI Canada became a CIP in 2008. She saw the Advanced CIP as a way to get back into the swing of online learning; she particularly liked the “real-life” relevance of the course readings, as well as the opportunity to discuss hot topics with fellow insurance professionals from across the country. The course got her to apply new ways of thinking to the design of new insurance programs at her work.

“The [reading material in Critical Thinking] gave you an overview of how and why you get a program out there,” she says. “What are the benefits for the company and the individual? Who are you going to impact and why? I applied some of those questions from the course readings and discussions to one of my organization’s own projects and asked, ‘Did you do that?’”

The answers to her questions gave Pohl critical insights into her organization’s business strategy and objectives.

Tehara Bertram of Restora Risk Solutions became a CIP in 2006. Like Pohl, Bertram started the Advanced CIP Program after being out of school for some time. She says the Critical Thinking course gave her skills that not only furthered her professional development but her personal development, as well.

 “Overall it was an invaluable course, not just at work but definitely in my daily life,” said Bertram. “I’ve used some of the many skills and thought processes with my daughter in university. I’ve tried to get her to think outside the box and add things to her papers that maybe she’s missed or hasn’t thought of. “

For more information about the Critical Thinking for Insurance Professionals course, and the Advanced CIP program, we encourage you to visit the website. Registration for the fall is open.