- About AFIP
The Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals is the sanctioning body for the F&I trade. AFIP sets the standard for technical competence and ethical conduct in the United States and assists in other countries (including Canada and many in Europe, South and Central America) as needed.
AFIP certifies in-dealership financial services personnel and provides a host of compliance and best practices products.
AFIP was the vision of Laurie DiGiovanni, an F&I executive who saw a need for the F&I industry to govern their own business practices and have an active voice regarding the laws that were to impact and define them. She envisioned an organization that would educate F&I personnel, encourage and offer support for compliance initiatives, and advocate on behalf of dealers and the industry at large.
With Laurie's direction, AFIP was founded in 1989 by Ford Motor Credit Company, GMAC, Bank of America, Dealer Based Services (the company that was owned at the time by AFIP’s current executive director, David Robertson), and many others. Laurie eventually handed the reigns over to industry veteran and long-time personal and industry supporter, David Robertson, who runs the association to this day.
The AFIP Certification Program was created as a response to the barrage of changing regulations in the automobile finance industry and the need to educate F&I personnel and lender and vendor field representatives.
AFIP began offering the state law module and the Walsh Institute for Ethical Behavior ethics module (in addition to the previous requirement to sign the Code of Ethics) in 2003. In 2004, AFIP launched the Senior Certification Course (recasting the existing AFIP Certification Course as the Basic Certification Course), making the AFIP Certification Program the first and only legal and ethical training continuing education program for in-dealership financial services personnel in the US. AFIP will soon launch the Master Certification Course to act as the third and final tier in AFIP’s program.
In 2007, AFIP launched the Enhanced AFIP Certification Program. The enhanced program features: the Carlaw F&I Legal Desk Book by the dealership lawyers at Hudson Cook in place of the old, bulky regulation-based text; an expanded multimedia set; a new course syllabus and study guide; online, on-demand testing at one of the hundreds of PSI (formerly LaserGrade) testing centers across the nation, and more!
The Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals has a threefold mission – to give a voice to the F&I practitioner; to protect the interests of the F&I profession, F&I professionals and their customers; and to support the companies that serve the F&I function.
F&I Professionals – Through the AFIP Certification Program, AFIP gives working and prospective F&I professionals the power to sell their products with confidence and authority. The course provides a working knowledge of the state and federal laws associated with the F&I profession and a published Code of Ethics for easy reference. The AFIP Certified F&I Professional logo on your diploma, nameplate, and business cards shows customers they’re dealing with a professional with superior qualifications. AFIP Certification is the MBA of the F&I profession!
Dealers – AFIP Certification gives your employees the tools necessary to operate comfortably within the law and to meet higher performance thresholds. As productive members of your team, they are less inclined to change jobs. Only one (inactive) AFIP member has ever been involved in an F&I-related dispute. If it does occur, you can use the employee’s AFIP Certification to produce proof that the employee was aware of the law and agreed in writing to act ethically, showing that you took action to prevent such an occurrence and that the worker is a rogue employee and his or her actions are not representative of the way you do business.
Industry Members – AFIP has a global constituency and a global approach to the F&I process. We serve as a proactive advocate for the interests of those who practice and manage in the F&I industry and of the lenders and vendors who serve the F&I process. Industry Member dues are used in part to fund AFIP’s lobby and public relations initiatives. Your support and active participation enable us to represent your interests aggressively to those with the power to enact or prevent legislation on your behalf. Your dealer clients and their F&I personnel will look to you as the fount from which all AFIP benefits flow. AFIP provides Industry Members with the opportunity to offer our services as value-added products.
General Agents – In terms of gross dollar sales, the general agents in support of the automobile industry used to comprise the largest marketing entity in the United States to operate without the support of an advocacy organization. AFIP created the Association of Independent General Agents in 2006 to give GAs the opportunity to speak with a single voice and to reap the benefits of a unified lobby and service provider. The annual dues paid by the independent general agents will cover the administrative costs of operating the agents association. AIGA operates in conjunction with AFIP to further the goals of its GA members and the industry at large.
Consumers – The services AFIP provides its constituents assist and protect the consumer, as well. Look for the AFIP Certified F&I Professional logo on your F&I professional’s wall, desk, or business card. It is the mark of an individual who has given the time and energy necessary to familiarize themselves with the laws regarding the sale and finance of vehicles and who has made the pledge to abide ethically in all dealings with all customers. In addition, you can contact AFIP to assist you in understanding your vehicle purchase-related documents and to help you resolve any contract errors or disputes with no legal hassles.