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Upcoming Events and Webinars

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16 August

2018 ISO Personal Auto Changes

Casey Roberts

What is 14 pages long instead of 13, is responsible for some 48 new forms and endorsements; including a new declarations page, 8 new endorsements, 31 revised endorsements and 5 withdrawn endorsements? Why, the new PAP effective September 2018! Atte...

23 August

The Experience Mod: Many are Wrong, Most are Mismanaged

Kevin Ring

What is the minimum mod and how can you help employers get closer to it? How can you more effectively manage your clients experience mod so that it is as low as it can be every year? Participants will also learn about simple red flags to look for on ...

30 August

BI/EE/Spoilage and Off Premises Utility Failure

David Thompson

Whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, wildfire, or ice storm, many businesses suffer a financial loss due to off premises utility failure and/or spoilage. For insurance agencies, it’s almost always a significant cause of E&O losses.

6 September

Managing, Motivating & Compensating Your Staff

Becky Lathrop

We often get bogged down in working in our businesses, rather than working on our businesses. How does proper back office management impact the bottom line? How can making a plan to manage, motivate, and compensate the team actually increase revenue ...

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Instructed by More Than 50 Industry Experts

Patrick Wraight
Kathy Ryan
Frederick Fisher
Nancy Germond
Chris Burand
Chris Christian
Tom Wetzel
Mary Eisenhart
Rick Pitts
David Connolly
Marcel Schwantes
Christopher Longo
Joe Harrington
Terry Tadlock
Jones Loflin

*Click on an instructor's headshot to view their bio.

Patrick Wraight

Patrick is the Director of Insurance Journal’s Academy of Insurance. As such, he sees himself as the Senior Brand Promoter of the Academy. His goal is to help the industry to see the Academy the way he sees it, as a valued partner in the training and development of insurance professionals.

He started his insurance career as a commercial underwriter for an MGA that wrote fire departments, ambulance companies, home medical equipment dealers, and other niche markets. It was there that he also started his journey in insurance education. He designed and implemented a new underwriter training program.

From there, he moved to one of the largest Florida-based property insurers to become an underwriter trainer. While there, his role expanded beyond classroom and online training to become a learning consultant. He spent time with his customers to determine their learning needs and develop a plan to meet those needs.

Patrick has earned several industry designations:

  • CIC (Certified Insurance Counselor)
  • CRM (Certified Risk Manager)
  • CISR (Certified Insurance Service Representative)
  • AU (Associate in Commercial Underwriting)
  • AINS (Associate in General Insurance).


When he’s not working, he loves to spend time with his family, traveling with his beloved and guiding their adult sons through adulthood.

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Kathy Ryan

Kathy Ryan, SPHR, is an award-winning author and owner of Pinnacle Coaching Group, LLC.  Over the last 30 years, Kathy has influenced thousands of people in the business and non-profit sectors through her coaching, consulting, speaking and on-site training. Her expertise covers a wide range of subjects including leadership, communication, human resources management, team dynamics, and performance management.

Kathy earned her B.A. degree in psychology and history from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and has been awarded a lifetime certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Society for Human Resources Management. She has experience working with diverse industries including insurance, hospitality and entertainment. She is certified in the use of the Myer-Briggs Type Assessment (MBTI), as well as a number of other assessments and tools to support development.

Kathy is author of the book, "You Have to Say the Words" An Integrity-Based Approach for Tackling Tough Conversations and Maximizing Performance, which won a Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association.  Her interactive training program based on the book has helped thousands of managers to improve their coaching skills and drive performance. Her articles on leadership and other personal development topics have been published in numerous magazines including the Insurance Journal. You can follow Kathy’s blog, Inspired Leadership, at www.CoachKathyRyan.com .

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Frederick Fisher

Frederick J. Fisher, J.D. is currently the President of Fisher Consulting Group, Inc. and was the Founder of E.L.M. Insurance Brokers, a Wholesale & MGA facility specializing in Professional Liability and Specialty Line risks. He is a Member of the Editorial Board for Agents of America;  a Faculty Member of the  Claims College,  and Member of the Executive Council, School of Professional Lines sponsored by the Claims & Litigation Management Association and course designer and webinar Instructor for the Academy of Insurance (sponsored by the Insurance Journal).

Since his career began,  Mr. Fisher focused on one vision: providing financial security to the client. The result was a  successful 40 year career in Specialty Lines Insurance.   In 1975, Mr. Fisher began his career on the service side, as an Independent E&O claims adjuster. In 1982, he bought the Company, continued with claims, while expanding the firm’s services to include  qualitative claim auditing, risk management & loss control services, and acting as a TPA. In only 4 years, the annual billings increased by 400%.  His claim auditing techniques and recommendations resulted in substantial client savings (including the SCRTD now known as the Los Angles MTA). Many Insurers and self-insured’s adopted not only the performance standards raised in the audits, but adopted his recommended Attorney Management Guidelines as a base, which are still in use today by many major insurers. 


In 1995, he formed what is now known as ELM insurance Brokers, a firm that has acted as an MGA and Wholesale Broker of Professional Liability Insurance  and Specialty Lines. From nothing, the firm grew rapidly to a $30 Million dollar facility when sold in 2008. He has lectured extensively on professional liability issues since 1978, and authored over 64 articles in trade journals and periodicals. He is the author of BROKER BEWARE, Selling Real Estate within the Law. He designed a program to conduct on site pre-underwriting risk management assessments of a clients' professional liability exposures. In 1993, he was elected to the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Board of Trustees. After serving in all Officer capacities, he was elected President in 1997.  He remains a Special Materials Expert for several RPLU courses and is the Senior Technical Advisor for The Professional Liability Manual, first published by the International Risk Management Institute in 1990. He has taught over 100  CE classes and lectures. He testifies regularly as an expert witness in cases dealing with the duties and obligations of professionals as well as on coverage and claims-made issues.


Mr. Fisher can be reached at 310/413-6200, Email-fjfisher@fishercg.com

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Nancy Germond

Nancy Germond is the President of Insurance Writer, a consulting firm located in Phoenix, Arizona. With more than three decades of risk management experience, her unique insights and abilities help businesses better understand and manage their risk. Nancy has authored scores of risk management-related articles, white papers and has consulted and presented to both public sector and private sector insurance organizations.


A second-generation insurance professional, Nancy was the first risk manager of the City of Prescott, Arizona, and has worked in the private and public sectors as a claim and risk manager. In 1997 she founded Insurance Writer to assist insurance organizations to better manage their employment-related issues and to better penetrate the competitive insurance marketplace. Nancy holds a B.A. in Communication from Mills College and a Masters degree in sociology from Lincoln University. She also holds the Associate in Risk Management, the Associate in Claims designation from the Insurance Institute of America, the Insurance Training Professional Designation from the Society of Insurance Trainers and is a Senior Professional in Human Resource Management.

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Chris Burand

Chris Burand is president and owner of Burand & Associates, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in the property-casualty insurance industry.  Chris is recognized as a leading consultant for agency valuations, increasing profits, and producer compensation plans.  His services include: Agency valuations/due diligence, producer compensation plans, expert witness services, E&O carrier approved E&O procedure reviews, and agency operation enhancement reviews.  He also provides the acclaimed Contingency Contract Analysis® service and has the largest database and knowledge of contingency contracts in the insurance industry.


Chris has more than twenty-five years’ experience. He brings his broad experience and wealth of knowledge into every agency.  He is a featured speaker across the continent at more than 300 conventions and educational programs. He writes a monthly article for the Insurance Journal.  Prior, he wrote a monthly column for American Agent & Broker for 11 years.  His articles have been published more than 250 times and have been published by Rough Notes, The National Underwriter, A.M. Best, and approximately a dozen regional insurance publications. He also publishes Burand’s Insurance Agency Adviser for independent insurance agents.

Chris holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business with emphasis in Finance from the University of Colorado and a MBA from the University of Denver. He is a member of the Institute of Business Appraisers, NACVA, a Department Head for IIABA's Virtual University, a contributing consultant for IMMS, and a volunteer counselor for the Small Business Administration's SCORE program.


Areas of Expertise:

  • Insurance Agency Appraisals/Due Diligence: Chris performs appraisals for Acquisitions and Sales, Buy/Sell Agreements, Mergers, Dissolution, and Perpetuation Planning.
  • Contingency Contract Analysis: Contingency contracts offer opportunities to increase compensation through negotiations and strategically placing business. Chris’s Contingency Contract Analysis® service provides the information agents need to take advantage of those opportunities.
  • Agency Operations Enhancement Review: Chris provides comprehensive reviews to help agencies identify opportunities, fix weaknesses, and succeed.
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Chris Christian

Chris Christian stumbled into insurance in 1985 as a temporary employee at GAF Insurance Services, a bank-affiliated insurance agency in San Diego.  After six years with GAF, Chris moved to the carrier side, opening the San Diego branch office of RLI Corp, an underwriter of specialty lines of insurance.  The San Diego office was dedicated to Directors and Officers Liability coverage, and was the launching pad for Chris’s specialization in professional liability.

Chris left RLI in 1997 to establish her own underwriting facility at London American General Agency and branched out thereafter into professional liability broking.

Chris joined U.S. Risk in November of 2005 and six months later relocated herself, her significant other, and 26 animals to Tennessee, where she continues her pursuit of the art and science of professional liability broking, and contributes to the industry as a frequent speaker, author and association participant.

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Tom Wetzel

Tom Wetzel, industry journalist and digital marketing consultant for independent agents, started with the Insurance Information Institute and later then headed a state association of insurers. He worked for several major public relations agencies, developing campaigns for companies and associations, including the Society of CPCU. He is a frequent contributor to major insurance publications, served as the social media columnist for Rough Notes and now writes a column for agents in the Insurance Journal called “Tech Talk.”   His consulting firm has helped hundreds of agencies with websites, blogging, and social media services.  He also stays in touch with agents and companies through his workshops and presentations, his blog “The Good Risk,” as a participant through many social media groups, as moderator of “Social Media Management for Insurance Industry” on Facebook and as a member of the Insurance Marketing & Communications Association (IMCA).   He has presented hundreds of presentations over the years to national and state agent associations and clusters.

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Mary Eisenhart

Mary Eisenhart has spent 30 years in the insurance industry, both in independent agencies and with insurance carriers. In 1996, she became an insurance industry consultant, and is the owner of Eisenhart Consulting Group, a consulting firm dedicated to helping insurance organizations become extraordinary.


A graduate of the University of Nebraska, Mary has continued her insurance education by earning the CPCU, ARM, ARe, RPLU, CIC, and CPIW designations.


Mary has been featured in Rough Notes and other insurance industry publications, and has authored a Best Practices tool for IIAA, “The Next Generation: A Young Agent’s Best Practices Leadership Guide.” She has also chaired local and state “Big I” Education Committees. Mary develops and presents insurance industry management, technical, Best Practices, motivational, and risk management seminars throughout the U.S.

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Rick Pitts

Richard S. Pitts is Vice-President and General Counsel to Arlington/Roe & Co., Inc., an insurance brokerage and managing general agent headquartered in Indianapolis. Rick also serves as general counsel to the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana, Inc. As counsel to the “Big I,” Rick speaks annually at the association’s New Laws Seminars and teaches various seminars on insurance and employment related matters. Pitts has also presented continuing education seminars to insurance professionals in Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.


Rick is a 1983 graduate of Wabash College and a 1986 graduate of Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis. Pitts clerked for the Honorable Patrick D. Sullivan, a judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals in 1986-87. Rick is admitted to practice before Indiana state and federal courts, the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and is a member of local, state and national bar associations. Pitts has tried cases and participated in over seventy appeals.


Pitts has served as a panelist and lecturer on a variety continuing education subjects, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, “Mold: Issues Under the Microscope” for the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum (ICLEF), and “Insurance Issues for Builders” for the Indiana Builders Association. Rick has also served as chair of several of ICLEF’s seminars, including “Advanced Corporate Practice,” “Privacy Law,” and “Insurance Coverage Issues.” Rick has also presented seminars on “Insuring Fiduciary Exposures,” “Insurance Coverage Disputes,” and “Agency Succession and Perpetuation,” for the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana, 2007. Pitts has co-authored two articles appearing in the Indiana Law Review.

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David Connolly

David Connolly has devoted his entire 30 year career to the insurance industry and has worked in almost every facet of the industry.

As a producer, he developed a significant personal book of business built on national programs which generated over 1 million in revenue. As an educator, David instructed for The National Alliance, and The Wedge Group before forming his Minneapolis based Consultancy. He has coached thousands of insurance professionals in the US and Canada and gets high marks for his ability to translate technical sales concepts into useable skills.

David founded iQ Consulting in 2006 and developed a unique, cutting edge approach to producer performance by working in the field with the best producers in the business. His trade marked process is described by many as the most transparent and effective approaches to buyer facilitation ever conceived.

As a performance coach David works with many of the top 100 Agencies and Brokerage firms in the US and Canada to create immediate, significant and sustainable performance gains. As a public speaker, David delivers seminars, keynotes and workshops for companies, agencies and industry organizations including the Big I, and the PIA. He conducts open workshops on selling and sales leadership and runs the HPA High Performance Producer Academy 4 times per year. As a writer, he is published by many industry journals and continues to write on issues facing the insurance and financial industries. He currently writes a blog for the Insurance Journal called “Your Sales iQ” and is engaged in writing his first book on producer performance slated for publishing in 2011.

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Marcel Schwantes

Marcel Schwantes is a speaker, leadership coach, advisor, and syndicated columnist. He founded Leadership from the Core to help leaders discover the key to what makes people fully committed to doing extraordinary work. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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Christopher Longo

Chris Longo has been Chief Executive Officer of McGowan Excess & Casualty (MEC) since its founding in 2005.   MEC is a Managing General Underwriter with specialized skills in Commercial Umbrella and Excess insurance.   Chris was previously the President of St. Paul Travelers Specialty Excess & Umbrella division and oversaw all of the unsupported umbrella business within that company.  Prior to that we was President of Chubb Atlantic, an off shore insurance company based in Bermuda.   Chris spent the first 19 years of his career with various Chubb companies and held a variety of senior Casualty positions including Vice President of U.S. Umbrella operations.

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Joe Harrington

Joseph S. Harrington, CPCU, ARP, is an independent business researcher and writer specializing in property/casualty coverages and operations. He has published articles in numerous insurance publications and delivered numerous presentations for insurance groups.

For more than 21 years, Joe was communications director for the American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS). He has been active with The Institutes and the CPCU Society, and continues to serve on the Society's publications committee. Joe can be reached at josephsharrington@comcast.net.

 

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Terry Tadlock

Terry has been in the insurance industry since 1979.  In an attempt to enjoy a little slower paced life he has joined the Correll Insurance Group of agencies as the President of Coastal Plains Insurance, LLC (CPI) and South East Coastal Underwriters (SECU) in beautiful Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Terry is part owner and responsible for the day to day operations of CPI and SECU. 

Prior to Terry's joining CPI he was owner and CEO of Florida Insurance Educators , Inc. which is an insurance education and consulting firm that in conjunction with Florida  Insurance School worked with state and national organizations provides a variety of educational courses and consulting services.

Terry continues to accept national speaking engagements and writes technical articles for a variety of state and national insurance publications. In his spare time Terry is also recognized by Federal and State courts as an expert on insurance coverages and serves as an expert witness.

Terry began his career in 1979 in Florida. The majority of this time was spent as the principal of an independent insurance agency in Florida where he specialized in a variety of Professional Liability programs as well as designing several specialty programs serving the Construction industry.

Terry has also worked with the Florida Department of Insurance where he was the Administrator of Agents Licensing. His primary responsibilities included the approving individuals for agent licensing and supervision the writing of all state insurance examinations. During this time he also represented the state of Florida on the National Test Development Committee which sets standards for agents licensing examinations.

Currently, Terry holds a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and is a National Faculty Member of the Society. In addition, he serves as the Educational Consultant in the States of North Carolina.  Terry also holds a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriting (CPCU) and Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist CRIS) professional designations.

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Jones Loflin

Jones Loflin has made it his life’s work to deliver powerful ideas and practical solutions to individuals around the world so they can achieve more of what is most important to them. His books are described as “illuminating” and his presentations as “unforgettable.” In his 20 years as a speaker and trainer he has helped countless people regain confidence in their ability to achieve greater success in work and life.

Jones’ “3P Approach” of Powerful Ideas connected to Practical Solutions delivered with a Personal Approach has attracted the attention of organizations around the world. His client list includes Federal Express, Wal-Mart, Choice Hotels, Volvo Cars, Bridgestone, American Farm Bureau and State Farm as well as the United States Navy and Air Force.

Looking for ways to expand the reach of his message, Jones chose to become an author. Juggling Elephants is a witty and profound parable about one man’s search for solutions for the struggle of too much do. The book is available in the US and over 14 countries. He is also the author of Getting The Blue Ribbon, a unique story offering simple strategies to get better results in your work and life. His newest book, Getting to It, is receiving rave reviews as a field guide to accomplishing what is most important.

Prior to becoming an internationally-recognized speaker, Jones was an educator. His past work also includes serving as the “Trainer of Trainers” for the best-selling book, Who Moved My Cheese? He holds a BS and M.Ed. from North Carolina State University and is currently pursuing his MBA. He is a member of the National Speaker’s Association as well as the Association for Talent Development.

Jones believes the key to success is being passionate about certain things in life, including family, spiritual beliefs, career and relationships. He is active in his community and because of his commitment to improving the lives of others, Jones has been presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Charlotte Jaycees.

When not working with some amazing individuals and organizations seeking better results, Jones resides in North Carolina with his wonderful wife Lisa and their two perfect daughters.

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We Love the Academy Of Insurance

But don't take our word for it!

I have been taking advantage of the Insurance Journal educational classes (webinars) since they started providing them to us all.

I have been a member since the start which is a great advantage because the classes are all free for a year when you are a member.

The classes I have taken have very good content and the teachers know their topic and make the classes interesting.

There are a wide variety of classes and I believe you will be happy with whatever topic you choose.

Katie Freeman

Branch Manager, R.E. Chaix & Assoc

Insurance academy’s videos have helped me build a solid insurance foundation. They are very easy to follow and stay interested in.

Shelagh G.

Using Academy of Insurance online courses has helped our current staff with particular areas of coverage and has helped us develop our newbies to insurance as well as using the skills tests to help us mentor the new staff. I would recommend the use of Academy of Insurance for all levels of staff for add’l knowledge &/or training purposes.

Rena M.

I have been a customer of the Academy of Insurance for a little over 2 years. My office has viewed over 20 different courses and we have benefited from the instructors and the class material. I plan to continue to utilize this very useful resource for learning.

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Where do you stack up?

Insurance Skills Tests

These exams were designed to help you pinpoint areas of interest for possible training opportunities.

This skills test focuses on workers' compensation topics, including;

  • Work Comp Triggers
  • Work Comp Terms/Concepts
  • Work Comp Benefits
  • Work Comp Credits / Audits / Payroll
  • Work Comp Employee vs. Independent Contractor Classification
  • Monopolistic States
  • Work Comp Employer Classification
  • Work Comp Managing Out-of-State Exposure
  • Work Comp Endorsements
  • Work Comp Experience Mods
  • Work Comp Claims
  • USLS&HW and Other Federal WC Concepts and Coverage

This skills test focuses on personal lines topics, including;

  • Homeowners (HO) Coverage Forms
  • HO "Insured" status
  • HO Definitions
  • HO Covered Property
  • HO Coverage Limits
  • HO Valuations
  • HO Causes of Loss & Exclusions
  • HO Endorsements
  • HO Part II – Liability Coverages
  • HO Eligibility
  • Personal Auto Policy (PAP) Coverage Parts
  • PAP "You" and "Insured" Status
  • PAP Covered Autos
  • PAP Coverages & Exclusions
  • PAP Definitions
  • PAP Endorsements
  • PAP Eligibility and Rating

This skills test focuses on commercial property topics, including;

  • Commercial Property Policy Provisions
  • CPP Coverage Limits
  • CPP Causes of Loss
  • CPP Definitions
  • Business Income / Extra Expense (Including Endorsements)
  • Ordinance or Law Endorsement
  • Utility Service (CP 04 17) Endorsement
  • Spoilage Coverage (CP 04 40) Endorsement
  • Leasehold Interest Coverage
  • CPP General Endorsements

This skills test focuses on commercial general liability topics, including;

  • CGL Definitions
  • CGL Coverage Trigger
  • CGL Exclusions & Exceptions
  • CGL "Insured" Status
  • CGL Coverage Limits
  • CGL Endorsements
  • Business Auto Coverage (BAC) Symbols
  • BAC Insured Vehicles
  • BAC Insured Status
  • BAC Coverages & Exclusions
  • BAC Valuation
  • BAC Endorsements
  • BAC Rating

Want to get more insurance smart? Join the Academy Today.