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Business Owner's Guide

Workers' Compensation in Two Hours

By Nancy Germond MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, ARM, AIC, ITP

Correctly managing your workers' compensation coverage may mean the difference between staying open another year, or closing your doors for good. Nancy breaks down the complexity of workers' compensation, why you need it, why you need to pay attention to it, and how doing it well will make your team better, and help your company's bottom line.

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Upcoming Events and Webinars

Join us during our live and interactive webinars. Purchase an individual webinar or become a member.

30 November

Ways to Finance Risk

Patrick Wraight

In this fourth session of our Risk Management Basics series, we discuss how an organization can finance the risks that they take on. This step in the Risk Management Cycle is critical because an organization that has decided to take on certain risks ...

2 December

Cannabis Claims: A Look at Coverage

Chantal Roberts

There are more areas in the country where cannabis is legal than not, yet with it being considered a controlled substance by the federal government and with varying levels of legality in each state, the insurance issues can be complex. Then you add a...

7 December

Life After Leaping In

Abi Potter Clough

Let's be honest. Change stinks. Most of us don't like change at all. Join us as Abi Potter Clough brings her perspective on change and helps us to navigate those troubled waters.

9 December

Extra Money for Bills, Beer, or Both - Insuring Side Gigs

Kevin Amrhein

Regardless of what you intend to do with them, making a few extra bucks on the side is always helpful. But doing so isn’t without risk, and your personal lines insureds who believe they have liability coverage may be in for an unpleasant surpri...

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Instructed by More Than 50 Industry Experts

Patrick Wraight
Kathy Ryan
Frederick Fisher
Nancy Germond
Chris Burand
Chris Christian
John Eubank
Brennan Quintus
Casey Roberts
Ron Fry
Martin Frappollli
Veronica Stevens
Preston Diamond
Chris Behymer
Marsha Egan

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

Patrick Wraight

Patrick is the Director of Insurance Journal’s Academy of Insurance. As an insurance learning professional, he is passionate about taking the complicated and making it accessible for everyone, especially the insurance community.

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 by designing and implementing 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).


Patrick is also the 2021-22 President of SITE, the Society of Insurance Trainers and Educators.

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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 Instructor for the Academy of Insurance.

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-insureds 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.

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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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John Eubank

John O. Eubank, CPCU, ARM, is CEO and President of Professional Insurance Education, Inc. He was previously employed by the Insurance Services Office, Inc., as the Regional Operations Manager for its subsidiary Commercial Risk Services, Inc.

Mr. Eubank attended Vanderbilt University and was graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois with a BS degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering.

His professional affiliations have included Regional Vice President of the Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (CPCU), PMLG of the Honorable Order of Blue Goose, member of the National Fire Protection Association, and member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

Mr. Eubank serves as a trainer and speaker for various organizations including the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America affiliates. He has also conducted training for the Great American Insurance Co., Hoosier Insurance Co., the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC), Society of CPCU, The National Association of Insurance Women (NAIW), the North American Retail Dealers Association and the Southern Agents Conference.

Mr. Eubank is recognized as one of the premier insurance educators having served as a National Faculty member of the Society of CIC since 1976, a national faculty member of the IIABA Virtual University, and is the recipient of the Professional Leadership Scroll from the American Institute for Property & Liability Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America. He has researched, developed, written and published dozens of technical manuals and articles in business and trade periodicals.

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Brennan Quintus

Brennan Quintus is the Chief Executive Officer of the North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund (NDIRF), the source of risk services for North Dakota’s cities, counties, school districts, and other political subdivisions. Prior to being appointed CEO, Brennan led the NDIRF’s underwriting and loss control departments.

Brennan holds an undergraduate degree and an MBA from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND and is currently pursuing a law degree from Concord Law School, an affiliate of the Purdue University System. He also holds many insurance designations, including the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designations.

In addition to his role at the NDIRF, Brennan also serves as the President of the ND Roughrider Chapter of the CPCU Society and as an Executive Committee Member for the ND HR Collaborative.

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Casey Roberts

When he started as an insurance agent with a direct writer in 1976, Casey never contemplated arriving where he is today.

Since that time he has worked as a personal lines producer and sales manager, commercial producer and sales manager, insurance consultant, continuing education teacher, and provider as well as a sales and sales management trainer, consultant, and expert witness.

In 2010 Casey formed Laurus (lorus) Insurance Consulting.  His company’s name was chosen with specific intent and purpose.  The name “Laurus” is derived from Latin words meaning “victory” or “success”.

The main purpose of Laurus Insurance Consulting is to help insurance professionals reach their goals and sales potential; ie, to achieve Their Desired Personal & Business Success. 

His history includes various stints as a leader on a local and state basis within the Independent Insurance agency business model.  He has achieved his various industry designations over a number of years and is contemplating his next one.

His continuing education efforts include teaching topics on a national level as varied as: insurance agents/brokers errors and omissions, workers’ compensation, agency management, all personal lines topics, farm property & liability, excess & umbrella, risk management, agency operations, and multiple commercial lines topics.   

Casey’s other passions include a seldom improving golf game and officiating boys and girls high school basketball in the greater Sacramento region.

He resides in Lincoln, California with his wife, Elaine MacKay, and their two dogs, Buddy & Bear.

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Ron Fry

Ron Fry joined Sherman & Company in January 2010, bringing twelve years of insurance investment banking experience to the firm. Mr. Fry’s responsibilities include sourcing and supporting banking transactions, and building relationships with clients operating in the property & casualty, life/health, and reinsurance sectors.


Before joining Sherman & Company, Ron was most recently a Vice President with Wachovia Securities LLC in the Financial Institutions Group. In that role he managed the risk of a multi-billion dollar portfolio of insurance and financial services companies and underwrote financings that included acquisitions, bridge loans, revolving and term credits, and insurance letter of credit facilities. His prior roles at Wachovia Securities and its predecessor, First Union Securities, included various roles covering financial institutions in Corporate Banking, Structuring & Underwriting and Risk Management, as well as the Agency Management division of Loan Syndications. Throughout his career he has primarily focused on insurance carriers and insurance distributors while working with a broad array of financial institutions clients.


Mr. Fry earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Belmont Abbey College and a M.B.A. at Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Management. Prior to his undergraduate work Mr. Fry served in the US Army and continued to serve in the Army National Guard, including a 2004 deployment to Iraq, until his retirement from the military in 2006.


Contact Info:
(704) 943-2672
RFry@Sherman-Company.com

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Martin Frappollli

Marty Frappolli is a risk management and insurance consultant with Longhorn Knowledge Resources, headquartered in Austin, Texas. Longhorn offers custom individual and group insurance training, research, writing, and analytical services.

Previously, Marty served 18 years as Senior Director of Knowledge Resources for The Institutes in Malvern PA. His experience there includes the design of educational courses and safeguarding the academic integrity of Institutes curriculum. His national presentations and articles include showcases at RIMS, PLRB, IDMA, CAS, ACORD, NAPIA, and the CPCU Society. His specialty areas include claims, the IoT, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, cyber risk, and data management.

He is the author of these Institutes courses: Auto Claims Practices, Managing Cyber Risk, Claims Handling Principles and Practices, CPCU 530 - Business Law for Insurance Professionals, Principles of Workers Compensation Claims, Liability Claims Practices, and Claims Leadership & Organizational Alignment.

Before joining the Institutes, Marty led the Data Management group at NJM Insurance. Marty earned his B.A. at Rutgers University and his Masters in Organizational Leadership at Quinnipiac University. He was awarded the Fellow in Insurance Data Management (FIDM) designation by the Insurance Data Management Association (IDMA). 

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Veronica Stevens

Veronica Stevens is currently the marketing representative for Cochrane & Co.

She started working for Cochrane & Co in July of 1982.  She previously worked in the Property & Casualty division, but also worked in the Transportation division when she was first hired at Cochrane & Company. She has extensive experience underwriting surplus lines accounts, in addition to involvement in the claims handling and policy review. She has been teaching CE credit classes for agents and at the Under 40 Young Agents Conference the past 3 years.

She was awarded the Spokane Insurance Associates Industry Leader of the Year award in 2012.

The Marketing Dept at Cochrane & Co was awarded 1st Place in the Educational Division for the AAMGA in 2017 for classes taught to Independent Insurance Agents of Washington in 2016.

I love to read Insurance Forms and study coverage issues.  

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Preston Diamond

Preston is a founder and the Executive Director of “the Institute of WorkComp Professionals,” which trains and certifies insurance agents in workers’ compensation insurance.  He is well known to the industry, speaking nationally for numerous insurance associations and authoring articles that have appeared in multiple trade publications.  You may also know him through his weekly email, Presentation Skills Wisdom Letter.


Preston received his Bachelors Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley.  He also taught insurance at a California Community College and chaired a week long insurance agency management school for 6 years.


With over 50 years experience in the industry he has a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

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Chris Behymer

Chris Behymer received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in Risk Management and Insurance and Marketing in December of 1976.


He began his insurance career with Sentry Insurance in January of 1977 in the Personal Lines Underwriting Department and moved from Stevens Point, WI to Scottsdale, AZ in the fall of 1977. He became Underwriting Manager of a Personal Lines department in April of 1980 and was promoted to Marketing Sales Specialist in May of 1981 and Sales Training Manager in March of 1985.


He joined Scottsdale Insurance Company in October of 1987 as the Manager of Education and Training and was promoted to Director of Training and Development in February of 1991. In December of 1993, he was appointed to the position of Associate Vice President of Human Resource Development and Public Relations.


In October of 1998, Chris joined the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) as the Director of Education for their University. The AAMGA University specializes in developing educational programs for the excess and surplus lines industry.


In February of 2002, Chris was selected as the Vice President of Casualty Underwriting for Markel Southwest Underwriters in Scottsdale, AZ. The company specializes in insuring hard-to-place property and casualty insurance for general agents throughout the United States. In January of 2008, Chris was appointed Director of Marketing for the West Region of Markel and in December of 2010 he assumed the position of Director of Business Development.


Chris began teaching classes for the Insurance Institute of America in September of 1980 through Rio Salado Community College. He received his Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation in 1981 and the Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI) designation in 2001.


He served as the Director of the Education for the Central Arizona Chapter of CPCU from 1994 to 2011. He was elected Western Regional Vice President of The Society of Insurance Trainers and Educators (SITE) in June of 1992, Vice President of Annual Conference in June of 1995, and Vice President of Member Services in June of 1996. He rejoined the SITE Board from June of 2009 to June of 2011 as as Western Region Vice President. He has also served on the Curriculum Committee for the AAMGA University since 1995.

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Marsha Egan

Celebrated keynoter, facilitator, author and ICF-certified workplace productivity and business leader coach, Marsha Egan is devoted to energizing people to make the best use of their time so that they can lead their lives and achieve great stuff.


Focused on enabling growth through people, she applies her experience and skills to helping her clients achieve their personal, professional, and organizational goals.


Marsha Egan, CPCU, CSP, PCC, is CEO of the professional coaching firm, The Egan Group, Inc, which she started. She is an ATHENA Foundation Award recipient, one of PA's 50 Best Women in Business, and past president of the CPCU Society. A 25-yr. veteran of corporate & volunteer America, Ms. Egan intuitively reinvents leadership, by igniting leaders and entrepreneurs with positive change, interpersonal impact and innovation.

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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.

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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.

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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.