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Upcoming Events and Webinars

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

23 May

Business Income Claims that Cause Problems

Terry Tadlock

Spend some time with us as we look at actual claims, that were selected for our learning. Terry will guide us through the stories of several real claims that will help us to better understand and apply Business Income coverage for our customers.

11 June

Resolving Claims Disputes: Step 0

Bill Wilson

This is a special Academy Event in 12 parts. Welcome to part 6! Join us as renowned insurance educator, author, and speaker, Bill Wilson, starts to walk us through his best selling book, "When Words Collide". In this session, he helps us to underst...

11 June

When Words Collide - The 12 Part Series Bundle

Bill Wilson

Have you ever wondered why a claim that seemed clearly covered was denied? Have you ever tried to convince someone that your reading of the policy was correct? Have you ever tried to help someone to get a claim covered when the adjuster denied cove...

13 June

The Latest Scoop on Additional Insureds and Certificates of Insurance

Joe Harrington

When a customer requests that an additional insured is added to their policy, they often don't know what coverage that additional insured is getting. What's worse is many insurance professionals aren't sure, either. Join us as Joe Harrington hel...

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Instructed by More Than 50 Industry Experts

Patrick Wraight
Kathy Ryan
Frederick Fisher
Nancy Germond
Chris Burand
Chris Christian
Tim Dodge
Joe Petrelli
Frank Pennachio
Ted Koeth
Kevin Amrhein
Larry Goanos
David Thompson
Joe Harrington
Chris Behymer

*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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Tim Dodge

Timothy D. Dodge, AU, ARM, CPCU is the Assistant Vice President of Research for Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc., headquartered in Dewitt, New York. Tim is responsible for answering members’ questions about insurance technical, legal, regulatory, and legislative matters, and for all communications with the media. He also writes for IIABNY’s weekly newsletter; maintains sections of the IIABNY Web site; writes a blog about insurance technical matters; hosted an award-winning video podcast; and teaches continuing education classes. Since 2008, he has served on national committees that work with ISO to improve coverage forms. He previously worked as a commercial lines underwriter and underwriting trainer for CNA Insurance in Syracuse. He is a graduate of the State University of New York College at Brockport and received the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation in 1998. He has held his current position with IIABNY since 2002. 

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Joe Petrelli

Joseph L. Petrelli is the President and a founder of Demotech, Inc. Petrelli is a Member in good standing of the Casualty Actuarial Society, American Academy of Actuaries and the Conference of Consulting Actuaries. He is a graduate of The College of Insurance (now a school within St. John’s University), having earned a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. He has also earned a Masters of Business Administration from The Ohio State University. He has been actively engaged in the P&C insurance industry since 1969.

Employed as a consultant since 1980, his previous work experience included Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Countryway Insurance Company and Insurance Services Office. Since he became a consultant, his clients have included the State of Ohio Department of Insurance, Ohio State Insurance Fund, State of Iowa and hundreds of regional insurance companies throughout the United States. Assignments include loss and loss adjustment expense reserve analysis, pricing recommendations and product development as well as assignment of Financial Stability Ratings® (FSRs).

Organized in 1985, Demotech, Inc. is a Columbus, Ohio based financial analysis company. Demotech, Inc. provides services to regional P&C insurance companies, Title underwriters, public entity insurance pools and specialty insurance markets including risk retention groups and captives. Given that FSRs of A or better have an impressive record of accomplishment predicting long-term solvency, FSRs of A or better are accepted by the secondary mortgage marketplace, virtually all mortgage lenders as well as an increasing number of umbrella and errors and omissions insurance markets.

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Frank Pennachio

Frank Pennachio is co-founder of Oceanus Partners, a sales training and consulting organization that works with agencies to leverage technical knowledge and sales strategy into successful new business development. Pennachio brings nearly 20 years of agency ownership/management, sales training and workers’ compensation expertise to his topics.


His keen industry understanding, empathetic and humorous style and depth of technical knowledge make him a popular speaker at insurance and workers’ compensation conferences. A highly regarded expert, Pennachio is a frequent contributor to such publications as Risk & Insurance, HR Magazine, Insurance Journal and Occupational Hazards and Risk & Insurance.

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Ted Koeth

Ted Koeth, Senior Vice President and Regional Operations Manager at Imperial PFS. Ted joined the company in 2001 and is responsible for the Northeast Region. Previously, he was with Transamerica Insurance Finance Corp as President & CEO and as Senior Vice President Originations and Risk Management. Ted also held several senior management positions at HSBC. Ted has an MBA and a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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Kevin Amrhein

Kevin is president of the Florida Insurance School of Continuing Education (FISCE) and the CE Partnership. He started his insurance career as a marketing intern before pounding the pavement as a commercial lines agent in Orlando, FL. He is a National Faculty member for the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research’s CIC and Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) programs.

As an industry journalist, his articles have appeared in a variety of trade publications. His insurance television career, short-lived but quite glorious, once saw him serve as the expert adviser on an insurance-themed infomercial (yes- you read that correctly).

Kevin is a graduate of the University of Central Florida. His first teaching gig was as a golf instructor where he was frequently kicked off driving ranges for giving free lessons.

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Larry Goanos

Larry is the founder of Andros Risk Services, an independent insurance consulting firm which performs a variety of services, including expert witness work, policy drafting, training on professional lines insurance products for brokers and underwriters, claims advocacy, reinsurance and insurance audits, due diligence reviews and program analysis for insureds.  He is also the Dean of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance's (www.theCLM.org) School of Professional Lines Claims.

Larry began his insurance career as an attorney with law firms in New York and Boston before moving into professional lines underwriting management.  He has held senior underwriting executive positions at AIG/National Union and ACE and was a broker at Marsh in San Francisco and was a managing director and head of the Marsh FINPRO Financial Institutions National Sales Practice in New York.  Larry was the president and chief marketing officer of Professional Indemnity Agency, an underwriting subsidiary of Houston Casualty before founding Andros Risk Services. 

Larry is the author of the book "Claims Made & Reported: A Journey Through D&O, E&O and Other Professional Lines of Insurance," which was published in 2008 (Soho Publishing: New York, 376 pages).  Warren Buffet said of the book: "I enjoyed it thoroughly. I hope our insurance managers got copies as I know they would enjoy it as I did.  It deserves accolades."  In November of 2011 the book was translated into Japanese and published in Japan.  Larry’s next insurance book, “D&O 101: Understanding Directors and Officers Liability Insurance – A Holistic Approach,” was published by Wells Media Group, Inc. in July 2014.  Of that book Warren Buffett said “Congratulations on another terrific book.”  

Larry is a cum laude graduate of both Villanova University and Boston College Law School.   

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David Thompson

After receiving his college degree from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and serving seven years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard, David began his insurance career in a family-owned independent agency in Vero Beach, Florida where he was a licensed agent selling all types of insurance. 

In 1996 David accepted a training & education position with the Florida Association of Insurance Agents in Tallahassee, Florida where he presents continuing education seminars throughout the country on a variety of insurance subjects. 

In addition to being a full time insurance nerd, David is an avid runner and smokes the best ribs, chicken, and pork in the country.  

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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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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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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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Branch Manager, R.E. Chaix & Assoc

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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.