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27 September

Becoming the Agent of the Future

Frank Pennachio

The app-based agency is here. What are you doing to keep your agency relevant in this age of instant information, instant quotes, instant policies, and instant service? Join us as we dive into the technology changes that are driving the market forwa...

4 October

Fix My Broken Commercial Property Policy

Kevin Amrhein

Your insured’s commercial property insurance policy is broken.

11 October

Insurance and Pets: Expanding exposure, expanding coverage

Joe Harrington

Years ago, household pets were just animals. In general, they could be disposed of or replaced with little more thought than you would give to a cow or goat. If a pet took ill, its owner would often "put it down" (euthanize it). If you accidentally k...

18 October

COPE and Commercial Property

Patrick Wraight

The principles behind property underwriting have been consistent from the very beginning of property insurance. In this two-part series, we will explore what these principles mean to you, whether you’re an agent, an underwriter, or a risk manag...

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Instructed by More Than 50 Industry Experts

Patrick Wraight
Kathy Ryan
Frederick Fisher
Nancy Germond
Chris Burand
Chris Christian
Marsha Egan
Craig Andrews
Preston Diamond
Mary Newgard
Michael Trouillon
Scott Simmonds
Chris Marinescu
Trent Massey
Marjorie Segale

*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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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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Craig Andrews

Craig Andrews is a forty-year veteran of the property-casualty industry with significant experience as a producer, independent agency owner, insurer commercial field production underwriter, coverage instructor, insurer commercial and personal underwriting and sales manager, expert witness, home office commercial underwriting manager and commercial product development officer.   He’s made perhaps hundreds of coverage presentations to diverse industry audiences throughout the country and has twice been interviewed by George Nordhaus for his “Monday Morning” webinars. 

 

Craig holds the CPCU, ARM, AAI, AU-M, ARe, AMIM and ASLI professional designations.  He has earned The Institute’s Award for Academic Excellence for both the ASLI and AMIM programs.  Craig is a graduate of Indiana University and a U.S. Navy veteran.  

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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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Mary Newgard

Mary Newgard, CPC, AU began her insurance career in 2003 as a commercial insurance producer for a nationally recognized independent agency, Cottingham & Butler. In 2006, she joined Capstone Search Group as a Search Associate focused on building the firm’s national reputation in agency consulting. Over the past five years Capstone has become well known for its partnership with independent, retail agencies dedicated to effective sales recruiting. In fact, Capstone is one of the few insurance recruiting firms with a dedicated focus in producer recruiting amongst all three major product disciplines: property and casualty, life and health and high net worth personal lines.


As a Senior Search Consultant, Mary works with agencies of varying size and ownership structure on enacting competitive, results driven sales and service recruiting. This includes education on compensation models, agency perpetuation, Mergers & Acquisitions and advanced technological resources. Additionally, she is integral in Capstone’s continued work with wholesale brokers, Managing General Agencies and Excess & Surplus markets, many of which face the same challenges in recruiting production based talent as retail brokers.
 

A graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, Mary is a member of the National Insurance Recruiters Association (NIRA) and is a Certified Personnel Consultant with the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS). In her spare time Mary stays busy with her husband, twin daughters, golfing and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes.

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Michael Trouillon

Michael Trouillion began his insurance career directly out of High School as a file clerk with a medium sized San Fernando Valley agency. Throughout his career, Michael has been an Assistant Account Manager, Account Manager, Account Executive (producer), Marketing Manager and Agency Operations Manager. He has also been a compliance manager for a large commercial property program and handled licensing and surplus lines filings for multiple states. These experiences gave him both the broad and specific view that helps him to understand processes and how to match workflows to them. Michael is a past board member of the SoCal Valley NetVU Chapter, Member of the NetVU Communications Committee (National Level), Member of NetVU Educators Guild and previously served on the Advisory Board of the Insurance Skills Center (insurance education arm of IBA West).

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Scott Simmonds

Scott Simmonds, CPCU, ARM, CMC started his insurance career in 1979. He has provided insurance advice and counsel to hundreds of companies, large and small, throughout the US.  Simmonds is a graduate of Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts. In 1987 he received the Certified Insurance Counselor designation from the Society of CIC.  In 1995, Simmonds completed his studies to qualify for the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation conferred by the American Institute for CPCU.  He completed the requirements for the Insurance Institute of America's Associate in Risk Management designation in 2005.  In 2007 he was awarded the Certified Management Consultant designation by the Institute of Management Consultants USA.


Simmonds' insurance work has involved companies in a wide range of industries. He has handled insurance and risk management issues for public and private corporations, including many with international operations. His work includes nonprofits, banks, municipalities, and schools. He is licensed in property, casualty, life and health insurance consulting.


Scott is a member of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, an organization accepting only the top 1% of consultants nationwide. He is the first and only insurance consultant granted membership in this prestigious organization. He was recently granted "Board Approved" status, an honor afforded to fewer than twenty consultants worldwide.


In 2006 Dr. Alan Weiss founded the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame to recognize world class consulting achievement. Dr. Weiss is a consultant and prolific author. He is recognized worldwide as the Dean of Consultants. Scott is one of only 24 inductees into the hall of fame. He is the only insurance consultant so honored.


Scott's writing and comments have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Portland Press Herald, Mainebiz, Fortune, Money, Inc. Magazine, the New York Times, Boston Globe, Investors Business Daily, Kiplinger's, the Los Angeles Times, and countless trade publications.


Simmonds lives in Saco, Maine, with his family. He enjoys reading, hiking, snowshoeing, and bird watching. He is a past president of the trade association, Maine Association Of Professional Consultants and of the Biddeford Saco Rotary Club. He is also active in many trade associations and serves on the adjunct faculty at the York County Community College in Wells, Maine.

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Chris Marinescu

Owner and Developer of Insurance Trust Accounting Technology

President of Paulmar Group LLC, Software Developer and Trust Accounting Service Provider Company

California Department of Insurance- approved Class Instructor
Author of several published articles by Insurance Journal and other outlets on insurance trust accounting and financial management

Master Degree in Civil/Structural Engineering and Engineering Economics

 

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Trent Massey

Trent is a 27 year veteran of the insurance industry and currently serves as a Property Programs Instructor for Vale Training Solutions in Arlington, Texas. At Vale, his roles have included developing, research, and training. Trent also lectures across the country on a variety of insurance claim issues and has spoken at Property Loss Research Bureau's National and Regional conventions, has been a featured speaker at the Restoration Industry Association National Convention, guest presenter at the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies conference, Property Catastrophe Services conference, CPCU chapter meetings, claims association meetings, and others.

For the past few years he has been a guest lecturer at the University of North Texas department of risk management and he is a repeat webinar presenter for the Insurance Journal's Academy of Insurance. Trent authored the Green Risk Professional certification course at Vale, and in 2006 he wrote the e-book, Catastrophe Adjusting. He has earned the Associate in Claims (AIC) and LEED Green Associate designations. In addition, he is certified as a Corporate Social Responsibility Practitioner from the Institute of Environmental Management Assessment.

Trent has a Bachelor Business Administration degree from the University of North Texas (1986) where he studied insurance and real estate. His experience includes past tenures as an independent adjuster, agent, field adjuster at State Farm Insurance and former CEO of a fire and water restoration company. He has been at Vale since 2008. Trent has been married sixteen years to his wife, Heather. Heather is a Senior Account Manager at Cunningham Lindsey. They have three children who are very active in local sports and school. Trent has also been a volunteer little league baseball coach for 7 seasons. They live near Dallas.

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Marjorie Segale

Ms. Segale began her insurance career with an insurance broker in Northern California as a commercial lines manager and producer. Marjorie formed her own insurance agency a few years later, handling all lines of insurance. After the sale of her agency, she joined the staff of Insurance Skills Center, Inc., located in Huntington Beach, Californai. She is now founder and President of Segale Consulting Services, LLC and provides a wide variety of services to the insurance industry, including account review, agency audits, strategic planning, and forensic claims analysis. Ms. Segale is also a principal and founding member of the Insurance Community Center, LLC, a web-based resource and eduction on-line site for the insurance industry. In addition, Ms. Segale acts as an expert witness on agent and broker standard of care. Marjorie is a National Faculty member for the National Alliance and conducts education courses on a wide variety of subject matter across the nation.

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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.