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Upcoming Events and Webinars

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

24 October

Emerging Trends and Risks in Workers Comp that Could Adversely Affect Agents

Frank Pennachio

The whole insurance world is evolving before our eyes. Sometimes, the changes are so fast that we feel like we can't even catch up. The Workers Comp arena is no different. Join us as Frank Pennachio helps us to identify some of the emerging risks tha...

31 October

Manage Your Team without Tearing Your Hair Out

Nancy Germond

A new generation will determine the insurance industry's future. How can you build a competent, resilient workforce with today's incoming talent? Join Nancy Germond, a community college professor of insurance, in this one-hour webinar.

7 November

Cannabis Risk Coverage Issues

Patrick Wraight

Join us as Academy Director, Patrick Wraight, looks at the specifics of the AAIS California CannaBOP policy to determine how this policy walks the line between state and federal laws to cover the risks of the emerging cannabis industry.

12 November

Resolving Claims Disputes: Insurance Contract Interpretation - Part 3 of 3

Bill Wilson

This is a special Academy Event in 12 parts. Welcome to part 11! 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 completes his disc...

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Instructed by More Than 50 Industry Experts

Patrick Wraight
Kathy Ryan
Frederick Fisher
Nancy Germond
Chris Burand
Chris Christian
Kevin Amrhein
Nick Kormos
James Moore
Joe Harrington
Marcel Schwantes
Kevin Ring
Stacey Cheese
Tom Wetzel
Bob Warren

*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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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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Nick Kormos

Nick Kormos joined MarshBerry as a Senior Sales Management Consultant in 2013. In 2015, he was promoted to Vice President and Unit Leader of MarshBerry’s Sales Performance division, which is now the most rapidly growing division in MarshBerry Consulting Services. His team focuses on producer training/coaching and agency sales culture development through deployment of the MarshBerry Selling System that was built by the industry’s top producers.

Nick has over 14 years of sales and sales management experience, and he has completed several years of formal sales training courses. Prior to joining MarshBerry, he spent more than six years of his career in production and management roles at an independent insurance agency. He has earned his professional insurance designations of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA). Nick holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in interpersonal communication from Ohio University.

Nick’s approach with producers and agency management is focused on building a process, not just an end goal. His team manages and coaches producers with experience levels ranging from brand new to industry veterans who are trying to get over their book growth plateaus. In his time at MarshBerry, Nick has coached hundreds of producers and spent time in dozens of agency offices working closely with leadership to drive change and sustainable growth.

He has been a keynote speaker at insurance carrier conferences, agency sales summits, and insurance association events including the Worldwide Broker Network as well as state Big I meetings. He has presented on a multitude of topics surrounding agency growth, sales culture, producer sales tactics, and organizational infrastructure. He also leads and facilitates SalesPro training sessions, organic growth seminars, and CEO Peer Exchange groups hosted by MarshBerry.

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James Moore

James founded a Workers' Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996.  J&L's mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques.  J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over   $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years.  J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.
  
Experience

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers' Compensation.  He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association.  He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.  

Education

James's educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM).  He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor.  He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

Awards

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety.  

  
Associations/Publications

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council.  He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals.  He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers.  James publishes a weekly newsletter with 2,000 readers.

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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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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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Kevin Ring

Kevin is the Lead Workers’ Compensation Analyst for the Institute of WorkComp Professionals. He joined the Institute in 2003 after a stint as a systems manager for a mid-sized manufacturing company. 

A licensed P&C agent, Kevin has an affinity for making the technical simple, whether it is computers or insurance. 

Kevin’s plain speak approach is the key – whether he is presenting in a live workshop with agents, giving workshops for employers, or presenting webinars. 

His technical Workers’ Comp skills have helped Advisors through sticky situations (analyzing over 600 accounts for agents in the last six years). Kevin constantly works with Certified WorkComp Advisors to deepen their knowledge of the Institute process and provides expert guidance on audits, Experience Mods and injury management.

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Stacey Cheese

As Director of Workers Compensation for The Seltzer Group and East Coast Risk Management, Stacey has 13 years experience as a workers’ compensation adjuster and 20 years experience consulting in the workers compensation arena.


Stacey holds her Property/Casualty/Life/Health agents license, (CISR) Certified Insurance Service Representative designation, (CWCP) Certified Workers Compensation Professional, from the University of Michigan, (NJWCP) New Jersey Workers Compensation Professions, and (CWCA) Certified Workers Compensation Advisor. Stacey also holds an insurance fraud investigation certificate and is a current instructor for the Institute of Workers’ Compensation Professionals. Stacey specializes in consulting with many employers and employees on workers compensation issues and compliance.


Stacey’s areas of expertise are in claims investigation, mitigation through client, employee, and physician relationships, hiring processes, return to work programs, reserve practices, claims handling advice and coordination with Human Resources and Safety department.

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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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Bob Warren

Areas of Specialization:  Mr. Warren has nearly forty years experience through increasingly responsible positions in finance and accounting within the Property Casualty insurance industry.  Senior management experience includes operational and administrative management with a proven record of success in designing, developing and implementing successful strategies for profitable growth.  Mr. Warren also has relevant experience with corporate governance, business processing systems selection and implementation, financial analysis, and mergers.  Other areas of expertise include asset and cash management, reinsurance, loss reserve evaluation, product development and pricing, budgeting and expense variance analysis.

Industry Highlights:  Mr. Warren has held senior management positions within the Property Casualty insurance industry and most recently served as Chief Financial Officer for the Ohio Mutual Insurance Group.  Additionally, Mr. Warren served as Senior Vice President for German Mutual Insurance Company as well as Vice President and Treasurer for the Beacon/American Insurance Companies.  Practical experience includes selection and implementation of business processing systems, accounting and investment systems, development of investment strategy and guidelines, demutualization and mergers, collaborating directly with board members, executive committees, rating and regulatory agencies, state examiners, and a variety of service providers.  Industry related activities include past president of the Ohio Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and serving on the regulatory board for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.

Designations and Affiliations:  Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (CPCU), Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Education and Training:  Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio.  Bachelor of Science, Accounting and Business Administration.

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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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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.