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Upcoming Events and Webinars

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

27 June

Claims Made and Professional Liability Endorsements

Frederick Fisher

Join us as Fred Fisher helps us understand which endorsements we need to seek to add to our customers' professional liability policies. These endorsements will help us to fill coverage gaps for our customers.

9 July

Resolving Claims Disputes: Legal and Contractual Principles - Part 1 of 2

Bill Wilson

This is a special Academy Event in 12 parts. Welcome to part 7! 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 explains what he me...

9 July

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...

11 July

Business Auto Symbols and Endorsements

David Thompson

Books have been written about the confusion that comes along with the Business Auto symbols and the different endorsements available to expand coverage on the policy. Join us as David Thompson helps make sense out of the different symbols, and the en...

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Instructed by More Than 50 Industry Experts

Patrick Wraight
Kathy Ryan
Frederick Fisher
Nancy Germond
Chris Burand
Chris Christian
Terry Tadlock
Erica Upmeyer
Veronica Stevens
Nick Kormos
David Chetcuti
David Connolly
Christopher Longo
Laurie Infantino
Becky Lathrop

*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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Terry Tadlock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Erica Upmeyer

Erica R. Upmeyer, PHR, Search Associate, graduated from Emporia State University with a BS in Sociology.


Erica began her career in the Social Services field as an Employment Specialist before moving abroad for two years. During this time, Erica had the opportunity to earn her MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and gain valuable international work experience while completing an internship with one of the largest transportation companies in the world. Upon returning to the States, Erica transitioned into the staffing industry with the nation’s largest privately held staffing agency as an Account Executive and was quickly promoted into a Branch Manager role.


Erica’s most recent role was with Nationwide Insurance as an HR Field Manager where her primary responsibilities were supporting a start-up region overseeing all HR deliverables, with a large emphasis on recruiting insurance professionals. Her role with the CSG team includes working with candidates assisting them on their career searches as well as partnering with other team members at CSG on key searches, strategically positioning CSG within the insurance community, and sourcing best fit professionals for our client company staffing needs.


In her spare time, Erica enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, shopping, working out, reading and watching college basketball – Go Jayhawks!

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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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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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David Chetcuti

Mr. Chetcuti is a professor of workers’ compensation law having taught classes and seminars in behalf of the State Bar, CA Dept of Insurance, WorkCompCentral, Insurance Educational Association, various professional organizations and associations, and privately to attorneys, claims professionals and employers in California and other states. He is certified by the State of California, Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education, as an instructor of Workers’ Compensation Law and Procedures.* His past experience includes being the director of education at Acacia Pacific in San Francisco. It is estimated that over his career Prof. Chetcuti has taught workers’ compensation law and procedure to over 19,000 students. He is also a former vice-president in charge of workers’ compensation claims consulting services for the two largest insurance brokers in the country. He is often retained as an expert witness in litigation concerning workers’ compensation insurance and TPA claims handling performance issues.

Prof. Chetcuti is also one of the three co-authors of the well-known 16-volume treatise, “Sullivan On Comp.” In addition, he also co-developed the IEA’s WCCP credential for claims professionals and is the founder of the Workers’ Compensation Claims Consultant credential scheduled to be offered in 2017

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David Connolly

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

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

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

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

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Christopher Longo

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

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Laurie Infantino

Laurie Zangwill-Infantino, AFIS, CISC, CRIS, CIC, CISR, ACSR is past president and co-founder of Insurance Skills Center, Inc. (ISC) which was formed in 1977. In 2010 Laurie formed Insight Insurance Consulting (IIC) a division of Insight Consulting and Management, Inc.


She began her insurance career in 1969. Prior to forming Insurance Skills Center her education and experience in the industry included rating, underwriting, issuing, selling and marketing insurance policies. She has worked in the insurance industry as an underwriter for specialty programs, as a retail insurance producer, as a wholesale insurance producer, as an educator and as a consultant to producers, insurance customers and attorneys assisting them on insurance and risk management issues. She managed two specialty insurance programs for which she assisted in designing the coverage language, formulating the rating structure, marketing and selling the products and underwriting/rating the submissions.

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Becky Lathrop

Becky Lathrop, is a Certified Insurance Counselor, Certified Professional Insurance Agent, has a degree in Risk Management and Insurance from Florida State University, and has been working in the insurance industry for over 30 years.  She has a diverse background in the insurance business, and has spent the majority of her professional career in industry positions such as Business Consultant, Sales Manager, Underwriting Consultant, Financial/Market Analyst, and Portfolio Manager. 

During the last 15+ years, Becky has been helping agencies throughout the United States grow profitably by counseling them in areas such as sales/service training, workflow management, staff organization and stratification, sales/marketing business plans, client retention, strategic planning, and producer compensation.  She has also developed a “Back to Basics” Boot Camp Sales/Service Training to assist staff in cross-selling techniques and higher retention levels.  She has also developed a Marketing/Profitability workshop to help agencies manage their loss ratios and to assist them with capitalizing on agency growth and contingency bonus opportunities.  Becky has written and had published several articles on a variety of insurance topics. 

Becky is Vice President of Optimum Performance Solutions, LLC, a company that offers management consulting services on a nationwide basis to insurance agencies and carriers.  Her agency and corporate experiences provide unique perspectives when assisting her clients.  OPS is also an endorsed consulting firm for several state insurance associations.

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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.