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From STONE TABLETS to SATELLITES

A book about the insurance industry's continual awkward (yet intimate) relationship with technology.

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Upcoming Events and Webinars

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

18 August

CGL Master Class - Coverage B and Selected Exclusions

Patrick Wraight

When most of us think about the CGL policy, we think about the bodily injury and property damage coverage (Coverage A), but there's more to it than that. Sometimes we forget that there is also something called personal and advertising injury that is ...

25 August

Certificates of Insurance: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Casey Roberts

Full description coming soon.

1 September

Commercial Property Master Class - Additional Coverages, Coverage Extensions, and Optional Coverages

Patrick Wraight

The ISO Commercial Property Policy includes coverages that are not the main coverages but are in some ways just as important as building and business personal property. This session walks through those other important coverages, such as debris remov...

8 September

Humans and Machines - The Next Insurance Revolution

Abi Potter Clough

At its core, insurance is a people business. We help handle the risks that people face. We are people who sell, underwrite, adjust claims and more for other people. So what does the future melding of people and technology hold? Probably not something...

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Instructed by More Than 50 Industry Experts

Patrick Wraight
Kathy Ryan
Frederick Fisher
Nancy Germond
Chris Burand
Chris Christian
Crystal Uebelher
Bob Titus
Ted Koeth
Frank Pennachio
Kevin Ring
Jim Wochele
Joe Petrelli
Scott Simmonds
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 an insurance learning professional, he is passionate about taking the complicated and making it accessible for everyone, especially the insurance community.

He started his insurance career as a commercial underwriter for an MGA that wrote fire departments, ambulance companies, home medical equipment dealers, and other niche markets. It was there that he also started his journey in insurance education by designing and implementing a new underwriter training program.

From there, he moved to one of the largest Florida-based property insurers to become an underwriter trainer. While there, his role expanded beyond classroom and online training to become a learning consultant. He spent time with his customers to determine their learning needs and develop a plan to meet those needs.

Patrick has earned several industry designations:

  • CIC (Certified Insurance Counselor)
  • ITP (Insurance Training Professional)
  • CRM (Certified Risk Manager)
  • CISR (Certified Insurance Service Representative)
  • AU (Associate in Commercial Underwriting)
  • AINS (Associate in General Insurance).


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

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Kathy Ryan

Kathy Ryan, SPHR, is an award-winning author and owner of Pinnacle Coaching Group, LLC.  Over the last 30 years, Kathy has influenced thousands of people in the business and non-profit sectors through her coaching, consulting, speaking and on-site training. Her expertise covers a wide range of subjects including leadership, communication, human resources management, team dynamics, and performance management.

Kathy earned her B.A. degree in psychology and history from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and has been awarded a lifetime certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Society for Human Resources Management. She has experience working with diverse industries including insurance, hospitality and entertainment. She is certified in the use of the Myer-Briggs Type Assessment (MBTI), as well as a number of other assessments and tools to support development.

Kathy is author of the book, "You Have to Say the Words" An Integrity-Based Approach for Tackling Tough Conversations and Maximizing Performance, which won a Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association.  Her interactive training program based on the book has helped thousands of managers to improve their coaching skills and drive performance. Her articles on leadership and other personal development topics have been published in numerous magazines including the Insurance Journal. You can follow Kathy’s blog, Inspired Leadership, at www.CoachKathyRyan.com .

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Frederick Fisher

Frederick J. Fisher, J.D. is currently the President of Fisher Consulting Group, Inc. and was the Founder of E.L.M. Insurance Brokers, a Wholesale & MGA facility specializing in Professional Liability and Specialty Line risks. He is a Member of the Editorial Board for Agents of America;  a Faculty Member of the Claims College, and Member of the Executive Council, School of Professional Lines sponsored by the Claims & Litigation Management Association and Instructor for the Academy of Insurance.

Since his career began, Mr. Fisher focused on one vision: providing financial security to the client. The result was a successful 40-year career in Specialty Lines Insurance. In 1975, Mr. Fisher began his career on the service side, as an Independent E&O claims adjuster. In 1982, he bought the Company, continued with claims, while expanding the firm’s services to include qualitative claim auditing, risk management & loss control services, and acting as a TPA. In only 4 years, the annual billings increased by 400%. His claim auditing techniques and recommendations resulted in substantial client savings (including the SCRTD now known as the Los Angles MTA). Many Insurers and self-insureds adopted not only the performance standards raised in the audits but adopted his recommended Attorney Management Guidelines as a base, which are still in use today by many major insurers. 


In 1995, he formed what is now known as ELM insurance Brokers, a firm that has acted as an MGA and Wholesale Broker of Professional Liability Insurance and Specialty Lines. From nothing, the firm grew rapidly to a $30 Million dollar facility when sold in 2008. He has lectured extensively on professional liability issues since 1978 and authored over 64 articles in trade journals and periodicals. He is the author of BROKER BEWARE, Selling Real Estate within the Law. He designed a program to conduct on-site pre-underwriting risk management assessments of a clients' professional liability exposures. In 1993, he was elected to the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Board of Trustees. After serving in all Officer capacities, he was elected President in 1997. He remains a Special Materials Expert for several RPLU courses and is the Senior Technical Advisor for The Professional Liability Manual, first published by the International Risk Management Institute in 1990. He has taught over 100 CE classes and lectures. He testifies regularly as an expert witness in cases dealing with the duties and obligations of professionals as well as on coverage and claims-made issues.

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Nancy Germond

Nancy Germond is the President of Insurance Writer, a consulting firm located in Phoenix, Arizona. With more than three decades of risk management experience, her unique insights and abilities help businesses better understand and manage their risk. Nancy has authored scores of risk management-related articles, white papers and has consulted and presented to both public sector and private sector insurance organizations.


A second-generation insurance professional, Nancy was the first risk manager of the City of Prescott, Arizona, and has worked in the private and public sectors as a claim and risk manager. In 1997 she founded Insurance Writer to assist insurance organizations to better manage their employment-related issues and to better penetrate the competitive insurance marketplace. Nancy holds a B.A. in Communication from Mills College and a Masters degree in sociology from Lincoln University. She also holds the Associate in Risk Management, the Associate in Claims designation from the Insurance Institute of America, the Insurance Training Professional Designation from the Society of Insurance Trainers and is a Senior Professional in Human Resource Management.

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Chris Burand

Chris Burand is president and owner of Burand & Associates, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in the property-casualty insurance industry.  Chris is recognized as a leading consultant for agency valuations, increasing profits, and producer compensation plans.  His services include: Agency valuations/due diligence, producer compensation plans, expert witness services, E&O carrier approved E&O procedure reviews, and agency operation enhancement reviews.  He also provides the acclaimed Contingency Contract Analysis® service and has the largest database and knowledge of contingency contracts in the insurance industry.


Chris has more than twenty-five years’ experience. He brings his broad experience and wealth of knowledge into every agency.  He is a featured speaker across the continent at more than 300 conventions and educational programs. He writes a monthly article for the Insurance Journal.  Prior, he wrote a monthly column for American Agent & Broker for 11 years.  His articles have been published more than 250 times and have been published by Rough Notes, The National Underwriter, A.M. Best, and approximately a dozen regional insurance publications. He also publishes Burand’s Insurance Agency Adviser for independent insurance agents.

Chris holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business with emphasis in Finance from the University of Colorado and a MBA from the University of Denver. He is a member of the Institute of Business Appraisers, NACVA, a Department Head for IIABA's Virtual University, a contributing consultant for IMMS, and a volunteer counselor for the Small Business Administration's SCORE program.


Areas of Expertise:

  • Insurance Agency Appraisals/Due Diligence: Chris performs appraisals for Acquisitions and Sales, Buy/Sell Agreements, Mergers, Dissolution, and Perpetuation Planning.
  • Contingency Contract Analysis: Contingency contracts offer opportunities to increase compensation through negotiations and strategically placing business. Chris’s Contingency Contract Analysis® service provides the information agents need to take advantage of those opportunities.
  • Agency Operations Enhancement Review: Chris provides comprehensive reviews to help agencies identify opportunities, fix weaknesses, and succeed.
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Chris Christian

Chris Christian stumbled into insurance in 1985 as a temporary employee at GAF Insurance Services, a bank-affiliated insurance agency in San Diego.  After six years with GAF, Chris moved to the carrier side, opening the San Diego branch office of RLI Corp, an underwriter of specialty lines of insurance.  The San Diego office was dedicated to Directors and Officers Liability coverage, and was the launching pad for Chris’s specialization in professional liability.

Chris left RLI in 1997 to establish her own underwriting facility at London American General Agency and branched out thereafter into professional liability broking.

Chris joined U.S. Risk in November of 2005 and six months later relocated herself, her significant other, and 26 animals to Tennessee, where she continues her pursuit of the art and science of professional liability broking, and contributes to the industry as a frequent speaker, author and association participant.

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Crystal Uebelher

Crystal is an insurance lawyer who is passionate about elevating the expertise of lawyers and insurance professionals on the ever-changing issues in our industry. Crystal is the owner of Clarity Education and Consulting, LLC where she creates meaningful educational experiences for insurance agents, lawyers, and claims professionals. Crystal also works in the Claims Department at a mutual insurance carrier. Crystal is responsible for supervising first and third party property litigation for the carrier and its insureds. She also works directly with claims professionals to find the best solution to avoid litigation and with the underwriting department to develop and update coverage forms.

Crystal earned her juris doctorate in 2007 from the University of Wisconsin Law School (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif). She earned her Certified Property Casualty Underwriter designation in 2017.

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Bob Titus

Bob is a Claims Manager with Academic Risk Resources & Insurance, LLC. He brings over 20 years of professional experience in commercial multi-line claims consulting and risk management. He also has over ten years of claims advocacy experience on OCIP and large construction losses.


In addition, Bob teaches professional development insurance courses for the Insurance Library of Boston and Polestar Performance Programs, Inc. Bob also has extensive experience in large loss claim management and has been retained as an expert witness by both plaintiff and defense attorneys on insurance disputes in litigation.


Bob’s present responsibilities include: complex coverage analysis, working with insurers to obtain proper and timely claim settlements, conducting multi-line claim reviews to monitor the reserving and establishing claims handling protocols of his clients’ insurers and TPAs.

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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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Frank Pennachio

Frank Pennachio is co-founder of Oceanus Partners, a consulting and training firm that works with insurance professionals to improve their sales and new business development.  Oceanus Partners was acquired by ReSource Pro in April 2019.

Mr. Pennachio brings over 25 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, Mr. Pennachio is a frequent contributor to such publications as American Agent & Broker, PIA, Risk & Insurance, HR Magazine, Insurance Journal, and Occupational Hazards and Risk & Insurance.  

Contact him at fpennachio@resourcepro.com

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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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Jim Wochele

Jim Wochele is the Unit Manger in MarshBerry’s Sales Performance Consulting division. His team partners with insurance agencies by implementing tactical strategies that will allow them to achieve organic growth through new business production.

Their focus is helping agencies build a scalable organic growth engine through organizational capabilities best practices, sales process implementation, and improving producers’ individual sales skills through consistent coaching.

Jim is mainly responsible for relationship management of the Sales Performance clients, new client acquisition and onboarding, onsite client visits, carrier-sponsored sales trainings, and agency organic growth business planning.

Jim is a keynote speaker at educational seminars, insurance carrier conferences and executive leadership forums. He also leads the Organic Growth Leadership Seminars and SalesPro Producer Training sessions hosted by MarshBerry. Jim is also a frequent contributor to MarshBerry and industry publications.

Jim joined MarshBerry in 2011 as a Sales Management Analyst, which was followed by a promotion to Consultant in 2013, Senior Consultant in 2014, and Unit Manager in 2016. Jim has over eight years of sales, sales management and project management expertise. Prior to joining MarshBerry, Jim held a dual sales manager and project manager position for a construction firm located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in physics with a minor in mathematics from Baldwin Wallace University, while playing football and baseball for all four years.

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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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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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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.