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Upcoming Events and Webinars

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

11 June

Resolving Claims Disputes: Step 0

Bill Wilson

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

11 June

When Words Collide - The 12 Part Series Bundle

Bill Wilson

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

13 June

The Latest Scoop on Additional Insureds and Certificates of Insurance

Joe Harrington

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

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.

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Instructed by More Than 50 Industry Experts

Patrick Wraight
Kathy Ryan
Frederick Fisher
Nancy Germond
Chris Burand
Chris Christian
Randy Sieberg
Stuart Powell
Marsha Egan
Marjorie Segale
Chris Marinescu
Lynn Thomas
Chris Amrhein
John Anderson
Al Parizo

*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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Randy Sieberg

Randy Sieberg, CIC, ARM, CRM is the founder and principal consultant of Workers Compensation Consultants, a nationally recognized independent workers compensation consulting firm based in Columbia, Missouri. His firm provides fee-based professional consulting services, expert witness and litigation services and assists employers, insurance agents and brokers experiencing problems with workers compensation premium, audits, classification code, claim, experience rating and other premium generating issues. He consults with clients throughout a broad range of industries including attorneys, insurance companies, insurance agencies, agents, brokers, contractors, service providers, transportation, manufacturers, retail and wholesale operations.

He began his career in the insurance industry as a business insurance specialist in 1981. As Senior Commercial Lines Consultant for Mid-America Specialty Markets, an Estal Insurance and Financial Services Company, he continues to direct the commercial insurance team in client risk analysis and product placement. As a licensed commercial insurance producer and independent agency principal he specialized in commercial property and casualty insurance, workers compensation and risk management programs. His expertise encompasses all areas of property and casualty risk management including risk analysis, program design and implementation, commercial insurance coverage analysis and pricing for commercial clients.

As the principal consultant for Workers Compensation Consultants Randy directs activities, provides support and assigns expert witness and litigation support duties to other expert advisers on staff. The firm's highly ranked website, WorkCompConsultant.com and blog is recognized as a valuable source of information for employers, agents and brokers while providing useful, in the trenches, real life help about commercial insurance and workers compensation premium related issues for all readers.

Randy received the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation conferred from the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research in 1989, the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation from the Insurance Institute of America in 1986 and the Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designation from the National Academy in 1994. He maintains annual industry educational updates and participates in annual continuing education seminars. He is on staff as a teaching presenter with the Academy of Insurance.

He speaks on a variety of insurance and workers compensation related topics. His presentations include: "Workers Compensation -An Employers Point of View" -"Today's Workers Compensation Issues -Their Effect on the Human Resource Manager's Job" and "Real Solutions for Managing Workers Compensation Cost." His publications include "Most Common Workers Compensation Mistakes Employers Make" -published by the Courier Magazine. He has been interviewed and quoted by Eric Krell in his article "How to Avoid Workers Comp Premium Overpayments" published for the Society for Human Resource Management. His insurance related articles have been presented in a variety of association, employer and insurance related publications.

Randy continues to face the challenges presented by our industry and looks forward to assisting new and established agents and brokers unravel complicated insurance problems. As evidenced by his stable insurance industry work history and continued professional growth, Randy provides a professional guidance and knowledge base for those clients seeking assistance and support with issues found within his areas of expertise. 

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Stuart Powell

E. Stuart Powell, Jr., MA, CPCU, CIC, CLU, ChFC, ARM, AMIM, AAI, ARe, CRIS
Vice President of Insurance Operations and Technical Affairs
Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina, Inc.
North Carolina Association of Insurance Agents, Inc.


Stuart has been personally involved in the insurance business for over 35 years. He joined the staff of IIANC as Director of Education in 1995. In 2004 Stuart assumed the supervision of IIANC’s insurance operations. He currently manages the designated insurance agency for the State of North Carolina placing all coverages which the State does not self insure, is administrator of the IIANC Errors and Omissions Insurance program of agents and manages the insurance benefits operations for members of the Association. Stuart continues to teach occasionally, is a frequent speaker on insurance matters and is a technical resource for the membership of IIANC.


Prior to joining the IIANC staff, Stuart was the owner of The Powell Agency, Inc. of Reidsville, NC, a family agency whose roots can be traced back to the 1890’s. He has been a frequent instructor of insurance courses. Stuart is on the National Faculty for the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors. He has taught in various CIC Institutes and Graduate Seminars. He is the author of numerous articles on insurance and related matters. He is also a past president of the Piedmont North Carolina Chapter and a past board member for the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the Society of CPCU. Stuart served on the National Producer Advisory Council for Commercial Union Insurance Company from 1979-1981. In 1991 he was presented the Ernest F. Young Education Award by IIANC. Stuart is a member of the Business Advisory Council for the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business at Catawba College.


Stuart graduated from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy. He received a Master of Arts degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC where he was the recipient of a Graduate Scholarship and Fellowship. Stuart’s graduate studies involved a group of Oxford University writers and scholars known as the “Inklings” which included J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis among others. He has written articles and lectured on The Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia.


Stuart is married with two children and four grandchildren. His current hobbies include weightlifting and studying classical languages.

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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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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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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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Lynn Thomas

Ms. Thomas is the founder and CEO of Thomas Consulting, located in Newton, Massachusetts.  Her firm specializes in creating powerful Client experiences that increase retention and profits with a specialty in P&C insurance. The firm’s services help companies to plug the “leaky Client bucket” and thereby increases its profits which it has been doing for decades with over 480 companies.

Ms. Thomas is a nationally acclaimed, powerful, engaging and dynamic speaker and consultant on Client experiences, emotional intelligence, retention, and relationships.  She has been a columnist and has published two books with her latest being an Amazon #1 Best Seller.  All of her firm’s consulting services come with a written guarantee of 100%-300% ROI within one year. 

Ms. Thomas started her career as a tax attorney with Arthur Andersen, then a Private Banker and then Change Agent with Bank of Boston. She holds a J.D. cum laude from Suffolk University and a B.A. cum laude from Wesleyan University.  She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and former Board Member of Alpha Resource Center and Insight Seminars.

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Chris Amrhein

Chris Amrhein, like most true believers in insurance, stumbled upon this business accidentally; specifically, after graduating from college and needing a job.


After beginning in this business as a life-health agent, he graduated to property-casualty sales where he first met the greatest mine of comedy material extant today, the ISO forms. Following several years as a producer and independent agency manager/owner, Chris spent many years as a full-time educator/VP-Education for the Florida Association of Insurance Agents and VP-Education for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. Those years found him traveling about the country teaching seminars on everything from agency management to the claims made CGL. It has also taught him the absolute truth of Jimmy Buffet's famous observation about those who make a career of the property-casualty business: "If we weren't all crazy we would go insane."


Chris is now a speaker, consultant, seminar leader and training developer, and resides in Lorton, Virginia, with the love of his life (and wife) Donna and youngest son Alexandru (17). His two older sons - Patrick, 34 and Kevin, 32 – are doing quite well without him. His email address chris@insuranceisfun.com and website www.insuranceisfun.com, say it all.


Current Industry Activities:

  • Member, CPCU Oversight Committee
  • Member, Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI) Advisory Committee.
  • Primary Author (AAI textbooks):
  • Foundations of Insurance Production – Personal Insurance
  • Multiple-Lines Insurance Production – Commercial Liability Insurance
  • Agency Operations and Sales Management – Principles of Agency Management
  • Monthly columnist (1993-present) - "Policy Issues" - Insurance Journal & American Agent & Broker Magazine
  • Faculty member: IIABA’s Virtual University; Society of CIC James K. Ruble Seminars
  • Developer of “Street Level Ethics” Program for AICPCU/IIA


Past Activities:

  • Chairman. IIABA Future One Producer Development Task Force
  • Member, IIABA Future One Subcommittee on Customer Service
  • Author/Editor - Florida General Lines, Customer Representatives and Adjuster Study Manuals
  • Member, IIABA Agency Management & Technology Committee
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John Anderson

John Anderson is an accomplished senior insurance executive with extensive experience in operational management, technology integration, and management liability underwriting. During his career his accomplishments have led to leadership positions at the Chubb Group and Zurich North America.


While at Chubb, Mr. Anderson achieved significant success rising to the level of Senior Vice President & Global Specialty Operations Manager. In 2008 Mr. Anderson joined an effort to launch a new business unit within Zurich North America. For his role as Chief Operations Officer, he was responsible for developing, then implementing the operating environment and creating the technology strategy.


Currently, John is a management consultant with IBM working in the insurance practice providing strategy and transformation expertise for many of the largest insurance companies in the US.


As a graduate of Rutgers College with a BA in economics, he has earned a certificate in process management and has taken professionally targeted graduate and undergraduate courses at UCLA, IBM Institute, Rutgers, and the New York Institute of Finance.


John was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and has spent most of his life in the states; having lived in Vermont, Boston, Hartford, New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles. He lives with his wife, in NJ. They have two sons.

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Al Parizo

Al trained as an underwriter with Aetna Casualty and Surety Company in Springfield Massachusetts. He was transferred to Southern California to supervise the commercial property and multi peril division in Panorama City. With a territory that extended through Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, it became no surprise that Al and his family made California their permanent home.

 One of the more gratifying of Al’s duties was training and developing underwriters.

  In 1976, Al partnered with Noel Silverman, a former Aetna Claim supervisor, and together they purchased the V. L. Francisco Agency in Van Nuys, CA .After relocating to Chatsworth CA. they grew the business and through acquisitions and mergers became FGW Insurance Services .

 One of the more rewarding of Al’s duties was his involvement with the agent association education programs, training producers and account managers.

  In 1996, Al and Noel sold the agency. Following the sale, Al became an independent consultant. For six years he has worked with Insurance Skills Center on a variety of projects ranging from Call Center training, education seminars, expert witness testimony and E&O auditing.

 The most enriching duties of his third career involve training and developing Agents, Brokers, Account Managers and Underwriters.

  Al is one of ISC’s certified E&O auditors and is on the faculty for the Accredited Customer Service representative (ACSR) and Accredited Farm Insurance Specialist (AFIS) professional designation programs.

 Al and his wife, Gerry, moved to Denver CO in 2010 where Gerry is enjoying retirement after 31 years as an Elementary School teacher.

Al continues to consult, present webinars and take on whatever interesting projects that may arise.

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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.