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Upcoming Events and Webinars

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22 August

Comparing the ISO Personal Auto Policy 2005-2018

Casey Roberts

ISO chose not to file a new Personal Auto Policy for 13 years. Now that they have, it is important to know and apply the important and potentially significant changes that they made. Join us as Casey Roberts helps us to dig into these changes so that...

29 August

You Can't Read Insurance Policies Like Anything Else

Patrick Wraight

Insurance policies are hard to read. We all know it and we all act like they aren't, especially when a customer asks us a "simple" question. You can't just grab a policy and start reading page one and read all the way through. It jumps around and you...

10 September

Resolving Claims Disputes: Insurance Contract Interpretation - Part 1 of 3

Bill Wilson

This is a special Academy Event in 12 parts. Welcome to part 9! 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 introduces the idea...

12 September

Cybertoday - tomorrow?

Frederick Fisher

Join us as Fred Fisher helps us to understand the rapid iterations of cyber exposures and liability coverage.

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Instructed by More Than 50 Industry Experts

Patrick Wraight
Kathy Ryan
Frederick Fisher
Nancy Germond
Chris Burand
Chris Christian
Tom Wetzel
Joe Harrington
Nick Kormos
Marjorie Segale
Joe Petrelli
Chris Marinescu
John Eubank
Al Parizo
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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John Eubank

John O. Eubank, CPCU, ARM, is CEO and President of Professional Insurance Education, Inc. He was previously employed by the Insurance Services Office, Inc., as the Regional Operations Manager for its subsidiary Commercial Risk Services, Inc.

Mr. Eubank attended Vanderbilt University and was graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois with a BS degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering.

His professional affiliations have included Regional Vice President of the Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (CPCU), PMLG of the Honorable Order of Blue Goose, member of the National Fire Protection Association, and member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

Mr. Eubank serves as a trainer and speaker for various organizations including the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America affiliates. He has also conducted training for the Great American Insurance Co., Hoosier Insurance Co., the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC), Society of CPCU, The National Association of Insurance Women (NAIW), the North American Retail Dealers Association and the Southern Agents Conference.

Mr. Eubank is recognized as one of the premier insurance educators having served as a National Faculty member of the Society of CIC since 1976, a national faculty member of the IIABA Virtual University, and is the recipient of the Professional Leadership Scroll from the American Institute for Property & Liability Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America. He has researched, developed, written and published dozens of technical manuals and articles in business and trade periodicals.

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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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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.