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Upcoming Events and Webinars

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28 February

No. We're Not Insuring Your Building for What You Paid for It.

Patrick Wraight

What's the difference between replacement cost and market value? Can I simply insure this bulding for the mortgage amount? What do you mean, there might be a coinsurance penalty? These are some of the questions that Patrick is going to try and answer...

12 March

Two Ways to Deal with Claims Disputes: Avoidance and Resolution

Bill Wilson

This is a special Academy Event in 12 parts. Welcome to part 3! 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 shows us how to res...

14 March

Teaching Insurance Coverage Without Putting People to Sleep

Patrick Wraight

If you've ever tried to stay awake during a boring insurance coverage class, you're not alone. We've all done it. Join us as we bring together a panel of top insurance educators to discuss how they make coverage training more interesting and engaging...

28 March

Commercial Property Claims that Cause Problems

Terry Tadlock

Whenever there is confusion, miscommunication, or misunderstanding, there is the chance that a claim goes from amicably settled to confrontational and litigated. Join us as Terry Tadlock walks us through a series of commercial property claims that we...

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Instructed by More Than 50 Industry Experts

Patrick Wraight
Kathy Ryan
Frederick Fisher
Nancy Germond
Chris Burand
Chris Christian
Stuart Powell
Mary Newgard
Ron Fry
David Chetcuti
Bob Warren
Bob Titus
Joe Petrelli
Jim Wochele
Jones Loflin

*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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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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Mary Newgard

Mary Newgard, CPC, AU began her insurance career in 2003 as a commercial insurance producer for a nationally recognized independent agency, Cottingham & Butler. In 2006, she joined Capstone Search Group as a Search Associate focused on building the firm’s national reputation in agency consulting. Over the past five years Capstone has become well known for its partnership with independent, retail agencies dedicated to effective sales recruiting. In fact, Capstone is one of the few insurance recruiting firms with a dedicated focus in producer recruiting amongst all three major product disciplines: property and casualty, life and health and high net worth personal lines.


As a Senior Search Consultant, Mary works with agencies of varying size and ownership structure on enacting competitive, results driven sales and service recruiting. This includes education on compensation models, agency perpetuation, Mergers & Acquisitions and advanced technological resources. Additionally, she is integral in Capstone’s continued work with wholesale brokers, Managing General Agencies and Excess & Surplus markets, many of which face the same challenges in recruiting production based talent as retail brokers.
 

A graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, Mary is a member of the National Insurance Recruiters Association (NIRA) and is a Certified Personnel Consultant with the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS). In her spare time Mary stays busy with her husband, twin daughters, golfing and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes.

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Ron Fry

Ron Fry joined Sherman & Company in January 2010, bringing twelve years of insurance investment banking experience to the firm. Mr. Fry’s responsibilities include sourcing and supporting banking transactions, and building relationships with clients operating in the property & casualty, life/health, and reinsurance sectors.


Before joining Sherman & Company, Ron was most recently a Vice President with Wachovia Securities LLC in the Financial Institutions Group. In that role he managed the risk of a multi-billion dollar portfolio of insurance and financial services companies and underwrote financings that included acquisitions, bridge loans, revolving and term credits, and insurance letter of credit facilities. His prior roles at Wachovia Securities and its predecessor, First Union Securities, included various roles covering financial institutions in Corporate Banking, Structuring & Underwriting and Risk Management, as well as the Agency Management division of Loan Syndications. Throughout his career he has primarily focused on insurance carriers and insurance distributors while working with a broad array of financial institutions clients.


Mr. Fry earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Belmont Abbey College and a M.B.A. at Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Management. Prior to his undergraduate work Mr. Fry served in the US Army and continued to serve in the Army National Guard, including a 2004 deployment to Iraq, until his retirement from the military in 2006.


Contact Info:
(704) 943-2672
RFry@Sherman-Company.com

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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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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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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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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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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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Jones Loflin

Jones Loflin has made it his life’s work to deliver powerful ideas and practical solutions to individuals around the world so they can achieve more of what is most important to them. His books are described as “illuminating” and his presentations as “unforgettable.” In his 20 years as a speaker and trainer he has helped countless people regain confidence in their ability to achieve greater success in work and life.

Jones’ “3P Approach” of Powerful Ideas connected to Practical Solutions delivered with a Personal Approach has attracted the attention of organizations around the world. His client list includes Federal Express, Wal-Mart, Choice Hotels, Volvo Cars, Bridgestone, American Farm Bureau and State Farm as well as the United States Navy and Air Force.

Looking for ways to expand the reach of his message, Jones chose to become an author. Juggling Elephants is a witty and profound parable about one man’s search for solutions for the struggle of too much do. The book is available in the US and over 14 countries. He is also the author of Getting The Blue Ribbon, a unique story offering simple strategies to get better results in your work and life. His newest book, Getting to It, is receiving rave reviews as a field guide to accomplishing what is most important.

Prior to becoming an internationally-recognized speaker, Jones was an educator. His past work also includes serving as the “Trainer of Trainers” for the best-selling book, Who Moved My Cheese? He holds a BS and M.Ed. from North Carolina State University and is currently pursuing his MBA. He is a member of the National Speaker’s Association as well as the Association for Talent Development.

Jones believes the key to success is being passionate about certain things in life, including family, spiritual beliefs, career and relationships. He is active in his community and because of his commitment to improving the lives of others, Jones has been presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Charlotte Jaycees.

When not working with some amazing individuals and organizations seeking better results, Jones resides in North Carolina with his wonderful wife Lisa and their two perfect daughters.

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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.