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By Nancy Germond MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, ARM, AIC, ITP
Correctly managing your workers' compensation coverage may mean the difference between staying open another year, or closing your doors for good. Nancy breaks down the complexity of workers' compensation, why you need it, why you need to pay attention to it, and how doing it well will make your team better, and help your company's bottom line.View Book
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In this series, we're taking a high-level look at risk management. In just a few sessions, we will give you a primer on risk management. It won't make you a risk manager, but it is designed to open the discussion about risk, risk management, the plac...
When Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals are prioritized during employee hiring, promotion, evaluation, and development, better outcomes can be realized for retention. These activities are often the source of EPLI losses stemming from failure to p...
In this series, we're taking a high-level look at risk management. In just a few sessions, we will give you a primer on risk management. It won't make you a risk manager, but it is designed to open the discussion about risk, risk management, the plac...
You already know about Bitcoin and Etherium, but how well do you know blockchain? No, it's not another cryptocurrency, it's the technology behind crypto. It's also the technology that underlies smart contracts and could be part of the future of insur...
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*Click on an instructor's headshot to view their bio.
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:
Patrick is also the 2021-22 President of SITE, the Society of Insurance Trainers and Educators.
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 .
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Christopher J. Boggs joined the insurance industry in 1990. He is currently the Executive Director, Big I Virtual University and former Vice President of Education for Insurance Journal's Academy of Insurance.
During his career, Boggs has authored more than 300 insurance and risk management-related articles on a wide range of topics as diverse as Credit Default Swaps, the MCS-90, and enterprise risk management. This does not include the seven “e-books” (short, one-topic books covering various insurance and risk management-related subjects) Boggs has written.
Additionally, Boggs has written and published six insurance and risk management-related books
In addition to his writing, education, and training experience, Boggs worked in many areas of insurance. He began his career with Insurance Services Office as a rating and underwriting representative. Boggs has also worked as an agent (even owning his own agency), as the loss control and claims examiner for state-owned property in his home state, as a risk management consultant, and as the quality assurance specialist (auditing underwriting files) for the Southeast region of an insurance carrier.
A graduate of Liberty University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Boggs has obtained nine professional insurance designations: the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Risk Management (ARM), Associate in Loss Control Management (ALCM), Legal Principles Claims Management (LPCS), Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI), Associate in Premium Auditing (APA), Certified Workers’ Compensation Advisor (CWCA), Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS) and the Associate in General Insurance (AINS).
Joseph Junfola has spent over 40 years as an insurance claims professional. He has specialized in long-term exposure, or continuous property damage/bodily injury/toxic tort claims on a national basis for close to 30 years. He has specialized in construction defect, product liability, and design professional liability claims, including construction accident claims, particularly third-party-over actions in New York.
In his early days, he handled automobile bodily injury claims, both on a primary and umbrella basis, in the State of New Jersey. He first qualified as an expert in the evaluation of automobile bodily injury claims in Federal Court in the early 1990's.
He has since formed Junfola Claim Consulting Services to provide coverage and claim analysis, policy language review, litigation support, and more. He has also joined the Insurance Risk Management Institute as an Expert Commentator.
A staunch believer in continuous learning and improvement, Joe has earned the following professional designations: CPCU, RPLU, RPLU+, SCLA, AIC, ASLI, ARe, AU, ARM, CRIS, AIS, MLIS, AIC-M, and AIDA. His continual drive for education has seen him earn these additional certificates: Executive Certificate in Negotiations from the Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame, the Home Inspection Certificate through Rutgers University and the National Institute of Building Inspectors, and the Certificate in Law and Legal Process from Southern New Hampshire University.
He has published several articles and an eBook, Construction Defect Claims, A Handbook for Insurance, Risk Management, Construction, & Design Professionals.
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.
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.
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.
David Connolly has devoted his entire 30 year career to the insurance industry and has worked in almost every facet of the industry.
As a producer, he developed a significant personal book of business built on national programs which generated over 1 million in revenue. As an educator, David instructed for The National Alliance, and The Wedge Group before forming his Minneapolis based Consultancy. He has coached thousands of insurance professionals in the US and Canada and gets high marks for his ability to translate technical sales concepts into useable skills.
David founded iQ Consulting in 2006 and developed a unique, cutting edge approach to producer performance by working in the field with the best producers in the business. His trade marked process is described by many as the most transparent and effective approaches to buyer facilitation ever conceived.
As a performance coach David works with many of the top 100 Agencies and Brokerage firms in the US and Canada to create immediate, significant and sustainable performance gains. As a public speaker, David delivers seminars, keynotes and workshops for companies, agencies and industry organizations including the Big I, and the PIA. He conducts open workshops on selling and sales leadership and runs the HPA High Performance Producer Academy 4 times per year. As a writer, he is published by many industry journals and continues to write on issues facing the insurance and financial industries. He currently writes a blog for the Insurance Journal called “Your Sales iQ” and is engaged in writing his first book on producer performance slated for publishing in 2011.
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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These exams were designed to help you pinpoint areas of interest for possible training opportunities.
This skills test focuses on workers' compensation topics, including;
This skills test focuses on personal lines topics, including;
This skills test focuses on commercial property topics, including;
This skills test focuses on commercial general liability topics, including;
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