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Big "I" Virtual University Adds 50th Expert


VirtualUniversityis unparalleled resource for agents and brokers


ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 16, 2006—The Big “I” Virtual University (VU) has appointed Michael Podoshen, CPCU, ARM, former assistant vice president of personal lines and corporate risk manager for Insurance Services Office, Inc. as its 50th expert. Podoshen brings extensive expertise surrounding insurance service offices, as well as loss control and risk management, to the VU. 


Podoshen joins the VU’s ‘Ask-An-Expert’ panel. Experts are available to answer Big “I” member questions about anything insurance, business or technology related, with topics ranging from agency management to sales to customer service to the Internet.  Experts typically answer questions within 48 hours at no cost to Big “I” members.


“The Big ‘I’ Virtual University is an incomparable resource for independent agents and broker and we are very fortunate that these well-regarded experts volunteer their expertise to our members, “ says Madelyn Flannagan, Big “I” vice president of education and research. “The ‘Ask-an-Expert’ service brings together 50 of the industry’s foremost minds on topics that directly affect agents. The research library has thousands of articles covering a wide range of issues from teen drivers to construction defects. Online classes offer expertise in a wide variety of commercial and personal lines coverages, including a designation program—and are available to members and non-members for continuing education credit in some states.


“In this competitive industry, the VU helps agents and brokers stay on top of their game. Not only are answers to complex coverage questions at their fingertips, but the latest technology advancements and hints are right in front of them—anytime, anywhere. Our cutting-edge online services make it possible for today’s agencies to get the critical information they need, wherever and whenever they need it,” Flannagan adds.


Divided into three subject areas, insurance, business and technology, the research library features sample forms, coverage analyses, Best Practices information, software guides and more. The VU also offers more than 40 desktop computer skills courses available to agents and brokers that aim to increase their competitive advantage and market share.


Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:




​127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556

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