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Professional Development

Time management, presentation skills, communications, ethics. These are just some of the topics addressed by articles in this section of the VU research library designed to improve your professional competency.

Virtually every industry has a model for comparing results to other businesses in the same field. For the independent agency system, that model is the Big “I” Best Practices program.
According to research the average person has a total of 24 minutes a week to dedicate to learning. Our current insurance education system doesn’t cater to this reality. The industry needs to adopt “micro learning” as an alternative to the current multi-hour sessions. State DOIs tend to have issues with this concept; this article addresses these issues and how they really are non-issues.
What does an agency sell? One might say an agency sells price. Fair enough. But what are they selling for price? An insurance policy? Any policy? Is whether or not the policy provides the coverages the insured needs secondary, to be discovered in court together? Is an agency selling insurance I.D. cards and evidences of insurance for a price? That is all some insureds want so it makes sense to only sell them what they effectively want, right? They really do not care about coverage, just proof of insurance. Do these particular insureds then even need an agent? What value does an agent selling pure price really provide that software cannot provide?
Seen on an insurance discussion board: “I use About $35 for 21 hours credit. Takes a few hours (maybe two) to finish and is open book.” What do you think about online CE programs where people literally spend minutes to get HOURS of CE credit? Is continuing education in our industry actually being regulated?
Insurers often adjust loss ratios and reserves near the end of the calendar year. One agent asks if this is done to reduce profit sharing bonuses paid to agencies or if there is some legitimate reason for the adjustments. The VU faculty point out that it is much more likely than not that the latter is the case.

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