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Insurance Continuing Education Blog


 

Stop Wasting Time and Money on Your Insurance Continuing Education Requirements - 11/15/2008

By J. William “Bill” Cooley

What?     No, of course I don’t mean that you should stop earning your credits. What I do mean is, “Do you know the best way to complete your Insurance Continuing Education (CE) requirements quickly and efficiently?”

Think for a moment:  Just how much time are you wasting on insurance continuing education by attending live CE classes or going to a clunky website?  Two hours, six hours, twelve? twenty-four?

In all fairness, in many cases I recommend live presentations if you have the opportunity to spend an hour for one course, especially if it is of genuine interest to you, and it directly impacts your business.     However, completing all of your insurance continuing education hours with live insurance continuing education presentations is not an efficient way to renew your license. Consider this: if you have a 24-hour requirement and you attend 24 one-hour live insurance continuing education classes spread out over your renewal period which is, in most cases, two years, is this method efficient?

No, of course it isn’t.  This is inefficient and there is a better way for you to spend your time, and receive all the hours you need.   How?  I’ll tell you, but before I do, let’s talk about your current insurance continuing education firm’s clunky and hard-to-navigate website. (I apologize for sounding assumptive, but the sad fact is…most of them are.) For example, after finishing the course, is it easy to navigate to the test?  Or does the site allow you to easily print your certificate of completion?

If you could change one thing about your current CE provider, what would that one thing be?

Why Your Life and Casualty/Property Insurance Continuing Education Doesn’t Add Up

How many online courses are you taking with your current provider to complete  your license renewal insurance continuing education requirements?   If your current provider only offers a max of 12 hours, and you have a 24-hour requirement, then you have to take two courses.

  Okay, so now let’s do the math:  You also have to take TWO exams!  Fun.

So, the obvious question becomes---why not locate a company where you can take all 24- hour requirements with one exam?  Half the time, less money.   Yes, you read correctly…all 24 with just one exam. Wait a minute, you say?  How can this be?

Well, let me first explain why you are paying more and spending more time. You see, most continuing education firms want you to take three or four classes to complete your insurance continuing education requirement online.  Frankly, they receive more money per class. And most firms don’t have the expertise to write enough quality content to get more than five, six, or ten hours at a time. That being the case, this is what you must consider:  Are you using an online insurance continuing education company with a low number of hours on average per course but is not providing you the quality content that you need to build your practice? If not, you’re wasting time and   money.     Your time and money are much too valuable to waste on inefficiency.

You’re busy. You’re servicing clients, building your business,  managing and capturing assets, asking for referrals, giving seminars….so, how much is your time worth? If you are using your current broker-dealer’s insurance continuing education program, and it’s clunky, outdated,     and you are only getting five or six hours per course, what’s the deal? AND if you are spending an exorbitant amount of time completing these courses when you could have been producing income for you and your family, who loses? 

Put on Your Thinking Cap

Before you get back online and use the same insurance continuing education company you have used in the past, think about this:  Did they really help you when you needed assistance, or did you get voice mail?  If you left a message, did you not receive a return email or call, or did you talk to someone who wasn’t experienced?  Were you unhappy with the answers you received?  If this sounds like your experience, then WHY are you still using them for your insurance continuing education? 

When you begin your continuing education, you want to complete the courses quickly and efficiently; you don’t want to wait three or four days for someone to call you back. If you have a problem or an important question you need the help right then and there, right? Nothing could be more exasperating than having your work held up because you can’t get an answer to your questions.

Look for a company that has a LIVE person ready to answer any and all questions. We, in the industry, are “verbal” learners. Most of our business is done over the phone. We want to talk to someone; we don’t want to send a dozen Instant Messages to someone at the other end who may or may not be experienced or competent, or who not even answer   them at all!

Now for the Good News!

If you would only have to take one or two courses in your state instead of the four or five with another online insurance continuing education company, would you do it?  Would you like to save time and money?  I know that’s a rhetorical question, but it needs to be asked nonetheless. Because in order to do that you must first know what to look for and where to find a CE firm like that.

  1. Here is what I recommend you should look for in an insurance continuing education company. It must offer the following:
  2. A large number of credit hours per course
  3. A package price that allows you to take your state-specific courses with all the hours needed to renew your license at one low price
  4. The ability (in non-monitored states) to help you electronically with your open book test
  5. The ability to print your certificate of completion from their website
  6. A custom information page that shows you which courses you have completed as well as which courses you have yet to complete. This is a great tool for managing your insurance continuing education requirement activities
  7. A live person to talk to about problems or questions
  8. Call-backs
  9. Skill and experience as well as good credentials
  10. An exceptional reputation in the industry
  11. Good references

Remember, when choosing a firm you do have options. You can work with an insurance continuing education firm that meets all of your requirements. The Success Family of CE Companies is one such option. They   offer a low package price, all the CE hours you need, knowledgeable and competent service staff who will actually pick up the phone when you call!!  (what a concept, eh?) Their   system stores your CE information so you can start, stop, come back and complete your test at your leisure. Plus, you get instantaneous test results.

If you could take half the number of tests with Success CE that you otherwise would take with another firm, why would go anywhere else?

  1. What will you do with the money you save?
  2. How will you spend the time you save by using a competent firm instead of the ineffective one you may currently be using?

Give them   a call at 949-706-9453; they will  explain their     programs to you and help you get started. Oh, and if you are happy with them, tell your Broker-Dealer, FMO, IMO or General Agency that Success CE will   actually answer the phone if they call, too!

Remember, Knowledge is Power.

Bill