Continuing education (CE), also known as continuing professional education (CPE), is an important way for licensed insurance producers and others to keep abreast of new insurance products and regulatory developments. As the world changes, so too does insurance, spawning new continuing education topics each year. We’re showcasing five of the most zeitgeisty insurance CE course offerings we could find to illustrate the evolving nature of insurance education.
Why is insurance continuing education necessary?
They say only three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and insurance continuing education requirements.* For the vast majority of licensed insurance agents, licensed insurance adjusters, certified insurance service representatives (CISRs), and others engaging in the sales or solicitation of insurance products, keeping current with continuing education is a mandatory part of maintaining a professional license.
*OK, they may not really say this, but you know it’s true.
With the pace of the modern world, it’s no wonder that continuing education is an important part of the industry. Insurance products are constantly evolving and insurance regulations are hardly static either. To serve clients legally and ethically, it makes sense that insurance professionals are required to keep up with continuing professional education for each line of authority they’re licensed in.
There are some instances where states have created CE exemptions for insurance agents who’ve been licensed for decades, or who have a certain professional certification, or hold some academic degree. Aside from those special cases, insurance continuing education is a fact of life for most producers. But that doesn’t mean it has to be akin to eating your brussel sprouts!
If you need a reminder of state CE requirements, exceptions, and oddities, check out your jurisdiction’s continuing education section of the AgentSync Compliance Library.
Not your grandpa’s insurance continuing education
If you browse an insurance CE course catalog, you’ll inevitably find the industry staples: “Fundamentals of Life Insurance” or “Understanding Insurance Underwriting” to name a couple of basics that have probably been around for as long as insurance continuing education has been a thing. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Just like the insurance industry responds to what’s happening in the world by creating new products when the need arises (no one thought celebrity butt insurance was necessary 100 years ago, for example), continuing professional education also evolves. Here are a handful of insurance continuing education topics that are uniquely relevant and timely for today’s insurance professionals.
Cybersecurity insurance policy education
Cybersecurity threats aren’t exactly “new” but they’re becoming more sophisticated and more costly with each passing year. Smart insurance producers know the importance of offering cyber liability protection to their clients, when appropriate. And if they do offer it, they should probably make sure they’re up to date with their continuing education in the realm of cyber insurance policies. Course providers claim producers will walk away from their educational courses with a greater understanding of cyber security threats, how they can reduce risk and prevent exposure both within their own agency and at their clients’ businesses, and detailed knowledge about cyber liability insurance products.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), aka drone insurance education
Just a few years ago, the idea of individuals and businesses owning and operating flying drones still sounded like science fiction. In 2022, drones are an everyday reality. With uses spanning from product delivery to journalism to private security, individuals and businesses who own and operate drones need insurance. That means licensed insurance producers need education on how to insure them. In drone insurance education, insurance agents can learn about the different types of drones, how they’re used, federal regulations governing them, what liabilities exist, and different ways of insuring them.
Working from home and home office insurance education
Aside from pandemic insurance itself, insurance for those working from home may be the most post-COVID era thing we’ve heard of this week. Whether it’s employers dealing with new workers compensation insurance challenges due to a newly-remote employee force, or employees wondering if (and how much) their homeowners insurance would be responsible for in case of an accident while working from home, the co-mingling of work and home life has created a whole new set of issues. Luckily, insurance continuing education is keeping up with the times by offering courses on this very thing. In an age when many licensed agents may even be working from home themselves, they can now earn CPE credits for learning the ins and outs of the risks, liabilities, and coverages related to working from home.
Long-term care insurance and hybrid LTC insurance education
As you may recall from previous posts, long-term care insurance hasn’t been profitable or popular with insurers for a while now, even as consumers’ need for it continues to rise each year. More and more often, insurance carriers, insurance agents, and consumers are seeking alternatives to traditional long-term care insurance policies, often by way of hybrid products.
In a reflection of today’s long-term care reality, licensed agents and brokers may want to check out continuing education on the latest “hybrid” long-term care insurance products, which can include life insurance and annuities. Both life insurance and annuities are their own can of worms, even more so when you’re using them to act as a long-term care insurance vehicle. Continuing education in this timely topic can help agents make sure they’re guiding clients appropriately.
Continuing education for sharing economy insurance
If you can remember back to 2008, you may be able to recall a time before the sharing economy was even a twinkle in investors’ eyes. Before AirBnB, Uber, and Lyft, it’s likely no insurance agent considered what type of liability coverage someone would need to turn their personal car into a taxi or their spare bedroom into a hotel.
The sharing economy has blurred the line between what’s personal and commercial, and brought new risks along with its estimated $335 billion contribution to the economy. As insurance companies have scrambled to adapt by offering new products to address the risks of the sharing economy, CE courses have cropped up to ensure insurance professionals understand the nuances of their clients’ home- and car-sharing endeavors, and the limitations of personal insurance policies for those involved in the sharing economy.
We’ve tracked down a few timely insurance continuing professional education topics that are particularly applicable to today’s world. If tracking down your insurance producers’ CE credits, renewal deadlines, and other components of their compliance status isn’t how you want to spend your time, see how AgentSync can simplify that process for you and your whole team. For more insurance continuing education resources, check out our state-by-state CE information repository.