Why Earning Your Insurance Continuing Education Credits is Easier Than…

Every state in the US requires insurance adjusters and agents to undergo continuing education and earn a minimum number of credits every few years in order to continue their specialized licensing. There are several different approaches offered by a multitude of vendors to address this need in the market.

Prior to the arrival of the Internet, the only way credits could be earned was to physically attend classes in a location, usually away from the office. Today there are companies that specialize in providing online classes. When you compare the cost and convenience benefits to traditional methods of training, it would appear to make a lot of sense to probe online continuing education as an option.

Finding a company that offers CE training for insurance professionals is as simple as typing insurance continuing education credits into your browser search and sifting by the list of providers. The problem is how to choose the education provider that is right for you. Pricing is one factor that may go into into your decision making course of action, but it shouldn’t be the only one you use. Sometimes the price you see up front is not the price you end up paying, as there can be hidden fees and costs.

In order to assist you in your search for an online CE insurance provider, you should ask the following questions before making a final decision as to which company to use when looking to earn your CE credits.

What format is the course presented in? Some online courses be make up of consistently simply transcribed text on the computer screen. It can be difficult to follow the material and stay focused on the content when it is presented in this way. If possible, view an online demo or try to take a sample course before committing to a specific vendor. If you find the material boring or hard to follow in the sample or demo, you will probably have a hard time getting much assistance from the actual courses.

Does the presentation follow the format of a slide show, with illustrations, diagrams, and bullet points? Many people learn best when presented with a varied set of visual reinforcements that help them understand the course material.

One question you may have is if the classes have audio sustain. Some people learn visually, others learn better by listening to a presentation. Visual learners will assistance from charts and images which can enhance the learning experience. However, most people learn by a variety of ways, both visual and auditory. Several vendors will provide a narrative along with the slides in order to reinforce the lesson. It is already more advantageous if these lessons can be downloaded to a computer, burned to a disc or loaded into an mp3 player to be heard at ones convenience.

Most people tend to learn effectively when courses are broken down into smaller lessons, like sections or chapters in a book. If these lessons are followed by sample questions, this can help the student to understand how much of the material they have retained, and it gives them an indication as to which areas may need further review. This can provide the confidence one needs to help decide when they are ready to take the final exam.

When searching for an education provider, you should determine the total cost of earning your insurance CE credits. Some online providers charge an additional fee for the exam or for retakes if you do not pass on the first attempt. Others will allow you to use the course materials for an unlimited time and will allow test retakes at no additional cost to you. Try to find the vendor that maximizes your value, and not the profits of the vendor.

Do the course fees include reporting to your state insurance department? Most, but not all, states allow the training vendor to report the students credits; however, these states charge a fee to record the credits. In some situations, the student is required to pay this recording fee in addition to the course tuition. This is another example of a hidden charge. Other vendors include the reporting in the overall course fee.

Does the vendor provide a way for the student to check the position of their insurance CE credits? Most states require insurance CE credits to be attained every two years. It is easy to forget which courses one has taken and completed as time goes by. Some vendors provide an interface that allows the student to login, view their completion certificates online, and generate a report on when credits were issued and reported to the state. This gives the student an individualized compliance record that can be very useful, particularly when changing employers.

Once you have decided to choose an online vendor for your training needs, the outline presented should help you to make a well educated choice in helping you acquire your insurance CE credits. 

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