It’s simply amazing to see the impact that state-mandated continuing education (“CE”) has had on the claims industry over the last few decades. One would think (and that regulators thought) such requirements would enhance the quality and professionalism of insurance claims practice. Unfortunately, my perception is that the effect has been somewhat less than successful, and that the intent of CE has certainly not been appreciated.
These days it seems that all I hear are adjusters complaining about their CE requirements. Initially I am inclined to be unsympathetic; yet, to be honest, when I think about today’s typical CE course, I believe there may be a certain amount of logic to their dissatisfaction. In fact, it actually may not be the “requirement” of CE that is the source of their frustration, nor, perhaps, the “cost”. But if either of these issues aren’t the cause, then what is?
A number of questions come to mind:
- Is it, in fact, the quality and/or relevance of the CE? My observation is that, in today’s “frugal” and busy claims environment, a large part of the industry depends on CE requirements to provide much of today’s claims training. Is it working?
- Is it the cost? I would find that hard to believe; yet I am often asked, “Where can I get some free CE?” Given the time and expense of developing quality claims training and education, I am amazed at just how “cheaply” one can secure CE (e.g. “24 CE for $39.95!” or “Unlimited CE for $99!”). Given the fact that most of this product is rarely even relevant to the job of an adjuster, or helpful in the least, is it even worth it? The saying, “You get what you pay for” comes to mind…
- Could it be that adjusters are just too busy and don’t want to be bothered? For some adjusters, this is something with which I can sympathize. Today’s claims operations ARE very busy. But that’s the job, isn’t it?
Actually, to this last question is there not a greater point to be raised?
Our business…our profession…requires that we be ever learning and improving our ability to handle the challenges and losses that come our way; that we understand and be capable of embracing the changes that are overtaking the insurance industry; and, that we are prepared to address the evolving exposures that have not yet even crystalized.
Although it may not be expressed as such by state regulators, to a certain extent is this not the overall objective of CE? Should it not be for those who seek, not just a job, but a career…a true “profession”?
If one were to seek solution(s) to this dilemma, I wonder what they might be?
In Part 2 of this topic, we’ll look ahead at possible solutions that could make training and continuing professional development (i.e. CE) more respected, meaningful, and cost-effective. Stay tuned…