Valuing continuing professional education

Changing insurance field demands it

By Daniel W. Draz, M.S., CFE
iFraud: Insurance industry anti-fraud insights

Several years ago, I was speaking with an insurance investigator when the subject of continuing education came up. I mentioned a particular insurance seminar I was considering attending. The investigator responded by saying, "I fail to see the value of continuing education as I previously worked for the government for 20 years, had significant professional training during that time, and obviously don't need any more." Slightly taken aback, I didn't pursue the conversation. But what I really wanted to say is that business is constantly evolving; it's much more high tech then it was and we now operate in a global environment. Despite the fact that the insurance industry has been around hundreds of years, the only constant is change.

The insurance industry is primarily regulated by the states in which a company transacts business. However, U.S. federal legislation also has impact. It wasn't that long ago that we didn't have regulations like the USA Patriot Act, Sarbanes Oxley, Gramm-Leach, Bliley, and the Drivers Privacy Protection Act. These are but a few of the laws enacted over the years. Generally speaking, the United States has entered into an unprecedented era of information privacy. In years past, the phrase "invasion of privacy" wasn't the buzzword that it is now.

What does regulation and legislation have to do with continuing education? Basically, these pieces of legislation have significant impact on insurance companies and the manner in which insurance investigations are conducted around the country. As these laws were enacted, conference speakers incorporated information about their potential impact on the industry in presentations about investigations, surveillance, and privacy. While some of these laws obviously apply to government agencies, the impact on corporate America is significant.

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