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Feb 7, 2022


EP 62 - This episode is about getting CE credits

As a CIC, we are required to do annual updates and the classes are usually a deep dive into a topic that you won’t find elsewhere. I’ve done updates every year since 1992. In 2012 I did an update and received a certificate that I had been a CIC for 20 years. To my surprise that meant that I only had to do my CIC update every other year now, instead of every year. 

This created CE issues for me because I need 24 hours of CE’s a year in my state and since the CIC updates are only 16 hours, I’ve been scrambling for a few years  to get my 24 in the allotted time. In the past, I just did my update every year and there were my CE’s. I never thought twice about it. Over the past 10 years, I’ve found myself scrambling at the last minute!

Before COVID they were all in person. 

It was great, you could go to Florida for an update, make a vacation out of it, learn something new, meet some new people and it was an experience, not something that was dreaded.

Not everyone likes to travel, or to be out of the office for a few days at a time, so many people do their updates close to home. After doing them for so many years, you get to know a lot of the attendees and it becomes a little like old home week! 

I’ve seen people I worked with in the 80’s, 90’s and even people I coached in my business development groups in these updates. One of my earlier podcast guests, Laura Bianchini, was scheduled shortly after seeing her at a CIC update! Listen to episode 8 Finding Your Niche   for that conversation!

In my area, we had one instructor, Jerry Milton, who was a mainstay. He told a lot of jokes and stories around insurance, keeping  us entertained as we talked about business auto exclusions (I know, boring right) or is it an inland marine or business auto exposure! Sadly we lost Jerry a few years ago just after his retirement, but for anyone who’s older listening to this and has taken a few CIC classes, will remember Jerry. RIP Jerry

Over the years, the CIC society has updated things a little bit, taking them from 2 ½  days to 2 days but always in person.

The classes usually start at 8:00 am and end at 5:15, allowing 10 minute breaks in between and also an extended lunch break because the hotel restaurants often had difficulty feeding 400 people in 60 minutes!.

During the morning session and the afternoon session they send around a form to sign that you are there….if you miss signing the form, you don’t get credit, so everyone is always watching out for the form. You never know when it is going to be passed around.

If you had to get up and take a phone call or use the rest room, you could. If you needed to be out for more than 10 minutes, often you could get an ok from the educational coordinator. Basically if you weren’t there, they didn’t notice it!

Last week with COVID, I did my first virtual CIC update. It’s also about time for me to renew my state license, so I needed to get 24 hours of CE’s. (or so I thought, but I’ll elaborate on that later)

Since CIC updates are only 16 hours, I needed two different classes. I decided to do a basic update on life and health, thinking it would be a refresher but hoping they would talk about a few topics that I’m not as confident about (annuities and LTC). I cleared my calendar, no appointments, nothing to do for 2 days but watch my computer monitor and listen to someone talking.

First, I need to say that I don’t really watch TV, so watching my monitor for 8 hours a day felt a little challenging. When I’m working, I usually have 20 tabs open, looking up something I don’t know or doing some other type of research to get answers to my questions. The thought of sitting at my computer for 8 hours was concerning but I had to get the CE’s.

What caught me by surprise was the pop up quizzes. The three pop up an hour quizzes that apparently if you miss one, you don’t get CE’s. Seriously!

Contrast this with the in person events where you can come and go to the facilities and still get credit but if you miss one pop up quiz you don’t get CE’s. I wasn’t liking that but I really needed my CE’s so I was determined to get through it, plus it was a topic I really wanted to know about.

I made it through the first 4 hours before lunch and I heard the instructor say that several people hadn’t responded to the pop up questions so a lot of people were going to be disappointed when they found out that they weren’t going to get CE’s. 

OMG, how did people miss them……I was (or thought I was) glued to the monitor. I wasn’t doing any work, I wasn’t talking on my phone. I didn’t have any background distractions. Heck, I even held off going to the bathroom until an assigned break.

I did look at some of the handouts as they were referenced, which meant looking at a different monitor. But it was fairly close to the main monitor, so I thought I would see any pop up questions or a change in the screen.  ln my mind, I wasn’t (or so I thought)  I wasn’t one of those people. 

But the instructors comment about missing the quizzes stuck in the back of my mind.

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Ok, back to my CE rant…..

I made it through the first day but it was hard…..there might have been a moment or two where I started to day dream, after all, how much can you absorb about annuities and long term care in one sitting?

Day 2 was a little better…at least the instructor made reference to the pop up or would pause in his talking so it was a signal to look at the monitor. Day 2 was about Medicare and Medicaid, which is what I do everyday, so listening to him, seeing if I could pick up a few new nuggets was easier. However, it is also easy to daydream when you could be the one teaching the class! 

On Monday I received an email from the National Society that I did not answer all of the pop up questions and therefore I did not earn CE credits! 

What! I was shocked.

I’ve been doing my CIC update for over 20 years (actually 30 this year plus the 5 years it took to earn the CIC  designation) Not once did I not get CE credits when the classes were in person!

How is it that my first virtual update and I don’t get any CE credits?


I was pissed.

I immediately sent an email back asking which pop up questions I missed.

I think this virtual pop up system is flawed. I get that a lot of people will sign on, go play golf then come back and think they should get credit so they have to do something to  keep you honest. 

But I think there should be a little grace in missing one or two or maybe 3 over the course of 2 eight hour days. 

I feel bad for anyone that had something happen to their stomach and a child needed a glass of water and they missed the pop up question. 

I’m sure I’m not the only one that hasn’t earned their CE’s because they missed a pop up…..but that stinks. 

I did some serious soul searching after getting the letter. It was $500 down the tubes….I would never go to the casino and spend that kind of money, I hate throwing it away on CE’s! 

Then I looked into my state account about how many credits I needed. How was I going to get 24 CE’s in less than 30 days? And how much more was I going to have to spend?

In my state account, I knew I had a few credit hours because I took my LTC certification in 2021 and paid for the credits when I did my AHIP certification for Medicare. So I knew I had something and maybe didn’t need the entire 24. 

Well, as I did this, good things began to appear that I either didn’t know about or I had forgotten. 

For producers in MD that were licensed at least 20 years prior to 2008, you don’t need 24 credits, only 8. Ethics was 3 and then I needed a few for life and health and a few for P&C. 

Whew….was I relieved.

I have an ethics scheduled in a few weeks and am doing another CIC update with the society where I’ll get the rest of the P&C credit hours. Or at least I hope I will!.

This next update is what the society calls their Mega - in the past it was a week long session of classes that you could take and pick the ones that were of interest to you. I did a MEGA about 8 years ago in Colorado and it was fascinating. This was right as Marijauna was being legalized in CO and one of the sessions was on issues employers faced with the legalization and the impacts with employment liability and workers compensation policies.  Another session I took back then was on cyberliability. That’s a topic that has always fascinated me. I remember them talking about a claim where a pizza restaurant had been fined over 50k for sending unsolicited texts messages as a marketing campaign. This was tied to the CAN SPAM ACT which I was well aware of from all the teaching I’ve done on email marketing with Constant Contact. I hate when I get unsolicited text messages knowing they are violating the CAN SPAM ACT. One day I’ll find the time to respond…but if you aren’t familiar with it, do your homework. 

As usual, I digress!

Since COVID, the Mega has pivoted to Virtual and different classes are now offered over the course of 12 months. So you can take 5 classes of your choosing.

I took one yesterday on current events and their impact on insurance. For example we talked about WCAG compliance (do you know what that one is?)  (think ADA for your website!) and the apartment building that collapsed in FL and different types of claim situations, outside of the obvious. It was a great class. The instructor told a lot of stories that were engaging and relevant.

This class was 4 hours, with two in the morning and 2 in the afternoon with a 2 hour break in between. I was prepared for the pop up questions this time. I wrote down the times of each. After the first 2 hours, I realized that I might have missed one of the pop up questions because I didn’t write down the time. I was there, I was engaged, how did this happen again.  

I reached out as soon as the second session started only to be told they don’t have that information. Ugh…now I have to wait to see if I really did miss one. I hope not, because I was there and I was paying attention….but I did look up WCAG and I’m hoping I didn’t miss the question when I was doing the research.

I’m talking about CE’s because I think virtual is really hard. I don’t know how people can love this having to be glued to the monitor for 8 hours straight. It’s crazy!  I can’t wait to go back to in person when I can doodle when I’m bored and not feel like I have to keep my eyes on the screen so I don’t miss a pop up!

But here’s the good news…..remember earlier I said that I sent an email to the alliance asking which questions that I missed in the Life and Health CIC update. Well, upon further review, they said that I only missed one (which I had notified them about) and I am getting my CE’s. The one that I missed didn’t go through. I had hit submit but then my screen froze and it didn’t go through before it left the screen!

So now I just need to get my ethics completed and I’m good for another 2 years. 

When it comes to CE’s virtual is more convenient but I think in person is really the way to go. We need to be with other people, hear the conversations, build connections because one day the person sitting next to us could be our co-worker, boss or we could be their boss! You never know!

Thanks for listening as I rant about CE’s and I hope your journey with CE’s is more enjoyable!

Until next time check out our sponsor, and keep creating opportunities!



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This episode of the Business of Insurance podcast is produced and hosted by Debbie DeChambeau, CIC, AAI, CPIA - an entrepreneurer, business advisor, insurance professional  and content creator. Her goal is to inspire you to think differently and explore ideas that disrupt the status quo. 

Debbie has an extensive business and marketing background with a focus of helping insurance professionals be more successful. 

She is the co-author of Renewable Referrals and produces three other podcasts, Business In Real Life and Divorce Exposed and Seniors We Love. 

 Connect with Debbie on LinkedInTwitter or Instagram