As with other Internet-driven initiatives, e-Learning will probably be subject to a great deal of scrutiny before it is deemed acceptable by those insurance carriers who still recognize a viable role for traditional training methods.Allstate Insurance Corp., Northbrook, Ill., which has been involved in distance learning programs since 1989, is considered one of the pioneers of the concept. Nevertheless, the company does not consider e-Learning as "the be-all and end-all for the insurance industry," says Patricia McCarthy, who oversees training and administration within Allstate's claims unit.

There are carriers that might not be equipped with the tools to ensure a safe landing for this type of program. Allstate, which has accumulated 87,000 hours of distance learning training in its claims department over the last decade, has made the initiative a valuable tool for its claims adjusters and an extension of its customer service endeavors.

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