The incentive for insurers to explore online learning, beside the low travel costs and reduction of lost agent and employee productivity, is the fact that carriers can turn around training relatively quickly. This is essential with so many new products, regulatory compliance requirements and other liability issues nipping at their heels.Larry Duckworth, president of Learn.net, an Atlanta-based provider of online learning and training technology, believes insurers have become extremely concerned about liability, particularly errors and omissions.

"E&O costs are huge today," says Duckworth. "An insurer can get sued because a product was not sold correctly by an agent. A plaintiff lawyer will go after a carrier in a heartbeat because that's where the money is. But if the insurer has proof that the agent passed a continuing education course, the burden is off the insurer and on the individual."

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