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Certified Insurance Service Representative national designation program

The CISR program is a CE credit-approved, nationally recognized designation program that takes a practical, hands-on approach to learning. This designation is recognized nationwide as an important credential—one that benefits individuals, their agencies, and their customers.

The CISR designation program includes nine course offerings. To earn the CISR designation, participants must attend class and pass exams for 5 of the 9 courses. However, anyone is welcome to attend the classes without taking the exams. There is no special order in which courses must be taken. If you are more familiar with a given topic, you may want to begin with that course. The five courses/exams required for the CISR designation must be completed within 3 years.

Developed by The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, students who are committed to continuing education and career growth can obtain the highest level of professional insurance education. This uniquely powerful training is designed to help you conquer the challenges of today by making customer service representatives more professional, more productive and more profitable. The CISR program is offered in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut exclusively by PIA.

Visit the National Alliance for more information on this designation program.

CISR courses

Customers won't forget an account manager or CSR who has the CISR designation— because they deliver service that is truly noticeable. The CISR program is for all insurance personnel who make customer service their priority.

Commercial Casualty I— This course strengthens your ability to have productive, assured interactions with your commercial customers in the area of commercial casualty exposures and coverages. You will improve your understanding of legal liability and what creates liability exposures. The focus of this course is the Commercial General Liability Coverage Form. This course also addresses additional insured exposures and the coverage available to meet these needs.

Commercial Casualty II— This course, like Commercial Casualty I, strengthens your ability to have productive, assured interactions with your commercial customers in the area of commercial casualty exposures and coverages. In this course the focus is the Business Auto Policy, the Workers Compensation Policy and Excess Liability Policies. You will improve your understanding in each of these areas.

Insuring Commercial Property— Commercial property insurance is one of your business customers' greatest concerns. You'll improve your cross-selling abilities with up-to-date knowledge of commercial property coverage, and reduce E&O exposures. This course gives you the skills to address these issues with greater ease and confidence.

Insuring Personal Residential Property— This course gives you the expertise you need to guide your customers through the often complex and confusing process of purchasing homeowners insurance - and help them make decisions that insure their most valuable assets.

Insuring Personal Auto Exposures— After taking this course, you will be able to assist your clients in identifying their exposures and more effectively advise them in the processes of analyzing, obtaining, and modifying their personal automobile policies.

Personal Lines—Miscellaneous— This course addresses the exposures created by watercraft, recreational vehicles, and business activities often encountered when working with personal lines clients. Prompting your client to identify these exposures is crucial, because the ISO Homeowners and ISO Personal Auto Programs provide only very limited coverage. You will be better able to design the appropriate coverage for these exposures. The course will also provide an analysis of the important coverage offered through personal umbrella or excess liability policies.

Life and Health Essentials— This course will help build a better understanding of what your clients need to know about life and health insurance. Explaining the benefits of having the proper life and health insurance is key to the financial wellbeing of your clients' families and businesses.

Be better prepared to answer questions about analyzing the need for and placement of life insurance. Health insurance includes a diverse assortment of policies, from medical expense coverage to vision care and dental coverage, plus a variety of delivery systems and health plans designed to manage the high cost of care.

Elements of Risk Management— Insurance professionals need training in the risk management process for two reasons. First, insurance is an integral part of their client's overall risk management program. Second, services provided by carriers, agencies and brokerages are often significant items in the organization's cost of risk.

This course will cover each of the five powerful steps in this process, which protects not only the organization's assets, but also its mission and its brand.

Agency Operations ^UM/FF— This course helps make you an indispensable team player in any insurance agency. As you work with colleagues and customers, you will do so with enhanced self-assurance and a greater understanding of the dynamics within insurance organizations. Also, understanding how agencies operate is essential training for both insurance agency and company personnel.

Advanced learning options

CISR Elite—If you hold the CISR designation and pass the other four CISR course exams, you will earn the CISR Elite designation! These additional passes must be achieved in a three year time frame. Obtaining the status of being a CISR Elite is evidence of commitment to the agency, the client, and the participant's personal growth. Earning the CISR Elite designation represents increased specialized knowledge, increases earning power, enhances professional status and creates more value for your agency or company.

William T. Hold Seminars—Exclusive, advanced training for experienced CSRs. Developed especially for CISRs as part of the Founders Series, these innovative one-day courses are special advanced learning opportunities for insurance professionals. William T. Hold Seminars satisfy the annual CISR update requirement and are open to anyone (not just those with the CISR designation).

Dynamics of Service^UM—Give your customer service personnel the tools they need to succeed! Dynamics of Service is consistently one of our highest-rated programs. Participants repeatedly tell us how this one-day course transformed their lives immediately when back on the job. And how much FUN it was to attend. Difficult personalities are one of the realities of doing business. Dynamics of Service helps overcome the annoyance you feel during these encounters-by learning behavioral styles and effective ways to communicate. You can learn a process that leads to satisfied and loyal customer relationships-which leads to greater retention rates. Dynamics of service satisfies the annual update requirement for CISRs and CSRMs and is open to anyone (not just those with the CISR or CSRM designation).

Frequently asked questions

How much does a CISR course cost?

CISR early bird fee: $200. Within five calendar days of a program, the fee is $210. Fee includes refreshments, instruction and materials.

What is PIA's cancellation, transfer and no-show policy?

  • If more than five calendar days prior to program: Cancellations/transfers are fully refundable.
  • If less than five calendar days: Cancellations/transfers incur fees of $120 for CIC programs, $30 for CISR, $25 for CPIA and full day programs, and $15 for half day programs. NYAIP classroom courses will have a cancellation/transfer fee of $50.
  • If up to five calendar days after program: Cancellations/transfers incur fees of $120 for CIC programs, $30 for CISR, $25 for CPIA and full day programs, and $15 for half day programs. NYAIP classroom courses will have a cancellation/transfer fee of $50.

What is CISR Elite?

If you completed Insuring Commercial Casualty Exposures (available prior to Commercial Casualty I and Commercial Casualty II), you may earn the CISR Elite status by passing either Commercial Casualty I or Commercial Casualty II, but not both. What is CISR Elite? By attending annual updates, a current CISR can earn update credit, state CE credit, and credit towards the CISR Elite distinction. A CISR must attend and pass all nine CISR courses—in class or online, to earn the status of CISR Elite. The additional four CISR courses and exams must be completed within three calendar years.

What are a few of my options for meeting the National Alliance's CISR update requirement?

  • Any one of the CISR courses
  • Any one-day William T. Hold Seminar
  • A one-day Dynamics of Service program.
  • An entire 2 1/2 day CRM course or CIC institute earns up to two years of update credit.

Student feedback—CISR program participants are encouraged to contact the Glenmont National Alliance Committee with recommendations, comments and concerns about the programs. Committee members are listed on one of the front pages of your CISR course booklet.

How do I get my 1 NY CE credit for passing a CISR exam?

For some time, New York licensees at renewal time, have been unable to use their 1 CE credit for passing a CISR exam without seeking assistance from PIANY, The National Alliance, or the New York Department of Financial Services. The NY Department of Financial Services is working to correct this issue in their online renewal process.

In the meantime, you do not have to wait until renewal time to have this 1 CE credit banked for passing the exam. Shortly after taking a CISR exam, go to your PROfile on The National Alliance's website. ( Your exam certificate is posted there. Email this certificate to the NYDFS at and they will manually update this credit in your CE History. This should alleviate any problems with the 1 extra CE credit at renewal time. To avoid delays at renewal time, we suggest that you send your exam certificate to NYDFS as soon as you know that you have passed the exam.

Questions or concerns—please contact PIA's Education Department at 800-424-4244.