As this is all new to me, what is the difference between the two courses you offer? Great question! In a nutshell, personal lines insurance coverage is insurance taken out by a homeowner, with the policy protecting the insured from property losses (including fire, theft, etc.) and claims from those other than family members who get injured while on the property. And the Basic Personal Lines Inspector Course delves into, at length, the various types of home construction, including, for example, roof design, as well as identifying those conditions, which, if uncorrected, could lead to costly damage to the home and/or serious injuries to guests or those (other than family members) accessing the home or the property, at large, including, for example, a swimming pool. Commercial lines insurance coverage, on the other hand, is insurance taken out by those owning or operating a business and that could be an apartment building owner or someone, for example, running a restaurant, office or a day care center. And the Basic Commercial Lines Inspector Course, besides discussing, at length, all aspects of commercial construction, which is much more diverse than most home construction, identifies those conditions, which, if uncorrected, could lead to costly damage to the building owned or space leased, and, with it, in the case of fire or serious water damage, for example, could prevent them from operating their business, or result in serious injury to tenants, patrons and other visitors, as well as passersby. All said, as conditions and exposures to loss vary considerably, by type of occupancy or operation (of which there are hundreds), there’s a lot more to learn respective of commercial loss control, which is why the Basic Commercial Lines Inspector Course is much more extensive. But to get a better feel for what each course provides, do look at the lesson descriptions for each course (on the “Purchase VIITA Courses” page, click open each of the offered courses) and I think you will see what I mean.
While the idea of learning a trade online appeals to me, I really don’t have any work experience that would prepare me for this type of work. I am a fast learner, however. Could commercial loss control be something anyone could consider and is your course basic enough for someone like me? The quick answer is “yes” and “yes”. The Basic Commercial Lines Inspector Course covers the A-Z of commercial loss control inspection, and because it is highly visual and with the important concepts reinforced throughout, even someone with no associated background or related experiences can easily understand codes and other technical material included in the course.
As an experienced home inspector, I already understand the basics of construction. What more can I expect to learn from your courses? As a home inspector, you already have an excellent foundation for finding additional income opportunity as a commercial lines or personal lines inspector. The VIITA Basic Commercial Lines Inspector Course will greatly add to your knowledge base, introducing you to high rise and other commercial construction and protection, the basics of commercial property and liability coverage, and exposures and controls associated with commercial occupancy, from office buildings, to restaurants and day care centers. And while you already are very familiar with home construction and home fire code requirements, the Basic Personal Lines Inspector Course will introduce you to the basics of home property and casualty coverage and the exposures that could lead to property and injury losses in and about the home.
While I’m very interested in becoming a loss control inspector, I’m concerned that an online course isn’t for me, especially since I have always learned best from hands on training. Are the VIITA courses suited for someone like me? You bet. In fact, both VIITA courses were designed precisely with you in mind. And mainly because experience tells us that everyone understands best when shown. For that very reason, our courses include hundreds of photos and illustrations which amply demonstrate all that is being taught, from building design and type of construction, to the hazards and exposures to look for and report.
Despite hearing how good the economy is, I’ve been out of work for almost nine months, and as such, I’m ready to learn a new trade. My question is, what better chance do I have of finding work after successfully completing one of your courses? Insurance companies heavily depend on independent loss control companies to maintain profitability and, if anything, loss control companies have more business than trained inspectors to do the work. The truth is, while a great many individuals are interested in loss control work, most do not have the necessary skills, which is why many companies highly value and recommend the VIITA courses. So, to answer your question, successfully complete one of the VIITA courses and you most definitely will find work.
After thirty years as an insurance claims adjuster, my company downsized and I was let go. At 57 years of age, I’m not yet ready for the rocking chair and although I have a pension, I still need some additional income to provide for the lifestyle I would like. Would your course afford me the opportunity to work just enough to pay for my greens fees? Not surprisingly, a lot of people are in your shoes, golf shoes or otherwise, finding that pension or social security isn’t nearly enough. And for that reason, there’s a goodly number of semi-retired former insurance company workers who have gone on to a second career as a part-time loss control inspector.
As a working woman with two school-aged children, I’m looking for a career that includes flexible hours. Can that be had working as a loss control inspector? And are there many female loss control inspectors? “Yes” and ”yes”. In fact, as work schedules are as flexible as inspectors need them to be, a great number of single moms have turned to loss control inspection work as the perfect solution to the challenge of balancing motherhood and earning an income. And, by the way, women prove to be exceptional loss control inspectors.
Is one expected to have a background in insurance to do this type of work? And will your course provide everything one needs to know to get started? Suffice it to say, knowledge of insurance coverage is critical to determining the scope of a commercial lines loss control survey. Few, however, come into this line of work with an insurance background. Most importantly, the VIITA courses provide the basics of commercial and personal lines insurance coverage in a manner that is easily understood by someone with no insurance background and more than adequate to hit the ground running.
Having served as a paid fireman for more than twenty years, I know how to recognize fire hazards and I’m very familiar with the various fire protection systems. But I’ve never been too good at writing reports. Do your courses include a step-by-step guide to report writing? One thing is for sure, namely, you’re not alone. In fact, VIITA’s Basic Commercial Lines Inspector Course recognizes that report writing is a challenge for a great many and accordingly devotes an entire lesson to this very subject, providing a step-by-step guide that will serve as a working model for the type of report narratives required of a commercial lines loss control inspector. And as personal lines work typically requires little or no report narrative, it’s not at issue.
How do the VIITA inspector courses compare to other online courses, some of which cost less, or to a bricks and mortar school, for that matter? Experience will tell you that you get what you pay for. But more importantly, is what you are paying for best suited to you and your needs. Truth is, some of the lesser priced online programs are not particularly good value because when all is said and done, they don’t provide enough working knowledge to do the job. And while attendance at a bricks and mortar school is a worthwhile option for most, it can be very costly, especially when one factors in the added expense of transportation, lodging and food, not to mention possible lost wages during time away from home. Of course, given the highly visual nature of our courses, VIITA students enjoy the benefits of a site-based school, without the added cost or inconvenience.
Presently, I am a sales rep covering a large territory. As a loss control inspector, would it be possible to include some loss control inspections into my current schedule? Absolutely. As an independent contractor, a loss control inspector will typically decide on a service area which makes the most sense to the inspector. Usually, that will be a reasonable distance from one’s place of residence, but if, as you suggest, it proves more profitable or necessary to broaden the area of service, working loss control inspections into your day’s sales visits will add income without incurring additional travel costs.
Okay, I take the VIITA course, obtain my certificate, then what? Based on the course, you will be eligible to work either as an independent commercial lines or personal lines insurance loss control inspector. We will refer you to a number of companies who belong to a long-established association of national and regional inspection companies and who are always in need of qualified inspectors.
If I enroll in your loss control inspector course, how long will it take for me to recoup the cost of the tuition? That depends on where you live and what opportunities there are in your area. As an independent contractor you can take on work from a number of companies. Of course, just one company could well keep you as busy as you care to be. Either way, the cost of either course could very well be recouped in a single day’s work.
As an independent loss control inspector, how will I be compensated for my time and effort? That will vary by the company and the type of work contracted. An independent commercial lines loss control inspector is not normally compensated on an hourly basis. Payment is typically for a total project (the completed report). However, this generally translates to an average fee of $50-$70 for a report that takes/involves two hours or less of onsite and report writing time. Of course, projects vary in time, based on size and complexity. Also, depending on the company, there may be reimbursement for some expenses such as tolls and mileage. As for independent personal lines inspectors, they will typically make significantly less per report, but volume will compensate for that, as the time on site and to complete the reports will be substantially less than for commercial work.
How long does it usually take to successfully complete the VIITA courses? The courses are designed to be taken at one’s own pace. But just how long it will take to gain a working knowledge of the course material will vary with the individual, factoring in the desired pace of study, how much someone already knows and how quickly one learns. While the Basic Commercial Lines Inspector Course has considerably more content than the Basic Personal Lines Inspector Course, for the person who has the time and is anxious to complete the course, successful completion of either course within a week is very possible, although students of both courses are strongly encouraged to go slowly, so that the codes and concepts really sink in, making for the maximum long-term benefit. That said, everyone who enrolls in either course, will have access to the course material into perpetuity, thus accommodating every schedule and affording current and graduated students open-ended/unlimited access to all course and bonus materials.
Is there a limit to the number of times course material can be accessed? Once enrolled, everyone is provided a password which allows unlimited, open-ended access to all course content, including lessons and bonus materials.
What if a person fails the certification exam. Can one simply take the test again? Successful completion of the courses requires a passing grade of 80 on the final certification exam. The good news is that there is no limit to the number of times one can take the exam. Of course, a failing grade will typically require further study of the materials. More importantly, how well one does on the final exam will be a good indicator of how prepared one is to do this kind of work. So everyone should aim for a high score and keep taking the exam until one achieves same.
Do the VIITA courses include on line technical support? Absolutely. In addition to the lesson plans, enrolled students have access to a Q&A technical support blog for posting loss control questions. Of course, the added benefit of such a feature is that students, besides having their own questions answered, also get to see replies to questions posed by others.
In terms of paying for your courses, how secure is the method of credit card payment? PayPal is a familiar, secure and trusted method of credit card payment.