HSI Instructor Kristen Quagliaroli
Kristen Quagliaroli is the director of training and an instructor for Hartford School of Insurance (HSI). In addition to providing technical insurance training to agency personnel, she develops customized training programs for agencies in need of niche opportunities.
Quagliaroli began her insurance career in 1996 with The Hartford as a middle market commercial lines underwriter after earning a B.S. in Marketing from Central Connecticut State University. She held numerous positions in the insurance industry with The Hartford, Safeco and TIG Specialty Insurance Solutions, including small commercial business underwriter, marketing representative for personal, commercial and life insurance, and excess and surplus lines casualty underwriter. Since joining HSI as an instructor in 2003, her experience in many facets of the industry has been key to her success.
After a career spent broadening her insurance industry knowledge in a variety of roles, Quagliaroli describes how the real-life experience of HSI instructors sets them apart from other insurance training programs.
“It’s great to have theory, but without putting it into action, theory lacks,” said Quagliaroli. “Our entire team has real life experience – no one has less than 20 years of experience. We’ve all actually been in the business – we’ve underwrote, we’ve positioned it and we’ve sold it. Because of our experience, we can articulate how there can be multiple solutions to the same problem.”
When Quagliaroli began as an instructor at HSI, there were three programs: Commercial Lines Producer School, CSR/Account Manager School and Personal Lines School. After taking on additional responsibilities leading operations and the instructors, Quagliaroli soon fundamentally changed how HSI training was delivered.
“Technology innovation has transformed how we deliver our training,” said Quagliaroli.
It started in 2009 with the introduction of webinars, designed to educate agency personnel on very unique, specific topics; high-quality training they could access without leaving their desks. Now, some of HSI’s monthly webinars can draw crowds of up to 1,000 participants.
What started with virtual webinars moved into entire virtual multi-week programs, which debuted in 2011 with the first virtual CSR/Account Manager School.
“All of a sudden we could bring entry-level programs to people who couldn’t travel,” said Quagliaroli. “It’s the same high-level curricula, just a different delivery method.”
After the initial success of the virtual programs, Personal Lines School was added in 2012, and Commercial Lines Producer School was added in 2013. The added flexibility of the virtual programs appeals to many and the programs continue to grow in popularity.
Education, Your Way
Quagliaroli introduced another popular innovation in 2009: custom programs. HSI custom programs enable an agency to receive high-quality instructor-led training tailored to their specific needs and earn CE credits from within the comfort of their agency.
From the start, custom programs offered a level of customization and personalization that resonated deeply with agencies.
“They wanted to develop their staff, and do it in a non-public arena,” said Quagliaroli. “These programs are designed to meet the specific needs of the agency and differ from our public offerings.”
Some of the custom training topics have included Service and Sales-oriented Approaches, Business Income Worksheets, Developing Property Limits, Additional Insureds, Certificates of Insurance and more. Custom training has proved to be especially popular – training is often booked 6 months in advance and fills up quickly.
Delivering innovations like custom programs, webinars, and virtual programs to agency personnel comes from a desire to see people succeed, said Quagliaroli.
“What keeps me engaged is a deep-seated passion to ensure that Insurance Professionals are properly educated, to protect themselves as well as their customers from financial catastrophe,” said Quagliaroli. “We give someone the foundation, and with a little motivation and desire, they can become very well off.”
Kristen lives with her family in Connecticut and enjoys traveling, reading and boating throughout Long Island Sound.