Christensen Named among 13 "Heroes" of Insurance Industry

Christensen photo

An Eastern Kentucky University faculty member is among 13 “heroes” of the insurance industry, as identified by LifeHealthPro, an online resource for life and health insurance advisers.

The LifeHealthPro site recognized Dr. Burke Christensen, visiting professor in EKU’s Department of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems and director of the University’s Risk Management and Insurance Program.

Christensen joined Eastern in 2006 as the Robert B. Morgan Chair of Insurance. Two years later, he was named coordinator of academic integrity at the University. In 2012, EKU honored him as one of its Critical Thinking Teachers of the Year.

 “My goal at EKU is to find and educate young scholars to prepare them to enter the insurance business,” Christensen told LifeHealthPro, adding that he is most excited about “the prospect of my graduates filling the huge need for smart, knowledgeable young people to replace the … agents, brokers, field management and home office people who are retiring in record numbers.”

The University’s Risk Management and Insurance Program boasts approximately 80 majors.

“A degree in insurance is a ticket into one of the finest business opportunities possible,” Christensen continued. “We are in the business of minimizing the risks inherent in life. When bad things happen, such as when a bread-winner dies or becomes disabled, the insurance industry is there to provide the means and the security for people to stay in their world. When property is damaged, destroyed or stolen, the insurance industry is there to restore that which was lost. What could be better than that?”

Christensen also has 30 years of experience as an attorney and executive officer in the insurance industry. He served as the chief operating officer and general counsel of Concert Health Plan Insurance Company in Oak Brook, Ill. Previously, he had served as the vice president of operations and in-house counsel to (now for its 1999 IPO and was responsible for agent market conduct compliance for the company in all 51 U.S. jurisdictions.

In addition, he has litigated insurance cases and managed outside counsel in court and arbitration. As the former general counsel of the Society for Financial Services Professionals, he prepared and presented testimony on behalf of the insurance industry before state legislatures, federal agencies and the U.S. Senate.

Christensen is the author/editor of three college textbooks on the law of insurance published by The American College. Including his columns, he has written more than 100 articles on professional ethics, market conduct compliance, producer liability and the regulations of insurance and has served as the editor of The Insurance Counselor, a series of primers on legal tax issues published by the American Bar Association. Christensen also contributes a column, “Professionals Liability,” for the Journal of the Society of Financial Services Professionals.

Christensen participated in the creation of the American Business Ethics Award and served as co-chair of the judges panel in 1994 and 1995. He also participated in the creation of a business ethics program for the Greater Chicago Business Bureau.

He has been a guest lecturer in insurance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and at the John Marshall Law School and has spoken on insurance topics at insurance industry and bar association meetings throughout the U.S.

He also serves as an expert witness in lawsuits involving insurance issues in state and federal courts in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

Christensen earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Utah State University in 1972 and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1975.

Published on July 21, 2014

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