San Francisco partner John Finston, Los Angeles partner James Fitzgerald, and Dallas partners Susan Egeland, Neil Rambin and Sondra Sylva presented at Perrin Conferences’ Natural Disaster Conference on April 2-3, 2019, in Miami, Fla. Neil is the conference co-chair.

On Tuesday, April 2, Jim moderated a panel on “Challenges Facing the Insurance Industry as a Result of Natural Disasters,” and was joined by panelists from the insurance industry, claims consultants, forensic engineers and construction personnel. The panel covered some of the most pressing issues insurers and others in the industry face as a result of natural disasters, as well as ways businesses can best manage those obstacles.

Later that morning, Neil participated in a panel discussion on: “Case Study: Taking a Property Damage and Business Interruption Claim from Soup to Nuts.” Other panelists included Lee Epstein of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC; Matthew Nelson, Vice President of Claims at AmeriTrust Group, Inc.; Andrew Fusco , Chief Operating Office of WorldClaim Global Claims Management and Sharon Pisko Wolfe, Partner and Co-Founder of RWH Myers & Company. Panelists used a real-life scenario to explore the process of handling a natural disaster-related claim.

Susan was a panelist on the subject of “Residential Issues.” She was joined by Missy Heidelberg of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC; Kevin Maxwell, assistant vice president of The Vertex Companies, Inc.; and Henry Sienema, president of Case Strategies Group, LLC. The panel examined difficulties related to reviewing, processing, and implementing residential claims in the light of a disaster.

Sondra participated in a panel discussion addressing “Challenges Facing the Hospitality and Real Estate Industries as a Result of Natural Disasters” on the afternoon of April 2. Her co-panelists included Meghan Moore of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC; Aaron Carone, a consultant with CBRE Hotels Advisory; David R. Charles, President of Master Claims Consultants; Jonathan W. Pirie, Senior Director of Ankura; and Helen Eichmann, Vice President, Environmental Division at Allied World Insurance Company. The panel explored common obstacles and issues the hospitality and real estate industries may encounter following a disaster—and how best to mitigate their risk by preparing and responding properly.

On Wednesday, April 3, Jim moderated a panel on “Wildfires: Environmental, Economic and Insurance Coverage Issues,” with insurance industry representatives. Their panel addressed the recent wildfires in the West and their impact on California’s economy and environment cutting-edge insurance coverage and subrogation issues; business interruption and natural resource damages; and best practices for assessing economic risk.

The Wildfires panel discussion was followed with a panel discussion on “Insurance Regulatory Issues” that arise from Natural Disasters, and which was moderated by Jim and John Finston. They were joined on this panel by John Doak, the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner from 2010-2018 and Ken Schnoll, the current General Counsel and Deputy Insurance Commission for the State of California. They discussed the regulatory responses to underwriting and claims issues (e.g., non-renewals, underinsurance, etc.) and issues regarding the education component for the public and insurance industry.

Jim also spoke on the panel entitled: “Legal Ethics for Lawyers Who Help Clients after Natural Disasters,” and was joined by attorneys Steven Weisbrod of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC and Adam Schwartz of Carlton Fields.

Learn more about the Natural Disaster Conference.

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