2012 Windstorm Insurance Conference logo

[Complete General Contractors, Inc. – Booth 32]
The 2012 Windstorm Insurance Conference is scheduled for Monday, January 30 to Thursday, February 2. This year’s event already has more than 1,300 professionals registered two weeks prior to the event.

It seems to me that this program is getting stronger every year. There will be experts in virtually every field associated with the insurance industry from business interruption experts, to forensic engineers, adjusters, lawyers and even the occasional restoration contractor. I like this conference because of its diversity.

For example, I have been selected by the education committee to contribute to a break out session titled Unlocking the Enigma – Multi Causation Claims. I am extremely pleased and honored to be among this faculty. In our program we are led by our moderator Valerie Jackson, Esquire, a defense lawyer out of Florida; Clay Morrison, an experienced appraiser, umpire and public adjuster out of League City, Texas; J. Phil Wilbourne, PE, the regional manager for Rimkus, which is a very well known company that is lucky to have Phil from my stomping grounds of Pensacola; and myself, a general contractor in multiple states, a floodplain manager and appraiser for both the insurance industry and property owners or their counsel from Gulf Breeze, Florida.

Hurricane damage

Our presentation is 100 minutes and will focus on some of the most difficult questions in the property claims business concerning multi-causation losses. We will go as in depth as we can in the time allowed; the first focus will be on wind and flood claims and then we will go into the concurrent damage language and case law governing the topic. In addition we will look at the engineering led by Phil; the policy led by Clay and a review of damage models used to get through these files with a job waiting for you when you are done; I will present this portion. teamcomplete.com

Valerie will focus on the cases that are out there and explain them in a non-lawyer tone so that guys like me can understand. There is a delicate balancing act between multiple policies exclusions and differing facts depending on numerous factors; these include flood depth, wind speed, the type and elevation of the properties, timing and direction. I am not certain we will be able to provide definitive answers to every question, but we certainly should be able to point out how these files have been successfully handled in the past and what to look for when a person is charged with making a decision on one of these losses.

Roof shingles

The second portion of our presentation will focus on pre-existing versus wind created openings. We intend on discussing the causation issues in these losses, the policies and what they say from policy-to-policy and state-to-state. We will look at how these files have closed in the past and how the cots can be distributed to provide a fair value to the wind damage without including those damages that may not be covered. The lawyer and public adjuster in our group will discuss the policy and what that contract says about these types of losses. These issues are critical and very often are major points of contention on large losses in hotels, condominiums and the like. Just what is damage, an opening and what does it take to have interior damage that should be covered?

This year, the conference is in Orlando at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel; golf is on Monday with the conference in full gear on Tuesday.

Our president at WIND this year is Chip Merlin of Merlin Law Group [www.Merlinlawgroup.com]. Now a nationwide concern, he has done a great job in leading us so far making his way to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to provide some relief to the folks up there that had it very hard this year along with other areas both in America and outside as well.  We should also thank Michelle Griffin of the Windstorm Insurance Network for doing a great job on the business end of providing informative conferences year after year. I have noticed that there have been improvements every year from the umpire certification program, which now requires retraining every two years and FDLE checks of the persons wanting to achieve this designation. I also applaud the organization for their interest in pursuing the PAD, or Professional Appraiser Designation, and the Canon of Ethics written by Mr. John Voelpel, a pillar of the industry.  I understand that this year the programming will be online so that a person can see the itineraries; sponsors and what’s going on from their smart phone. It should be a great and I hope that folks in our industry will take this opportunity to get out there and learn from people both on their side of the fence, as well as, those with different viewpoints. We will have a booth so feel free to stop by and visit us for some free swag and pleasant conversation.
[Complete General Contractors, Inc. – Booth 32]