Windstorm Insurance Conference

at the WIND Texas Symposium
April 2, 2009 • Hilton Hobby Airport Hotel, Houston, TX

Join professionals from all segments of the property insurance industry as they address the impact of the past hurricane seasons and important windstorm claims issues in Texas.

The Windstorm Insurance Network Texas Symposium will provide an opportunity for professionals from many disciplines to discuss and educate themselves on a variety of subjects important to those engaged in windstorm insurance claims.

Industry-related hot topics will be offered to give you a chance to earn valuable continuing education credits for the state of Texas (adjuster and attorney) and the state of Florida (adjuster).

For the first time, WIND’s Umpire Certification Program will be taught in Texas. Many other educational and informative windstorm claims issues will be discussed at the general sessions and breakouts.

Don’t miss keynote speaker, meteorologist Jim Cantore, as he details his coverage of the recent hurricane season and the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.
Register today for this one-day educational seminar on the current issues affecting windstorm claims handling, in addition to earning CE credits and the opportunity to network with industry professionals.

Program Agenda:

(Note: CE credits have been applied for Texas adjusters and attorneys and Florida adjusters for all general sessions and break out sessions)


WIND President, Art Newman, Belfor USA

A History of WIND/Umpire Certification Program
Janet Brown, Esquire, Boehm, Brown, Fischer, Harwood, Kelly & Scheihing, P.A.

Jim Cantore

9 – 10am
General Session/Keynote Speaker: Jim Cantore
Meteorologist Jim Cantore is one of the most recognized faces in weather today. When he shows up, you know the weather is going to get interesting. Jim’s passion for field reporting during extreme weather events is well known among television viewers. Whether it’s “thunder snow,” an ice storm, tornado chasing or a category 5 hurricane, there is no place Jim would rather be than right in the “eye of the storm.” Jim will present his coverage of the recent hurricane season and the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

10 – 10:15am
Networking Break

10:15 – 10:45am
General Session: Overview of the 2008 Hurricane Season and Expectations for 2009
Lance Wood, National Weather Service, Houston/Galveston, Texas

10:45 – 11:45am
General Session: Dealing With Code Issues and Policies
Steve Pate, Esquire Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., Houston, Texas

12 – 1:15pm
Networking Lunch

1:15 – 3pm
Breakout Sessions
(Note: CE credits have been applied for Texas adjusters and attorneys and Florida adjusters for all general sessions and break out sessions)

Appraisal Issues
This workshop includes an overview of several cases on appraisal and discussions of recent decisions and their impact on the appraisal world. Issues such as the definition of appraisal and what is a coverage question will be addressed.
Faculty: Bill Berk, Berk, Merchant, & Sims, PLC; Shawn Hall, Calibrated Insurance Services, LLC Offering(s): 1:15-3pm and 3:15-5pm

Words Matter: Effective Communication Strategies to Avoid Costly Mistakes
This workshop will focus on successful communication skills and strategies in the age of electronic discovery. A review of the law that you need to know in order to communicate effectively and maximize your productivity and profitability.
Faculty: Donna DeVaney, Merlin Law Group, P.A.; Jon Held, J.S. Held, Inc.; Guy “Sandy” Burnette, Guy E. Burnette, Jr. P. A.; Charles R. “Dick” Tutwiler, Charles R. Tutwiler & Associates, Inc. Offering(s): 3:15-5pm

The Texas Insurance Statutes: Bad Faith and Other Issues
This workshop explores the impact of the Texas consumer protection statutes on insurance cases. Specific topics will include unfair settlement practices, the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and the current status of bad faith law.
Faculty: Tina Nicholson, Merlin Law Group, P.A.; David Winter, Zelle Hoffmann Voelbel & Mason; Shannon O’Malley, Zelle Hoffmann Voelbel & Mason; Charles Dale, Jansen International, LLC.Offering(s): 3:15-5pm

Wind vs. Wave
This workshop will focus on the basics of how wind and water affect a building in a hurricane. Topics will include storm surge and how hurricane winds and water are generated from a meteorologist point of view. Examples will be presented on what wind damage and water damage would look like to a building from an engineering point of view. A discussion of proof issues at trial will be included.
Faculty: Tim Marshall, Haag Engineering; Janice A. Kelly, Boehm, Brown, Fischer, Harwood, Kelly & Scheihing, P.A.; John Minor, Complete General Contractors, Inc.
Offering(s): 1:15-3pm and 3:15-5pm

WIND Umpire Certification
This workshop will provide the necessary certification to anyone who wishes to be included in the Windstorm Insurance Network Umpire Directory. The first segment will focus on ethics and professionalism as an umpire in the appraisal process. Case law will be the subject of the second segment. The final segment will address forms and awards.
Faculty: Janet L. Brown, Boehm, Brown, Fischer, Harwood, Kelly & Scheihing, P.A.; John Voelpel, Voelpel Claim Service; Jon Doan, Claims Consulting Group; Javier

Delgado, Merlin Law Group, P.A., Dick Tutwiler, Charles R. Tutwiler and Associates; Javier Delgado, Merlin Law Group, P.A.
REQUIREMENTS: Space is limited to the first 50 registrants. There is a mandatory $100 fee for inclusion in the 2009 WIND Umpire Directory.
Offering(s): 1:15-5pm (Double-Session: Part 1 and Part 2 MUST be taken together)

3 – 3:15pm
Networking Break
3:15 – 5pm

Breakout Sessions


Registration/Hotel Information
Registration Fees
Early: $125 (by March 20, 2009)
Regular: $150
Walk-In: $175

Hotel Information
Hilton Houston Hobby Airport
8181 Airport Boulevard · Houston, TX 77061
Phone: 713.645.3000 · Fax: 713.645.2251

Room rates start at $129. Be sure to say that you are with the Windstorm Insurance Network to receive the discounted room rate. Book your room today; the room block may sell out weeks in advance. This room rate is good through March 18, 2009 or until the room block is filled.

For more information on the Windstorm Insurance Network Texas Symposium click here >>