If you are involved in hurricane claims in any manner, you need to register and go to the 2010 Windstorm Insurance Conference. It will be held from January 25 through 28, at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront in Jacksonville, Florida. It is the only Conference devoted solely to windstorm insurance issues.
The Conference has special training sessions for those seeking Umpire Certification in appraisal disputes. There is also a special Flood Adjusters program leading to certification as well.
The bottom line is that the Conference offers valuable instruction on how to handle windstorm insurance claims from a number of different perspectives. If you want to know what the top people working in the insurance industry are doing, go to this conference.
A January 6, 2010 article in Claims Magazine, “Conference Preview: Go With the Wind,” had an interesting question and answer section with the Executive Director of the Windstorm Network, Michelle Griffin:
What sessions/speakers are you most excited about this year?
We offer a fresh group of workshop topics each year, which is a source of excitement and pride for us. This year is no exception. The presenters and educators leading the workshops are among the top in our industry. Each of our 30 workshop classes will be fair and balanced, with at least one representative from the insured/plaintiff side and another from the carrier/defense side. Our general session speakers will offer a range of topics to appeal to varied professional backgrounds. Aside from the new classes, we always strive to offer additional continuing education credits for as many states and professional organizations as possible.
Last year, you noted that the Umpire Directory and Certification Program was an area you desired to expand. Have you made headway?
Our WIND Umpire Program is constantly evolving to reflect industry needs. In fact, we’ve made some updates and additions to the WIND Umpire Directory, which we will be announcing at the conference. Long term, we are analyzing ways to move the program forward to reflect industry changes and concerns. I expect these areas to be announced in the near future.
What’s the typical profile of a Windstorm Conference attendee?
Our attendees come from all facets of the insurance industry, from senior management to the independent adjuster. Attorneys, engineers, underwriters, contractors, as well as other related professions attend the WIND Conference to obtain information about industry trends and accumulate continuing education credits. This year marks our 11th annual conference, and it’s important to note that in such a short time, it has become a national event, attracting professionals from more than 35 states and Canada, and England. About 1,400 professionals from all areas of the windstorm insurance industry attended last year’s event.
In what areas of training are you seeing the most demand?
We are always listening to our members and attendee suggestions for classes, and of course we keep abreast of industry hot topics in order to offer relevant and timely educational sessions. One topic in particular is estimating software training. Each year, new claim professionals join our organization and seek out training about how to use the most widely employed estimating software programs. We also receive feedback to provide better training about general claim issues, for a range of experience levels, from the beginner to the well-seasoned professional. These areas include scoping property damage, large loss adjusting, sink holes, and appraisal/umpire training.
I was a little disappointed that she did not feel that my seminar topic, “Gulf Coast Case Law Update: Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana,” was one of the more exciting workshops. Compared to the “Advanced Building Code Update,” my seminar presentation with co-presenter, Steve Pate, will be thrilling. Just show up, and you’ll see why.