Register by close of business on January 5, 2015 for the best value on the 16th annual Windstorm Insurance Network Conference. Make plans to join us in the Big Easy for this annual conference. WIND is a time when all sides of the insurance profession come together to connect and learn from each other in a professional manner. Every year, the keynote speaker inspires us to have a productive week filled with some of the very best continuing education courses that are on point with property damage and insurance issues.

This year, the conference is being held at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans and the general sessions will include a presentation by Lynette Norris Wilkinson, survivor of Hurricane Katrina and author of Untold: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew.

You can purchase her book here.

Wednesday’s session will feature attorney turned humorist, Sean Carter. The 2015 conference will focus its theme on the recovery, rebirth and revitalization of New Orleans in the past decade since Hurricane Katrina struck the city on August, 29, 2005

Something New and Inspirational:

This year, WIND has partnered with HandsOn New Orleans, a nonprofit volunteer action center that promotes community service in New Orleans. The goal of the Day of Caring Service Project is to provide conference attendees an opportunity to give back to the City of New Orleans.
On January 19, 2015, from 9 am – 12 noon, some 50 volunteers from WIND will help revitalize the Success Preparatory Academy Charter School, a kindergarten through 6th grade high performing “transformation” charter school that opened its doors in August 2009. SPA serves some of the most at-risk children in the country, as the school has a population of 96% free and reduced lunch students. Volunteer activities include building and staining picnic tables, painting the cafeteria and painting school murals.

The service project is open for all paid conference registrants, but is space is very limited. A commemorative T-shirt, transportation and lunch will be provided for all attendees. A $50 administrative fee includes roundtrip bus transportation and box lunch. Once you register for WIND 2015, a link to register for the Day of Caring will be provided. Questions? Contact 813.988.0737.

The Courses

Look for some great courses this year with new topics and on point information that will be sure to increase your knowledge on a myriad of subjects. The hardest part may be deciding which course you prefer with so many great selections to choose from this year.

Be sure to check out Merlin Law Group’s instructors in these educational courses:

Historical Highlights, Lessons and Claims trends from All Hurricanes starting with Charley Through Sandy
This is an advanced seminar which will cover the claims activities, cases, and trends starting with Hurricane Charley and ending with Superstorm Sandy. The presentation will cover multiple states and demonstrate how claims handling trends changed and the reasons for the change. Responses from the various Departments of Insurance of the states involved will be compared. Landmark cases will be analyzed and compared. Changes in statutory and regulatory law that have happened as a result of these disasters and cases are a central theme because we intend to show the trends and lessons over a decade.
Speakers: William “Chip” Merlin, Esq., Merlin Law Group; Guy E. “Sandy” Burnette, Jr., Esq., Guy E. Burnette, Jr., P.A.; Jim Beneke, Beneke/Adjusters International

Assignment of Insurance Benefits: Pitfalls and Consequences
This workshop will provide participants with an overview of laws from Florida, Texas, and Louisiana as they govern the validity, interpretation, and effect of assignments of benefits by an insured to a third party who is not a Named Insured under the insurance contract. Speakers: Shaun Marker, Esq., Merlin Law Group; Iniv Gabay, Esq., Powers McNalis Torres Teebagy Luongo; Greg Loftus, KD Consulting and Appraisal Group; Derek Segal, Rooftek Consultants

Gulf Coast Case Insurance Law Update
This course will focus on case law changes in FL, AL, MS, LA, and TX in the last year. This will be an interactive course where group participation will be encouraged.
Speakers: Christina May Bolin, Esq., Alford, Bolin, LLC; Corey Harris, Esq., Merlin Law Group

What the Hail is Going On?
The number of hail damage insurance claims has increased dramatically in recent years. This session explores all of the issues commonly arising in these claims, from four varying perspectives — building consultant, public adjuster, policyholder attorney, and insurance company attorney. Speakers: Steven J. Badger, Esq., Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason, LLP; Phillip N. Sanov, Esq., Merlin Law Group; Jonathan Held, J.S. Held, Inc.; Clay Morrison, Morrison & Morrison, Inc.

WIND Appraiser Certification®
(Note: This is a double-session workshop)
The goal of this workshop is to prepare a professional to act as an appraiser in the appraisal process. After successful completion of this double-session workshop, the names of attendees will be listed on the WIND website for three years to confirm that they are a WIND Certified Appraiser®.
REQUIREMENTS: Space is limited per session and advanced registration is mandatory for admission. Upon check-in at the conference, attendees will be provided with a certificate in the conference materials that must be presented for entrance to the workshop.
Speakers: John Voelpel, III, Voelpel Claim Service; Jon Doan, Claims Consultants Group; Peter Kapas, Onsite Claims Services, Inc.; Javier Delgado, Esq., Merlin Law Group

Make sure to register now for this phenomenal conference and we will see you in New Orleans!