Claims Magazine is a publication everybody in the insurance claims business should subscribe to and routinely read. The January issue has an article, Speaking Of: WIND 2011, about the upcoming 12th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference, to be held in Houston, January 24-27.

Michelle Griffin is the Executive Director of the Windstorm Insurance Network and is quoted extensively about the upcoming conference. She explained a number of new and expanded opportunities for training and study will be offered:

We are excited this year to have many new speakers and topics that focus on issues adjusters, lawyers, and companies are confronted with daily. We are also excited to have the American Bar Association’s Tort and Insurance Practice Section (ABA/TIPS) panel discussion on concurrent causation.

We have added a few new classes that are more focused to agents and underwriters, allowing them the opportunity to earn CEs at the conference. There is now a WIND Professional Appraiser Designation class as well, which is proving to be popular in registrations to date.

WIND’s educational events and CE offerings are constantly evolving to meet industry and attendee needs and interests. The more than 40 educational sessions available this year are completely revamped and refreshed, but still include many of our popular topics. We have also successfully added many new states and professional organizations to our CE offerings.

Two years ago, we developed a one-day WIND Regional Symposium, which is essentially a mini-conference offering some of our most popular classes. We have covered Houston and Dallas, Tex., and are now venturing to Atlanta in May. These regional symposiums are the perfect venue to introduce WIND to various locations and professionals, while still offering an important line up of classes and much-needed CE credits.

WIND is excited to bring our conference to the Lone Star State, the most recent area to be affected by a hurricane. As a result of Hurricane Ike two years ago, we feel there is still a tremendous need for educational sessions and CE offerings from a type of conference such as ours.

We will offer various sessions on case law, appraisal issues, claim handling, large loss issues, as well as claim software training programs, the NFIP Flood Certification, and the popular WIND Umpire Certification classes. (emphasis added)

As more and more insurance disputes being resolved through appraisal, those in the industry should not miss the opportunity to obtain the Wind Umpire Certification or the new Wind Professional Appraiser Designation. Both are valuable assets and the courses are taught by seasoned appraisers and umpires. They are unique programs worth the price of admission — even if they were the only classes offered.

Those involved in the insurance claims business have a duty to policyholders to be the best they can be. Policyholders and society depend on us to get our jobs done right. For those involved in hurricane and other windstorm catastrophes, the points I made in The Windstorm Conference: A Claims and Insurance Law Conference That Cannot Be Missed, cannot be overstated.

I hope to see everybody who reads this blog on a regular basis in Houston for this event. Heck, if you come by my law firm’s exhibition booth, I’ll make certain you get a complimentary massage to help reduce the stresses commonly suffered by those of us in the insurance claims business.