Larry Bache pushed our firm to trademark “Contenders Not Pretenders” because he was tired of seeing unethical, faker attorneys advertising on social media. The Windstorm Insurance Conference, which will be held later this month in Orlando, is full of contenders from which we all can learn. I always look forward to this conference because of the diverse views and teachings which make me a better policyholder insurance lawyer. If there is one Hurricane claims conference where adjusters, attorneys from both sides of the aisle, engineers, insurance agents, roofers, restoration contractors, and other windstorm insurance experts can learn their trade, this is it.  

Register now and do not miss this conference if you are a contender. The rest of the winter claims conferences are different. This conference is not for profit and purely educational for professional claims people looking to be the best.

If you are a pretender, you will not be here. It is as simple as that.

Bill Bracken is an extraordinarily successful engineer who built his small and modest engineering firm into a regional giant, which was then swallowed by JS Held. You need to be present at the speech we will give later this month if you are involved in and want to keep up with the cutting edge of significant condominium property damage claims. Bill Bracken discussed with me how much the laws, engineering practices, and insurance landscape has changed and will further change as a result of the Champlain Towers catastrophe. The lessons and impacts from this case will be felt over the next several years.    

I last gave a speech with Bill Bracken and insurance defense attorney Matt Litsky at the 2016 Windstorm Insurance Conference, and in Proper and Ethical Peer Review of Engineering Reports Is Important—But Wrongfully Changed Outcome Oriented Reports Are Never Right, I noted:

In 2016 at the Windstorm Conference, I put together a presentation answering that question and suggesting how insurance companies in good faith could properly question an initial engineering report and do so with a valid peer review. Engineer Bill Bracken—whose firm almost exclusively worked for insurance companies—and insurance company attorney Matt Litsky did a masterful job explaining the ethics and procedures about how to request and conduct a peer review of an engineer’s report. (As a plug for the Windstorm Conference, it will occur next week in Orlando, and any claims professional dealing with windstorm-related claims should be there to learn from presentations just like the one I put together several years ago.)

My point was that the honest and most correct opinion is what mattered. Nobody likes to make mistakes in a report, but it is inevitable that they will occur. Corrections that are not outcome-oriented, not fraudulent, but truthful are important. Corrected reports may raise a question of competency and whether the expert is deserving of being followed and believed. But it is far better than allowing a wrong report or worse, a fraudulently changed, outcome-oriented report to perpetuate injustice.   

The Windstorm Conference leadership asked that we make a special presentation about the Champlain Towers South case. The case resulted in a $1.1 Billion settlement, all paid for by insurance proceeds. The significant litigation ended within one year. I was appointed as the insurance coverage counsel for the class of victims. There is a lot to the story that is not published. There is a lot to the story that Bill Bracken did not know or appreciate until our recent preparation when I explained what really happened and the evidence we found. There will be never before disclosed facts about this case that you will not know about unless you are at this upcoming Windstorm Insurance Conference.

This event and presentation is truly going to be a once in a lifetime view of what really happened in a billion dollar case. How this case was accomplished and what it means to future condominium insurance claims will only be learned if you show up at this conference. You cannot get it anywhere else unless you hear it from me at this upcoming Windstorm Insurance Conference.  

If you are a Contender and Not a Pretender in the insurance claims business, I know I will see you at the 2023 Windstorm Insurance Conference.    

Here is the link for the Insurance Windstorm Conference registration.

Thought For The Day   

Winners embrace hard work.

—Lou Holtz