The Texas Association Public Insurance Adjusters (TAPIA) is holding its Spring Conference next Thursday, April 19, 2012, from 9am to 4pm at the Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake. It promises to be an excellent conference with many interesting speakers.

Chris Bean, an attorney with the Texas Department of Insurance and Director of Agent and Adjuster Licensing, will present "Updates in Texas Public Adjuster Licensing." It is refreshing to see regulators engaging the industry and making themselves acessable. It is an excellent opportunity for public adjusters to express concerns about what is going on in the field. Certainly, some of the wrongful Hurricane Ike adjustment practices were raised in just this manner. Regulators with the Texas Department of Insurance seem to have a genuine interest in protecting Texas consumers from wrongful claims practices.

Law and Ordinance issues are always a major debate when older buildings and homes are damaged. Carroll Lee Pruit, of Pruitt Consulting, is a noted expert on buildings codes and how they apply following disasters. His topic, "Determining Building Code Upgrades inDamage Claims," is a must attend seminar.

Windstorms, hail damage and tornados create all kinds of adjustment issues. Tom Johnson, of Hail Strike (, will explain a new method for tracking storms. The technology has changed a lot over the last decade, and his firm can now pinpoint precisely the path of storms and buildings impacted. His presentation, "Hail Strike–A New Program," will be educational.

Of course, the highlight entertainment and educational aspect of the conference will be a panel presentation on "Appraisals, Ethics & Bad Faith Issues." TAPIA officers asked me to be the moderator. Taking my job seriously, I have been studying some of the great Masters of Ceremonies and looking for tips on how to be a great panel moderator. This study has shown that the most important thing a panel moderator can do is to have outstanding panelists–experts with experience in the field. I am lucky because my panelists include:

Jason Speights — Speights & Worrich;

Jeffrey Raizner — Doyle Raizner;

Matthew Pearson — Gravely & Pearson;

Sergio Leal — Merlin Law Group

I promise you will not go to sleep.

Finally, the social and networking aspect is very important. Sharing information and techniques that help policyholders is often accomplished through private and informal sessions. And, they can be a lot of fun! Merlin Law Group will host the TAPIA Welcoming Cocktail Party the night before, April 18, at 6:30 pm. Do not miss it.

Here is a link to Register.