© 2017 by CAT-Law Conference

Session 1 
Introduction
10:00-10:05 am
 
The Catastrophic Events: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria
 
Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast on August 25, 2017 as a Category 4 storm. It was the first major hurricane of that strength to hit the United States in years. While Harvey brought strong winds along the coastal area of Texas, its 4-days of rain, bringing over 40 inches of rain water to the region was the primary cause of the devastation. Peak accumulations of water, which ultimately exceeded 51 inches made Hurricane Harvey the wettest hurricane on record in the contiguous US. Harvey’s damaging path affected more than just the region. In addition to property damage, Harvey disrupted a number of business – both in Southeast Texas and throughout the United States.
 
Just a few days later, on September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma hit Florida. Recognized as the most intense hurricane to strike the United States since 2005, Irma caused widespread damage to Caribbean islands and Florida. Irma’s strong winds brought storm surge flooding and wind damage to properties. Many areas in Florida lost power, affecting businesses and causing other complications in the recovery efforts.
 
And shortly thereafter, on September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico directly. Wind gusts up to 109 mph and heavy rainfall caused extensive property damage. There was storm surge and other flooding as well. The hurricane completely destroyed the island’s power grid, leaving the entire island without power for weeks. The island’s infrastructure and roads were made impassible, significantly hampering relief and recovery efforts.
 
This event offers a unique opportunity for claims managers, adjusters, consultants, experts, and attorneys to meet and discuss how the industry is responding to the claims and issues raised by an area-wide and far-reaching catastrophic event as well as lessons learned and preparations for the future.
Session 1A
10:05-10:50 am
Biography of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria
The discussion will focus on how Harvey, Irma, and Maria started in the Gulf and the forces that turned them into hurricanes. The discussion will also provide specifics concerning landfall times, wind speeds, and rainfall. Finally, Dr. Branscome will discuss whether these intense hurricanes can provide any insight into whether storms of this magnitude, including the slow-moving forces and heavy rainfall, can be effectively forecasted.
Session 1B
10:50-11:15 am
Damage from Harvey, Irma, and Maria and lessons learned from prior CAT Hurricanes about losses and claims
 
What sort of property damage, business interruption losses, deaths, and injuries did coastal cities experience from Tropical Storm Alison and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, and Ike? What did engineers take away from those storms in preparing property for damage from future storms such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Did the preparations suffice and work to limit damage?
Session 1C
11:15 am-12:00 pm
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Damage Assessment in a Populous Area
 
We will review the types of damage associated with Hurricane Harvey in the Southeast Texas region, Hurricane Irma in the Florida region, and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Because Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, its dense population in conjunction with the large number of rivers and bayous made Houston particularly vulnerable to flooding. Pockets of Houston and surrounding areas became literal islands for days. Similarly, the Southeast Texas region is known for its chemical and petrochemical manufacturing. Plants experienced flooding and other damage as a result of the loss of power and inability of workers to reach the property. The geography of Florida – as a peninsula – also affected the accessibility of the state, as well as evacuation routes. And Puerto Rico’s ongoing damage after the storm passed was exacerbated by infrastructure issues.
12:00-12:45 pm
Lunch (provided)
Session 2
Introduction
12:45-12:55 pm
The Response - Dusting Off the CAT Adjusting Playbook: How the Insurance Claims Industry is Addressing Hurricane Harvey and Learning Lessons for the Next Great Storm?
Many leaders in the claims industry have never experienced the level of frenzy that we’re seeing in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. How is the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma similar to that of prior storms such as Katrina, Wilma, Ike, and Sandy? What old strategies are being pulled from the CAT shelf and what new technologies are being utilized to improve results?
Session 2A
12:55-1:40 pm
The Immediate Macro-Response: Assessing Exposure, Building a Team, Preparing the Strategy
 
In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, insurers must strive to get a firm handle on their exposure. The technology available today allows for a much more accurate and efficient assessment than in any prior catastrophes. How are insurers maximizing their modern toolkit to achieve the best results?
 
CATs of the magnitude of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have generated a massive claim volume. For insurers with extensive exposure, implementing emergency policies and procedures (and having those elements in place before the storm) will be the difference between success and failure. This session will discuss how the insurers have mobilized their existing in-house teams, including a discussion of how they are absorbing the new claims and staying on top of the pre-Harvey and pre-Irma claim volume.
Session 2B
Introduction
1:40-2:00 pm
Attacking the Problems in the Field: Issues the Internal and External Claims Teams Will Face
In executing a Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma CAT strategy, the in-house claims/legal team and the external consultants are facing certain key issues, challenges and obstacles. Our team of experts will roundtable these subjects to illuminate best practices and state of the art industry standards for tackling them in achieving optimal results.
 
2:00-2:10 pm
Issue #1:  Building the Team
 
Internally, insurers need to identify the right strategy and the right personnel to deal with the macro issues, and to handle the flood of individual claims. When do you need outside consultants, and how do you determine who to retain?
 
2:10-2:30 pm
Issue #2:  Technology 
 
How can the adjustment team use technology to improve efficiency, individual results and overall performance? Are drones playing a role? What advantages and disadvantages do they bring? What information sources and data do we have available today? How will that impact and improve outcomes? What traditional adjustment methods remain critical, notwithstanding new technology?
 
2:30-3:00 pm
Issue #3:  Property Damage Investigation and Recovery
 
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria delivered wide-ranging types and degrees of property damage across a broad geographic area. How will the adjustment teams document the scope of work required to address such damage? What issues and disputes are likely to arise with insureds with respect to coverage and measurement?
 
3:00-3:15 pm
Break
3:15-3:45 pm
Issue #4:  Time Element Challenges
 
Business Interruption and Extra Expense; Civil Authority; Ingress/Egress; Contingent Business Interruption – all Time Element coverages are implicated over a widespread damage area, and extending worldwide. How are the experts investigating and resolving these complex claims? What kinds of issues have you seen so far and what might be expected?
3:45-4:15 pm
Issue #5:  Dealing With Coverage Issues and Litigation
Company policies are in play, as are broker manuscript policies. Can a single insurer maintain consistency across claims? Can the industry maintain consistency? What impact will claim decisions and actions have on litigation?
4:15-4:30 pm
Final Audience Questions and Panel Comments
4:30-6:00 pm
Happy Hour and Appetizers

Speaker:

Thomas Cook, Zelle LLP

Speaker:
Lee BranscomeClimatological Consulting Corporation
Speaker:
Bruce Arita, Thornton Tomasetti
Speakers:
Lee BranscomeClimatological Consulting Corporation
Bruce Arita, Thornton Tomasetti
Jon Held, J.S. Held L.L.C. 
Matt Gonzalez, Zelle LLP
Shannon O'MalleyZelle LLP
Speaker:
Dan Millea, Zelle LLP
Speakers: 

Dan Millea, Zelle LLP

Paul AvilesAllied World Assurance Company

Marc Giovannetti, Liberty International Underwriters

Speakers:
Anaysa Gallardo Stutzman, Zelle LLP
Jon HeldJ.S. Held LLC
Session Moderator:
Anthony Scariano, VeriClaim
 
Industry Experts:
John Cace, Matson Driscoll & Damico
Jon Held, J.S. Held L.L.C.
Bruce Arita, Thornton Tomasetti
Brian Boardingham, XL-Catlin
Thomas CookZelle LLP
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Tom Cook is a partner in the Dallas office of Zelle LLP, where practices in the area of complex litigation including property insurance coverage litigation, commercial litigation, and subrogation. He has tried, litigated and arbitrated matters involving products liability, insurance coverage, construction defect, fire spread, professional negligence, commercial contracts and employee fraud/theft.
Matt Gonzalez is a partner in the New York office of Zelle LLP. He has focused his practice on the analysis of insurance and reinsurance coverage issues in various commercial and industrial sectors (e.g., commercial property; energy/power generation; refinery; pipeline; heavy equipment/machinery) arising under various first party property insurance and reinsurance agreements, including All-Risk, Builder’s Risk, Erection All Risk, Boiler and Machinery, Equipment Breakdown, and Product Recall/Contamination. Matt also has significant commercial litigation experience including coverage defense and subrogation/recovery actions. Matt has also been retained as an arbitrator in insurance/reinsurance related matters.
Jonathan Held has been with J.S. Held since 1977, and has been president and CEO since 1985. During that period he has overseen the growth of the firm from a small regional two man consulting company into an internationally respected organization with global reach. Jon has consulted on many of the largest and most complex catastrophic insurance claims in history, including the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in NY, the litigation between Firestone Bridgestone and its insurers for damages sustained to the Harbel Rubber plantation during the Liberian Civil War, the AOL Time Warner Center fire in NY, The Amtrak Superstorm Sandy litigation, and many of the world’s most visible claims. He is widely considered the expert of choice in large complex “bet the farm” cases. With an unparalleled reputation in the dispute resolution arena, Jon has been a panelist in hundreds of claims and was the party appointed appraiser in the four largest claims ever to be resolved in the appraisal process. Throughout his career, he has testified in numerous courts across the United States and has considerable experience as an arbitrator and umpire.
Dan Millea is a partner in the Minneapolis office of Zelle LLP, where his practice is focused on property insurance, reinsurance and financial services litigation. He has worked with a number of insurers defending coverage actions related to major claims involving property damage, construction/builder’s risk issues, business interruption, contingent time element and bad faith claims. He has represented insurers in connection with claims and litigation arising from catastrophic events, including the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and the 2011 Thailand Flood. He has also acted as lead counsel in financial services litigation defending against multi-million dollar claims, including class action claims.
 
 
Lee Branscome, an AMS Member, and an AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist, is president of Climatological Consulting Corporation in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Climatological Consulting Corporation provides applied research and consulting services to businesses, public agencies and law firms on matters relating to weather and climate. Dr. Branscome received a Ph.D. degree in meteorology from MIT in 1981 and taught at the University of Miami for several years. He is currently serving on the AMS Council and is a past chairperson of the AMS CCM Board and a former member of the NRC's Climate Research Committee.
Bruce Arita oversees the Thornton Tomasetti Property Loss Consulting practice. He leads teams of highly skilled engineers, architects and other technical professionals, ready to assist insurance industry clients, representative attorneys and adjusters around the world. With more than 35 years of experience in architectural design and forensic architecture, including nine with Thornton Tomasetti, Bruce has a keen understanding of the technical aspects of forensic investigation and of the insurance industry’s needs and operations. He has a broad technical background, with specializations in property damage assessments and due diligence and preparation and oversight of building repair programs. Bruce has been the lead investigator for numerous assignments for which expert investigation, consulting and sworn testimony have been required. As an expert in the effects of natural and manmade perils to building structures, Bruce has lectured widely on these and other topics pertinent to insurers, underwriters and those in the insurance community.
Paul Aviles serves as Senior Vice President for Allied World Assurance Company Property Claims for North America in New York. He supervises staff that concentrates in the adjustment of large complex claims arising from first party losses in a variety of industries.  He brings close to 30 years of property claim experience to Allied World. Prior to joining Allied World in Bermuda in March 2003, Paul was a Vice President of Property Claims for AIG in New York. He also previously served in a variety of management and technical roles at AIG from 1994 – 2003. Prior to his employment at AIG, Paul spent six years as a National General Adjuster for the Commercial Division of Allstate insurance Co. and Northbrook Indemnity Co in New York. He is currently serving as the Vice President of and a Board Member of the Loss Executives Association. 
Brian Boardingham is an Associate General Counsel, Global Insurance Claims at XL Catlin where he provides legal guidance and support on both claims and litigated matters.  Before joining XL Catlin in January of 2015, Brian was in private practice for over 20 years focusing on all aspects of complex insurance and reinsurance litigation and arbitration involving commercial property, including business interruption and builders’ risk, casualty, marine and issues relating to brokers and managing general underwriters. 
John Cace is a senior manager in the New York office of MDDJohn joined MDD Forensic Accountants’ New York City office in 2016. He is a Senior Manager at the firm.John is a skilled forensic accountant with over 20 years of experience in North America, Latin America and Asia. He concentrates on the quantification of damages for matters related to business interruption, extra expenses/increased costs, personal injury & wrongful death, products liability & recall, oil & gas, power generation and liability losses. In addition, he provides litigation support to clients and has worked on numerous assignments in the catastrophe services area. He assessed losses resulting from natural disasters such as the Chile, New Zealand and Japan earthquakes, the Thailand floods and Hurricane Ike.
Thomas Cook is a partner in the Dallas office of Zelle LLP, where practices in the area of complex litigation including property insurance coverage litigation, commercial litigation, and subrogation. He has tried, litigated and arbitrated matters involving products liability, insurance coverage, construction defect, fire spread, professional negligence, commercial contracts and employee fraud/theft.
Anaysa Gallardo Stutzman is a partner in the Miami office of Zelle LLP, where she represents various insurance companies throughout Florida involving large loss and complex claims.  Anaysa has handled matters involving property insurance policies, builder's risk coverage, commercial general liability policies, as well as a variety of complex commercial matters.  Anaysa has also represented clients in mediations and arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association and the ICDR.  
Marc Giovannetti is head of first property claims at Liberty International Underwriters, where he leads a team of claim managers who handle complex marine, energy, construction, fine arts and equine insurance claims. He is a dedicated insurance professional with 17 years of industry experience, Marc combines a broad base of (Re) Insurance knowledge with a strong understanding of business fundamentals. He has distinguished himself as strategic leader/manager, with a track record of engagement to resolve complex insurance issues. Marc is the currently the Chairman of PowerConference Inc., a not for profit professional insurance community which sponsors a thought leadership conference on cutting edge issues and trends effecting the Energy insurance/risk sector. 
Matt Gonzalez is a partner in the New York office of Zelle LLP. He has focused his practice on the analysis of insurance and reinsurance coverage issues in various commercial and industrial sectors (e.g., commercial property; energy/power generation; refinery; pipeline; heavy equipment/machinery) arising under various first party property insurance and reinsurance agreements, including All-Risk, Builder’s Risk, Erection All Risk, Boiler and Machinery, Equipment Breakdown, and Product Recall / Contamination. Matt also has significant commercial litigation experience including coverage defense and subrogation/recovery actions. Matt has also been retained as an arbitrator in insurance / reinsurance related matters.
Jonathan Held has been with J.S. Held since 1977, and has been president and CEO since 1985. During that period he has overseen the growth of the firm from a small regional two-man consulting company into an internationally respected organization with global reach. Jon has consulted on many of the largest and most complex catastrophic insurance claims in history, including the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in NY, the litigation between Firestone Bridgestone and its insurers for damages sustained to the Harbel Rubber plantation during the Liberian Civil War, the AOL Time Warner Center fire in NY, The Amtrak Superstorm Sandy litigation, and many of the world’s most visible claims. He is widely considered the expert of choice in large complex “bet the farm” cases. With an unparalleled reputation in the dispute resolution arena, Jon has been a panelist in hundreds of claims and was the party appointed appraiser in the four largest claims ever to be resolved in the appraisal process. Throughout his career, he has testified in numerous courts across the U.S. and has considerable experience as an arbitrator and umpire.
Dan Millea is a partner in the Minneapolis office of Zelle LLP, where his practice is focused on property insurance, reinsurance and financial services litigation. He has worked with a number of insurers defending coverage actions related to major claims involving property damage, construction/builder’s risk issues, business interruption, contingent time element and bad faith claims. He has represented insurers in connection with claims and litigation arising from catastrophic events, including the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and the 2011 Thailand Flood. He has also acted as lead counsel in financial services litigation defending against multi-million dollar claims, including class action claims.
Shannon O'Malley is a partner in the Dallas office of Zelle LLP, where she represents clients involved in catastrophe litigation with a focus on complex property insurance coverage litigation. Shannon focuses her practice on analyzing complex and novel property insurance coverage issues that require an understanding of the intricacies of property insurance, especially in connection with time element claims. She works on numerous property insurance issues arising out of catastrophes such as tornados, hurricanes, floods, and hail. Shannon has also worked with clients in analyzing unique D&O liability issues and works with them to find the right answer when coverage questions arise.
Anthony Scariano is a senior executive general adjuster in VeriClaim’s New York office property department. Anthony’s area of expertise includes builders risk and manufacturing losses in industries such as chemical, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, heavy metal working, hospitality, semiconductor, real estate, aerospace, data processing, and steel.  Anthony is designated as the account manager for several large multi-national corporations whereby he directs the activities of adjusters worldwide. Having a degree in aerospace/mechanical engineering, Anthony started his insurance career as a loss prevention engineer for industrial risk insurers in 1989 and moved into property claims in 1991.  After a succession through several different levels from adjuster to general adjuster, Anthony moved to VeriClaim in October 2000 as an executive general adjuster. Anthony’s current clients include various international property insurers and he is engaged to investigate and adjust property losses of varying disciplines, size, and complexity.

Conference registration is full. Please contact Dan Gruber at dgruber@zelle.com to be placed a waiting list to be notified of any openings.