Educational Hot Topic Breakout Sessions at WIND 2017

NOTE: All Florida Adjusters are required to take one "5-Hr Law & Ethics Update" course in every 2-year compliance period. This mandatory CE program covering regulatory awareness and the various rules, ethics and laws of property insurance adjusting will be offered on Tuesday, January 31st at the 2017 Windstorm Conference and consists of three classes.

A Study of Assignment of Benefits

Florida property insurers have seen AOB lawsuits double or even triple between 2014 and 2015 and similar staggering growth of hail claims. This course will discuss (in panel format) the history of assignments of benefits, common uses of assignments of benefits, recent issues and developments regarding assignees and insurance claims, recent case law concerning the proper and improper use of assignments, and the future of assignments of insurance benefits including legislative proposals and reform. This course will also explore the growth of hail claims and their connection with AOBs.


Vince Beilman, Esquire, WSHB

Anne Kevlin, American Integrity Claims Service

Russell Lazega, Florida Advocates

Clark Hanness, Brit Syndicate

Steve Leitner, Leitner Belsky & Tharp

Adjusting for Your Deposition

This course will focus on a public adjuster and company representative preparing for, and attending their respective depositions in a lawsuit arising from hurricane loss suffered by a condominium. The issues we plan to focus on within our hypothetical fact pattern include those stemming from assignments of benefits, the involvement of contractors in the adjustment process, managed repair programs, and prior claims.


Illon Kantro, Berk, Merchant & Sims, PLC

Kathleen Spinella, AIG Claims, Inc.

Rick Tutwiler, Tutwiler & Associates

Stephen Marino, Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin

Advanced Settlement Tech for Property/Windstorm Claims

The presentation will address advanced settlement and mediation techniques from multiple perspectives. It will identify common obstacles and potential resolutions to achieve reasonable compromises. It will include the insights of a judge who spent 19 years on the bench, along with the thoughts and comments from practitioners with over 40 years in combined experience.


Eugene Murphy, Robinson & Cole, LLP

Ellen Leesfield, Mediator, Retired Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit

Meghan Moore, Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin

Application of Daubert to Wind and Hail Claims

The course will examine federal standards of expertise required to provide an opinion regarding wind and hail claims. Specifically, what level of expertise is necessary to testify in court? to investigate a claim? to prove when the loss occurred? The panel will consist of a defense lawyer, plaintiff’s lawyer, and an expert.


Lisa Bernardini, Groelle and Salmon

Michael Linehan, GHD

Jeff Greyber, Merlin Law Group

Susan Payne, The Rock Law group

Burdens of Proof

The content of the course will address the following areas: conditions to coverage, common exclusions to coverage, and exceptions to coverage. In addition to a review of Florida case law on the applicable burdens of proof, the course will discuss the practical application of these concepts from all perspectives during the adjustment phase and through litigation.


Gina Clausen Lozier, Berger Singerman, LLP

Matthew Litsky, Phelps Dunbar, LLC

Sanford Siegel, Peak Claims Service, Inc.

Bobby Sims, Keys Claims Consultants, Inc.

Carrier Adjusting Issues

This course will address common problems carriers encounter with the field adjustment process in a storm response. These will include dealing with timeliness, evacuations coverage verification delays; and emergency services. The course will focus on carrier perspective of these problems; but, will be useful to all audiences. Audience participation and questions will be encouraged to appeal to a balanced group.


Lisa Miller, Florida Department of Financial Services

Catastrophic Construction Collapse: Critical Issues from an Adjusting, Engineering, and Perspective

This presentation will examine an actual scenario of a parking garage collapse during construction involving loss of life, injuries, and construction delays. We will address complex claims issues from the insurer’s, plaintiffs’, and experts’ positions. Dealing with OSHA, police, and fire rescue will be addressed, along with evidence preservation under the specter of further collapse.


Justin Kestner, Haag Engineering

John Riordan, Kelley Kronenberg

Jay Arnesen, Arnesen Webb

Ben Siebert, IAS

Complex Residential CAT Losses from Inception to Trial

From the perspective of experienced attorneys and adjusters, for both the claimant and insurer. This session will be a primer on the unique issues confronted in handling a residential CAT claim. All aspects of initial evaluation, (expert or not, type of expert) compliance with post loss conditions and the ramifications of the failure to comply, and early resolution will be explored. These issues will be addressed from the claim phase through to trial


Evelyn Merchant, Berk, Merchant & Sims

Zorian Sperkacz, Zorian Sperkacz, PA

Tim O’Brien, Penninsula Insurance Bureau

Mike Rump, Continental Public Adjusters

Condominium Claims: Who is Responsible for Damage?

This presentation will discuss the proper adjustment and management of condominium claims and condominium unit owner claims. We will discuss how to ask the right questions to gather all insurance policies that may be applicable, and the importance of obtaining the By-Laws of the Association in order to properly analyze who is responsible for the damage. We will also discuss the interplay of Florida Statutes in the coverage analysis and when it is time to get a coverage opinion from an experienced attorney. We will provide real world examples involving multiple insurers, master associations, multiple associations, disputes between Condo Associations and Unit Owners, and other matters that arise when dealing with these complicated and often times, intricate claims.


Gerald Albrecht, Butler, Weihmuller, Katz, Craig

Rick Brown, Vision Claims, Inc.

George Keys, Keys Claims Consultants, Inc.

Cyber Security, Drones, and Use of Technology in Claims Handling/Customer Service and CAT

This session covers the rapidly expanding areas of technology: cyber security, wearable technology, drones, and technology software applications. Learn critical steps companies should take to improve their cybersecurity posture, avoid cybersecurity incidents, explain the current data security trends, and create a 5-step defense plan for guarding business intelligence. Discover how drones and wearable tech are becoming invaluable, real-time tools for inspections and damage level assessments for property claims. Learn the benefits, limitations and how specific detailed imagery can be used in the claims handling process. Gain insight into how computer machine learning, geospatial satellite technology, and mobile apps within the enterprise are poised to transform the property claims experience for claims adjusters, examiners, contractors, mortgagees, and finally, and most importantly, the insurance customer.


Valerie Barnhart, Kelly Kronenberg

Cory O’Leary, CCLD Technologies, Inc.

John Cammarata, PointSource

Werner Kruck, Security First Insurance Company

Duties After Loss: Viewpoints from Insured and from Insurer Across Different Loss Scenarios

This presentation will focus on the Insured’s Duties After Loss and provide perspective from on Insured and from the Insurer as to the interplay of post-loss duties in different loss scenarios. We will discuss the interplay of post-loss duties in Insurer investigations of windstorm, water, theft, and fire losses. We will discuss the different types of Duties After Loss provisions currently in use in Florida, the current legal state of the requisite compliance necessary to avoid any material breach assertions, and the regulations and statutes (including the bad faith statue) impacting an insurer's requests pursuant to the Duties After Loss Provision.


William Collum, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig, LLP

Mike Giasi, Esq., Giasi Law, P.A.

Patrick Garrett, AIC, CGC, North American Insurance Consultants, Inc.

Mike Ferguson, AIC, CPCU, CLU, USAA

Effective Management of Complex Catastrophe Claims

The focus will highlight commercial loss where winds of 115-120 mph were present with named storm and caused extensive damages to the buildings. A panel discussion will cover the issues regarding handling a large loss for a single insured, with multiple locations and numerous issues – scope of damage, mold, business income/extra expenses relating to the shutdown of operations, and more.


Bruce Barnes, Envista Forensic

Philip Ambrose, Engle Martin & Associates

Hobie Hind, Butler Weimuller Katz Craig

Amy Boggs, The Law Offices of Amy Boggs

Have You Been Interrupted?

An indepth course on policy language, case law, and calculations regarding if an insured has experienced “business interruption” as defined by the policy. This presentation will focus on loss of market, civil authority, contingent BI, dependent properties, and period of restoration and extended period of restoration issues. It will include a hypothetical group case study involving contingent business interruption which will involve windstorm damage to a local Orlando theme park and its impact on business interruption to a nearby hotel.


Kristine Elkind, Matson Driscoll Damico

Nicole Vinson, Merlin Law Group

David Terry, The Rock Law Group

How to Document a Claim from the Perspective of the Plaintiff and Defense

This class will examine how to properly document your claim and how to secure and maintain evidence, including but not limited to chain of custody related issues.


Scott Rosso, Kubicki Draper

Larry Moskowitz, Ligman & Moskowitz, PLLC.

Raul Paredes, Clear Restoration

Steve Venook, Advocate Claims

How to Select an Appropriate Expert

This presentation will discuss the different types of experts that can be utilized in cases involving windstorm damage. It will also discuss in detail the pros and cons of each type of expert and how they benefit the defense of this type of claim. This presentation will also take into account the expense of different types of experts and when a higher versus lower fee expert is appropriate.


Richard Conforti, DLD Lawyers

James Shaw, DLD Lawyers

Leonardo DaSilva, Alvarez, Carbonell, Feltman & DaSilva P.L.

Chris Martinez, Alvarez, Carbonell, Feltman & DaSilva P.L.

Impartiality in Appraisal: Lessons Learned

This workshop will focus on recent developments in Appraisal law, shifting the landscape from advocacy to impartiality. It will address the historical context and evolution of the law, and the practical consequences of failing to adhere to new requirements.


Wiilliam Berk, Berk, Merchant & Sims

Art Newman, Belfor

Hugh Lumpkin, Ver Ploeg and Lumpkin

Industry Case Law Updates

An update on recent case law in AL, MS, LA, NC, SC, GA, and TX. We hit on topics including bad faith, appraisal, fraud, insured interest, deductible, assignments and whatever else the court’s come up with relative to property insurance. We use an interactive group discussion format to talk about the facts to try to predict the outcomes.


Christina May Bolin, Alford Bolin, LLC

Chris Mammel, Merlin Law Group

Merlin vs. Badger: The Great Debate On All Things Appraisal and Hail Related

The instructors, William F. “Chip” Merlin and Steven J. Badger, a plaintiff attorney and insurance defense attorney are well-versed in all first party claims issues and in working with adjusters, appraisers, and umpires toward the resolutions of claims. This presentation will be a discussion and debate on the appraisal process and the ethical handling of hail damage claims.


William Merlin, Merlin Law Group

Steven Badger, Zelle, LLP

NFIP Adjuster Flood Certification

(NOTE: This will be offered on Thursday, February 2, 2017. Please note the class time is 8:30 am – 5 pm. Please note that lunch is on your own. This multi-session program will update the current status of claims handling of the National Flood Insurance Program policies and provide an opportunity for participants to renew or obtain certification for adjustment of flood claims. (NFIP Certification and CE credits will be provided separately by AE21 Incorporated). Must be a fully paid 2017 WIND Conference attendee.

Faculty: David Serfass, NFIP Instructor, Alamo Claim Service

Perspectives: How Different Professionals View Catastrophe

A residential insurance claims adjuster, a public adjuster, an engineer and a mediator will individually examine their point of view of a wind catastrophe. Then the faculty will walk the attendees through some hypotheticals to illustrate how their various perspectives can work together for a successful claim resolution. Time will be available at the conclusion for general questions and answers.


Scott Thomas, iClaims Consultants

Joseph Connelly, Recovery Insurance Adjusters

Ken Gilvary, Haag

Plumbing Losses: Coverage and Identifying Long Term Damage

This workshop will provide an introduction to Florida Law regarding the decisions that have addressed what is a covered plumbing loss to insured property, what constitutes constant and repeated seepage or leakage of a plumbing system, and showcasing examples of long term damage with expert opinions.


Vanessa Ross, Stockham Law Group

Donald Nehrig, GHD

Tom Diana, Diana Zonober

Daniel Gutierrez, Daniel Gutierrez PA

Property Insurance Fraud Litigation: Wind and related Cases

This workshop is an opportunity to discuss, analyze, and debate recent developments in fraud litigation. We will look at the most recent case law, statutes, and trends affecting wind and related claims. From this exciting discussion, you will be able to predict trends within the law, distinguish the law of different jurisdictions, and keep in touch with developing arguments and issues that affect this field. You will also be equipped to avoid the facilitation and appearance of fraud.


Andrew Rock, The Rock Law Group, PA

Ty Tyler, Tyler & Hamilton, P.A.

Simsol: Claims Software Training Class

This condensed course will be divided into two sessions and covers everything from beginner to advanced features of the Simsol property estimating program, including the enhanced features of version 7.0. Whether you’re a Simsol veteran interested in the latest features or new to Simsol and searching for an easy-to-learn estimating software with proven tools for fast and accurate data entry, this class is for you! Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptop or tablet computer equipped with the latest version of Simsol 7.0. The free download of our software and trial license is available on Simsol’s website at


Danny Sutliff, Simsol Software

So Your Windstorm Claim is in a Flood Zone, Now What?

This course will give an overview of the Florida Building Code and ASCE 24 requirements when property damage triggers Substantial Damage (FEMA 50% Rule) on an insurance claim. The course will also give a general overview of the NFIP program and new private flood insurance options.


David Compton, Bracken Engineering, Inc.

Clayton Prescott, Prescott Engineering, LLC

John Minor, Complete Inc.

Matthew C. Scarfone, Colodny Fass, P.A.

Symbility: Claims Software Training Class

Symbility Solutions will provide a comprehensive training session aimed at both beginner and advanced users of Mobile Claims. The first part of the session will focus on some of the more elementary features of Mobile Claims, such as claim set-up, navigation, floor plans, roof plans, and estimating basics. The second half of the class will provide an in-depth overview of coverage settings, claim status vs. assignment status, managing claim ownership, as well as a detailed explanation of the functionalities of floor plans, roof plans, exteriors, and estimate reviews.


Hana Schein, Symbility Solutions

Technology’s Role in Causation, Coverage, and Fraud

Property damage and catastrophe attorneys and an engineer discuss technology’s role in determining causation, uncovering pre-existing damage and fraud, and assisting in resolving coverage issues. The course explores ways to obtain information during both the claim process and during litigation to resolve coverage issues, detect fraud, and leverage impeachment evidence for better settlements and/or favorable verdicts for insurers and policyholders alike.


Nicholas Arnold, Christovich & Kearney, LLP

Rajan Pandit, Pandit Law, LLC

Nickie Cammarata, SDII Global Corporation

The Option to Repair

The Option to Repair is a tool used by the insurance company to repair the damaged property in lieu of paying replacement cost value. Over the past several years, numerous insurers have invoked their Option to Repair on specific property damage claims and hired preferred contractors which has resulted in contentious claims. Although Florida law has held the Option to Repair is “binding upon the insured” and has found the provision is unambiguous, Florida law is evolving on the remedies available when the insured disputes the Option to Repair.


Jeffrey Wank, Kelley Kronenberg

Donna DeVaney Stockham, Stockham Law Group, P.A.

Raymond Altieri, Jr., Altieri Transco American Claims Corp.

Updates and Developments in Florida Law

A detailed update on important changes in Florida insurance law with analysis of the impact on the windstorm insurance claims industry.


Paul Juster, Wargo French

Daniel Lopez, The Morgan Group

Roland Bernal, Groelle & Salmon, PA

Josh Blacksten, Duboff Law Firm

Understanding the Complex World of Assignments of Benefit's ("AOB")

AOBs have been a very hot topic over the past four years. This presentation is intended to acquaint the attendee with the legal concept of an AOB, the role AOBs play in property damage repair and restoration contracting, how to properly handle AOB claims, and issues unique to AOB litigation. This presentation is intended to give a fair and balanced view of the issues from the perspective of contractors, insurance policyholders, and insurers.


Timothy Engelbrecht, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig, LLP

Imran Malik, Malik Law, PA

Gordon Cohen, General Building Consultants

WIND vs. Water

This presentation will educate claims professionals on the policy implications and differences between wind damage, as caused by storms, and water damage, as caused by flooding. This course will help claims professionals to understand the policy differences and how to identify whether a prospective claim is covered under a flood or wind policy.


George Hooker, Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A.

David Murray, Danahy & Murray, P.A.

Andrew Bickford, SafePoint Insurance Company

John Carroll, Twenty First Century Engineering Corp.

WIND Certified 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. The first part of the session will deal with ethics. The mechanics of the appraisal process will then be discussed at length. This will include everything from choosing an umpire to how to bring the appraisal to a successful conclusion by either agreeing with the other appraiser or presenting your position at the umpire meeting. The final segment will deal with the ramifications of the statutes and case law in the various states and how it impacts 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.

Note:  A WIND Certified Appraiser® is one who has successfully completed the class offered by WIND, agrees to abide by the WIND Appraiser Code of Ethics, and maintains his membership with WIND. Persons desiring to be listed on the WIND website as a WIND Certified Appraiser® must submit a signed application that they have attended the class and that they will abide by the WIND Appraiser Code of Ethics. A WIND Certified Appraiser’s name will remain on the website for three years after his/her application is received. WIND membership is a requirement to be listed on the website. An application will be distributed at the conclusion of this class for all attendees, as well as sent to all attendees at the successful conclusion of this certification


John Voelpel, Voelpel Claim Service

Jon Doan, Claims Consultants Group

Pete Kapas, Onsite Claims Services

Javier Delgado, Esq., Merlin Law Group

WIND Appraiser Re-Certification®

(Note: This is a double-session workshop that is for Appraisers who have already taken the Appraiser class. Appraiser recertification needs to be taken every 3 years.)

This workshop is designed to provide an interactive learning experience. Real-life scenarios will be utilized to promote discussion of the duties and responsibilities of the appraiser. Common issues and problems that often arise during an appraisal will be addressed, as well as effective methods and techniques to facilitate an appraisal from beginning to conclusion. The workshop will also include a discussion of ethical considerations and changes in case law impacting the appraisal process.


Dan Luby, Precision Advisors

Rami Boaziz, Stellar Public Adjusting

Keith Womack, Restoration Specialist of Florida

Javier Delgado, Esq., Merlin Law Group

John Voelpel, III, Voelpel Claim Service

WIND Certified Umpire Certification®

(Note: This is a double-workshop session)

The purpose of this workshop is to prepare the professional to act as an umpire when appointed by the appraisers in the appraisal process. The panel will discuss all aspects of being an umpire from the time of the interview by the appraisers through signing an award. There will be special emphasis on how to conduct an appraisal focusing on ethics, procedural, and legal issues.

Note: To be included in the WIND Certified Umpire Directory, a separate application process and fee is required. Applications and information will be discussed in the class.

Requirements: Space is limited 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.


John Voelpel, Voelpel Claim Service

Jon Doan, Claims Consultants Group

Janet Brown, Esq., Boehm, Brown & Harwood, P.A.

Wayne Taylor, Esq., Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins, LLP

Hon. Judge Tom Turner, Florida Circuit Judge

WIND Certified Umpire Re-Certification®

(Note: This is a double-session workshop that is for Umpires who have already taken the Umpire class.)(Umpire recertification needs to be taken every 3 years.)

This workshop is designed to provide an interactive learning experience. Real-life scenarios will be utilized to promote discussion of the duties and responsibilities of the umpire. Common issues and problems that often arise during an appraisal will be addressed, as well as effective methods and techniques to facilitate an appraisal from beginning to conclusion. The workshop will also include a discussion of ethical considerations and changes in case law impacting the appraisal process.

Requirements: Space is limited to 75 registrants 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, which must be presented for entrance to the workshop


Art Newman, Belfor USA

Janet Brown, Esq., Boehm, Brown & Harwood, P.A.

Wayne Taylor, Esq., Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins, LLP

Hon. Tom Turner, Florida Circuit Judge

Xactimate: Claims Software Training Class

Line items. What belongs? What doesn’t Lots of debate exists about perceived overlap on the estimates we see on a daily basis. Open discussion on line items. This doesn’t need to be a mystery. Make sure your estimate reflects the scope.


Chris Hatcher, Top Adjuster Training

Please note that WIND does not audio or videotape workshops nor are attendees authorized to audio or videotope any portion of the WIND Conference.

Questions on the annual WIND Conference? We are here to help! Please contact us at 813.988.0737 or email