Mar 4 - 6, 2020 | Chicago, Ill.


Wednesday, March 4, 2020
7:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Optional Activity: Underwriters Laboratories Facility Tour and Networking Lunch
Go behind the scenes at Underwriters Laboratories during this interactive tour of UL's headquarters. You will see first-hand the fire protection engineering facility and new electrical testing lab. Gain insight on UL's testing process, see testing in action, and learn how UL's work can be utilized in the insurance industry. After the tour, enjoy lunch at Harry Caray’s, which has been named “Best Steakhouse in Chicago” by the Chicago Tribune Dining Poll, Best of Citysearch Poll, and Metromix on CLTV. Harry Caray’s serves the finest prime steaks, chops, and Italian favorites. You won't want to miss this hands-on learning experience paired with casual networking over delicious food to kick off your seminar experience.

9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Event Information Desk
The Event Information Desk is the main hub for seminar information and badge pick-up. NAMIC staff are on hand to welcome you and answer any questions you have throughout the seminar.

12:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Sponsor Showcase

1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

NAMIC Welcome and Keynote Address

2:15 – 2:35 p.m.

Networking Break

2:35 – 3:25 p.m.

General Session

3:25 – 3:55 p.m.

Networking Break

3:55 – 5:30 p.m.

Roundtable Discussions
Join fellow commercial lines professional in roundtable discussions focused on emerging issues, leadership, and other commercial lines focused topics.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Networking Reception
Make the most of your seminar experience and enjoy some delicious food and drinks and friendly conversation with fellow commercial lines professionals. A local musician will be featured as the fun sound track to your conversation.

6:30 p.m.

Seminar Adjourns for the Day

6:35 p.m.

Optional Activity

Thursday, March 5, 2020
6:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Breakfast Buffet
Join fellow attendees for fellowship and a hot breakfast before sessions kick off for the day. Grab a cup of coffee and get charged up for a full day of concurrent sessions.

7:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Event Information Desk
The Event Information Desk is the main hub for seminar information and badge pick-up. NAMIC staff are on hand to welcome you and answer any questions you have throughout the seminar.

8:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Sponsor Showcase

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  1. Cannabis: The Ultimate Budding Risk
    The cannabis risk for insurers isn’t going away any time soon, so it’s imperative that you arm yourself and your company with the knowledge needed to properly underwrite this risk. Attendees of this session will explore the differences between cannabis and hemp, discuss the history and current status of cannabis and hemp legalization, review specific hazards relating to cannabis that affect insurance underwriting, address court cases that have dealt with the insurability of cannabis, and examine the impact of cannabis on the workplace.

    Brenda Wells, Ph.D.
    East Carolina University

  2. Reinsurance and the Implications for Commercial Lines Underwriters
    This session will provide a comprehensive review of the reinsurance options available to underwriters and how they can be used most efficiently. Attendees will dive into an overview of the different types of reinsurance – proportional, excess of loss, treaty, facultative and hybrid facultative facilities. In addition to evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of each from a coverage perspective, attendees will touch on pricing considerations and how/when to use each structure to secure the optimal coverage. The discussion will also cover the different considerations that arise between property and casualty placements, terms and conditions, and price evaluation.

    Aaron Friedman
    Senior Vice President
    Guy Carpenter

  3. Distribution Management as a Team Sport: How Your Entire Organization Plays a Role in Optimizing Your Relationships and Success
    Carriers and their partners are faced with one of the most rapidly changing distribution environments that the industry has ever seen. The changing distribution channels can create new opportunities for partners that understand those shifting dynamics, but to win, entire companies need to understand the challenge and be working in the same direction.

    In this session, attendees will review the latest developments and trends in insurance distribution their impacts to the industry, and what should carriers be doing to position their companies for success.

    Craig Welsh
    Chief Distribution and Marketing Officer
    Westfield Insurance

  4. Lessons from Losses – Experience is Our Greatest Teacher
    Whether portfolio-level experiences or individual claim situations, the property/casualty insurance industry has a successful history of learning from the unfortunate incidents of our customers, and many companies use claims to inform underwriting and safety practices. In this session, specific examples of best practices in learning lessons from losses will be provided to reinforce that claims review is an opportunity of continuous learning as opposed to judgment of past decisions. Attendees will learn the importance of cross-departmental communication and how to cultivate collaboration in their own organizations in order to positively impact the bottom line.

    Timothy M. Fletcher
    Vice President, Senior Emerging Issues Specialist
    Gen Re

    Craig Beardsley
    Senior Vice President
    Gen Re

  5. NextWave Underwriting: A Vision for Innovation-Fueled and Purpose-Led Transformation
    During this session, Ernst & Young's Jeremy Weiss will share the company's innovation-fueled and purpose-led transformation in commercial insurance underwriting by exploring the changing role of the underwriter in the NextWave. With a focus on near term, Jeremy will discuss likely shifts in underwriting roles to accelerate growth, ways to become a customer advocate, and how to focus on increased profitability.

    Jeremy Weiss
    Senior Manager
    Ernst & Young

  6. Idea Lab: Working Remotely – Cure or Curse?
    This session will dive into some of the most challenging obstacles for managers and employees in managing the employer/remote workers relationship. Discussion topics will include keeping remote workers engaged, managing workload, communicating effectively, making sure the remote employees are still part of the team, and measuring performance.

    Attendees will leave with a roadmap to determine if employing a remote workforce is the right decision for their organizations. They will also take away helpful tools to build and maintain remote employee relationships – from the employees' and managers' perspectives.

    Steve Doman
    Senior Human Resources Business Partner
    West Bend Mutual Insurance Company

9:30 – 9:50 a.m.

Networking Break

9:50 – 10:50 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  1. Trends in Employee Practices Liability Insurance Third-Party Claims and Exposures
    The session will cover the varying language and expanding scope of employee practices liability insurance third-party coverages. Attendees will first discuss the most common type of third-party claims, emerging claims types, and classes of claimants. Then they will dissect several relevant claims examples. Finally, they will learn about the intersection of EPLI third-party claims and cyber liability as information technology systems and connected devices play increasing roles in the perpetration of wrongful employment acts.

    Ken Williams
    Senior Vice President, Specialty Claim Unit
    Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company

  2. Evolution of Additional Insured Endorsements and What Primary and Noncontributory Means to Commercial General Liability
    Additional insured requests have become more common and looking back at the past 30 years, some of the Insurance Services Office’s endorsements were revised several times. During this session, attendees will learn about reasons behind historical changes to the ISO additional insured endorsements, explore recent changes to certificates of insurance with a specific focus on notifying a certificate holder about changes to the policy, and learn about changes to the other insurance condition of the ISO commercial general liability that may call into question requests for primary and noncontributory coverage for an additional insured.

    William Mauro
    Senior Director, Commercial Casualty

  3. The Underwriter’s Evolution Toward Sales Executive and Customer Advocate
    This session will focus on the increasing necessity for sales skills among commercial lines underwriters and how an organization can evolve to become more sales minded. Attendees will review the strategic elements of an organization's evolution, including the market's demand for more sales support and customer advocacy from underwriters, and the potential impact it can have on the organization, culturally and financially. Attendees will also discuss the tactical steps needed to develop and implement the necessary processes, training, and marketing support to facilitate the evolution. A significant portion of the session will be spent walking through steps of the evolution's proven process, which include assessing the current state of your underwriting department, defining ideal future state of the department’s mindset, and creating a detailed road map for future success.

    Tim McIlvaine
    Assistant Vice President
    Weber Associates

  4. Commercial Lines Underwriting Automation – Session One

  5. Commercial Auto – ISO Changes and Underwriting Challenges

    Kevin Hughes
    Senior Actuarial Associate
    Verisk Analytics, Inc.

    Diane Injic
    Director, Commercial Auto Underwriting
    Verisk Analytics, Inc.

    Matthew Beard
    Coordinator – Motor Carrier Team
    Auto-Owners Insurance Company

  6. Idea Lab: Hosting Robust One-on-One Meetings
    Hosting regular one-on-one meetings is a foundational behavior for cultivating a team of productive and engaged managers. Attendees of this session will take a deep dive into one-on-one meeting best practices, common challenges, and compelling questions to draw out feedback and encourage desired behavior.

    Bruce deJong
    Director of Talent Management, Learning, and Leadership Development
    Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company

10:50 – 11:10 a.m.

Networking Break

11:10 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  1. Reinsurance Market Outlook Panel Discussion
    During this panel discussion, a 100 percent direct reinsurer, a broker market and direct reinsurer, and a einsurance broker will discuss the state of the reinsurance market and the January 2020 renewal and its impact on the rest of the year. They will answer the question “Are we in a hard market?” before diving into trends by lines and classes of business and the impact those trends have on primary carriers.

    Tom Loverde | Panelist
    Senior Vice President
    Transatlantic Reinsurance Company

    Brad Melvin | Panelist
    Reinsurance Solutions

    Ridge Muhly | Panelist
    Senior Vice President – Treaty Manager
    Gen Re

  2. Emerging Technologies for Underwriting
    Attendees of this session will learn how emerging technologies such as smart sensors and computer vision generate vast quantities of behavioral and other predictive real-time data. First, attendees will explore how this data, along with artificial intelligence and machine learning, is reshaping the insurance value chain. Then, the speakers will demonstrate how AI and ML are transforming commercial underwriting by examining the components of an underwriting recommendation engine for risk pricing and selection. Finally, attendees will learn how Grange Insurance, a midsize insurer, is using data and AI to transform its business by improving underwriting processes and focusing on customer experience.

    Michael Elliott
    Senior Director of Knowledge Resources
    The Institutes

    Cheryl Lebens
    Vice President, Chief Risk and Strategy Officer
    Grange Insurance Company

  3. Construction Industry Changes

  4. The Evolution of Cyber Insurance
    The cyber insurance market has grown from nonexistent 20 years ago to a multi-billion-dollar industry that expands at double-digit rates year over year. This session will take attendees through the evolution of cyber insurance and cyber exposures from their beginnings through today as well as a view toward the future. Particular attention will be given to factors driving demand and shaping coverage. Drawing from interviews with cyber insurance veterans and industry experience, attendees will review existing and expanding first- and third-party coverages.

    Monique Ferraro
    Cyber Counsel
    Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company

  5. The Evolving Sharing Economy and the Impact on the Insurance Industry
    While we often think of the sharing economy as a peer-to-peer activity in which one person shares goods or services with another person in exchange for payment, we may overlook the commercial aspect of these interactions.

    During the past few years, the sharing economy has evolved from one person sharing an underused asset such as a spare bedroom or an idle car to large-scale business-to-business transactions over innovative online platforms.

    During this session, attendees will review how commercial insurers are responding to this evolving economic model. The session will also discuss how risk is changing in the sharing economy and the importance of carriers establishing risk appetites for these unfamiliar exposures.

    Janice Nieman, MBA, CPCU
    Property/Casualty Research & Product Development Manager
    American Ag.

  6. Idea Lab: How to Use a Finish-Line Philosophy to Stimulate Increased Focus, Effort, and Persistence
    Research has proven that humans will vigorously respond to a challenge when time is running out. Attendees of this session will learn how to thoughtfully introduce a sense of urgency for their employees that walks the tightrope of activating willpower to build capacity without causing burnout and exhaustion. Understanding how to ratchet up intensity through a controlled sense of urgency will provide attendees with actionable ideas and techniques to motivate and inspire their teams.

    Bruce deJong
    Director of Talent Management, Learning, and Leadership Development
    Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company

12:10 – 1:30 pm

A Taste of Chicago Networking Lunch
The traditional lunch buffet is available to allow you to grab a bite at your convenience. Attendees are welcome to come and go at their convenience. A boxed lunch option is also available for you to pick up at the Event Information Desk and take back to your guest room.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  1. Construction Defects

  2. Extreme Weather, Custom Renovations, and Evolving Building Codes: Lessons Learned from Recent Natural Disasters
    Extreme weather and the encroachment of communities on coasts, rivers, and wilderness areas is putting more property at risk from wildfires and flooding. At the same time, customized renovations, changing building codes, and fluctuating reconstruction costs are making it more difficult than ever to ensure properties have the right amount of coverage. What lessons have we learned from recent natural disasters? How are communities and firefighters coming together? And what can insurers do to address the challenges in the face of changing construction?

    Bradley Bain
    Vice President, Community Hazard Mitigation
    Verisk Analytics, Inc.

  3. Workers' Compensation: Trends and Challenges
    This session will review current trends in workers' compensation, including frequency and severity data based on National Council on Compensation Insurance reports in 38 states. Attendees will learn about the most recent concerning trends in opioids, the ongoing legalization of marijuana, and how these products impact the workers' compensation system and related costs.

    The latest changes in experience modification factor formulas and what steps NCCI is taking to curb their improper usage as well as the application of schedule rating on workers' compensation policies, how it is commonly misapplied, and how to avoid fines by regulatory agencies will be reviewed. Attendees will also evaluate regulatory actions taken by states on the misclassification of businesses and how today's corporate business model presents challenges in coverage to subsidiaries.

    Sonja Guenther
    Workers' Compensation Specialist
    IMA Financial Corp

  4. Enhancing Vehicle and Driver Information in Commercial Auto
    This session provides insight into new tools available to commercial auto insurers to improve pricing, underwriting and claims decisioning. Attendees of this session will gain insight into the various tools available in commercial auto to improve risk-based pricing and claims sophistication.

    Helen van Daal
    Insurance Director of Telematics and Product Development

    Patrick Foy
    Product Director, Commercial Insurance

  5. Artificial Intelligence: Creating Super Underwriters
    Market expectations are changing rapidly and nearly every carrier is pursuing digital underwriting in some capacity. However, this journey is fraught with challenges, including where to start, how to manage change, and what it means for a company's ability to grow, its bottom line, and its customers' experiences. Join this session to learn about a primary insurance company's journey to digitize its commercial underwriting process and what that has meant for the company's customers and its business going forward.

    Phil Alampi
    Vice President of Marketing

  6. Idea Lab: Creating the Difference as a Leader
    Leadership is a skill that can be finetuned, and in today's high-demand business environment, it is a skill that needs to be refreshed regularly. Effective leaders bring out the best in their employees by bringing out the best in themselves.

    Session attendees will learn how to host effective feedback meetings that create change without frustration, discover tools to engage a team throughout the day, and leave with action items that can be implemented immediately to enhance leadership effectiveness. This will be a lively, fast-paced discussion on leadership that is founded on spirited enthusiasm and proven success.

    Rachel Fisher
    Strategic Advisor

2:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Networking Break

2:45 – 3:45 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  1. Risk Selection at the Underwriting Level

  2. Political Activism

  3. View of the Current Landscape of Digital Distribution for Small to Mid-Size Enterprise Business
    This session will be comprised of discussions on the current state of the market, how incumbents are automating the underwriting/sales process for small commercial insurance, the journey to straight-through processing for small commercial, and the universe of digital distribution insurtechs in the small commercial space. It is intended to provide an innovative view of how small commercial insurance views the insurtech movement and how the technology can improve efficiency. Attendees will come away with a better understanding of the universe of digital-distribution insurtech in the small commercial space.

    Robert Cooney
    Senior Managing Director

  4. Session TBD

  5. Idea Lab: Creating and Maintaining a Change Mindset
    Even though change is constant, it is not necessarily easy to create or maintain buy-in. Leading change is about establishing and conveying a vision for change not directly tied to a specific project. In order to successfully implement change, there must be a dynamic shift across all levels of the organization. The entire team must buy-in to a solution instead of being told to conform to a predetermined one.

    Attendees of this session will learn what makes people say, "I want to be part of this," versus “This is happening whether I like it or not.” They will explore case studies of organizations with dynamic change mindsets, learn how to create momentum, and find out how to spark a desire in employees to continually move to the next phase.

    Rachel Fisher
    Strategic Advisor

3:45 p.m.

Seminar Adjourns for the Day

4:00 p.m.

Optional Activity: Flight Club Social Darts Happy Hour
Dart skills are not required for you to enjoy this unique happy hour experience. Flight Club has reinvented darts for the 21st century. With dart tracking technology to help pinpoint the exact spot you should hit, tracks scores for the group, and offers multiple games for friendly competition, these are no ordinary dart boards. This happy hour will be the perfect opportunity to unwind and make connections with fellow attendees before venturing out for dinner. The cost of this activity is $60 and includes unlimited darts games, heavy hors d'oeuvres, one drink ticket for craft beer or wine, and semi-private home base for our group.

5:45 p.m.

Optional Activity: Chicago Blackhawks Game
Get a true Chicago sports fan experience by heading to the United Center to watch the Blackhawks take on the Edmonton Oilers. Founded in 1926 as a member of the “Original Six,” the Chicago Blackhawks have one of the most fabled histories in the National Hockey League. The attendees will get to see the six-time Stanley Cup winners’ traditions first hand If you can’t make it to dinner before the game, don’t worry. The United Center has many of Chicago’s’ favorites, including Chicago-style barbecue, Chicago dogs, and deep-dish pizza. The cost of this activity is $105 and includes transportation and admission to the Chicago Blackhawks game.

Friday, March 6, 2020
6:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Breakfast Buffet
Network with fellow attendees over a hot breakfast before the final day of the seminar.

7:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Event Information Desk
The Event Information Desk is the main hub for seminar information and badge pick-up. NAMIC staff are on hand to welcome you and answer any questions you have throughout the seminar.

8:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Sponsor Showcase

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

General Session

9:30 – 9:50 a.m.

Networking Break

9:50 – 10:50 a.m.

Closing Keynote Session

Brad Montgomery, CSP
Keynote Speaker
Brad Montgomery Productions

10:50 a.m.

Grand Prize Drawing

11:00 a.m.

Seminar Concludes

Session Proposals

Interested in speaking at this seminar? Submit your session proposal to Molly DiGiammarino.


Julie Bacher
Customer Service Coordinator