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InsurFEST 2016 Conference Sessions Recap

InsurFEST is the premiere event for California independent insurance agents and brokers. Hundreds of insurance professionals from throughout California this past November converged on Rancho Mirage in November for three days of professional development training, Continuing Education credit, and peer-to-peer broker-agent networking and company connections.

The Fairfax Innovation Lab: One Insurance Group's Approach to Innovation and Disruption
Davidson Pattiz, Chief Operating Officer, The Zenith

How do you adapt to a world of constant disruption?  What are the drivers of change that are in play right now or right around the corner?  Can your organization pivot its existing operations in a direction that makes future success more likely? 

Fairfax Financial and its subsidiaries have designed an innovation framework that includes a dedicated Idea Lab and multi-national working group -- all supported by top leadership -- to address these questions and others. 

The current Chair of Fairfax’s Innovation Working Group will share with you the approach taken to innovation, expected threats to the existing broker/carrier model, and some novel solutions various FinTech companies are implementing.

Building Your Organic Growth Engine: Attributes of the Top Performing Agencies and Producers
Nick Kormos, Vice President, MarshBerry

The continuing consolidation isn’t being driven solely by acquirers dropping piles of cash on agency principals’ doorsteps.   The reality is that you won’t be able to get the same return on equity by selling your business as you can by keeping it. 

 The caveat is that you need Growth, Profitability, and Scalability to achieve those results.  This session will provide real data and metrics behind what growing and highly profitable agencies are doing, and the attributes of the successful producers that execute those strategies.  

Fighting For Independence - How Today's Leading Agencies Are Maximizing Performances While Preparing For Long-Term Private Ownership
Kevin Stipe, President, Reagan Consulting

With an all-time record number of agencies selling out in 2015, many of those that remain are wondering if they will ultimately be forced to follow suit.  Are the independent agent’s days numbered?  Reagan Consulting, in its work with many of the industry’s leading agents and brokers has carefully studied what it takes to remain independent and prosper in today’s marketplace.  

Stipe will review the forces transforming our industry and share insights about what makes today’s industry-leading firms so successful, and the steps they are taking to ensure their long-term independence. 

Is Your Claim Going Up In Smoke?
Robb Greenspan, Principal & Executive General Adjuster, The Greenspan Company/Adjusters International

Cannabis is a reality in this country today. It’s a billion dollar crop in California alone. There is coverage available today in most states for cannabis in its many forms.  However collecting on a claim is another issue. How do the various States and Federal laws clash over this issue?  Who has jurisdiction in courts over coverage?

In this talk we will see who needs coverages, what coverages are available to the consumer and what the various issues are in writing a policy. What have the courts ruled on claims whether for personal possession or commercial operations?  This 1 hour 1 CE talk is fun and informative and when leaving you will be better prepared to sell the next big thing in insurance .However no samples will be given out at this talk.  

Workers Comp Updates & Changes For 2017 
Dave Bellusci, Executive Vice President & Chief Actuary, Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau

Join the WCIRB’s Dave Bellusci for a presentation on the changes to the Experience Rating Plan on January 1, 2017. The presentation covers:

  • California’s Variable Split Plan – How are 2017 experience modifications calculated? What is a split point? What does it mean that the split point varies based on the size of the employer?
  • Unaudited Payroll – What is the impact on experience rating eligibility if the policyholder is uncooperative at the final audit?
  • Resources – What WCIRB tools and resources are available to help you do your job?

Triple Play: Sharing Economy; New Laws Affecting You & Your Clients; Autonomous Vehicles - How Soon is Now? 
Diane Bauer, Director of Compliance, GeoVera Holdings, Inc.

Companies like Uber and Airbnb have arrived and are here to stay. Now that some of the dust has settled, we will take a look at where the sharing economy stands today, how the insurance industry has responded and what changes may be on the horizon. 

The 2016 legislative session resulted in new laws and regulations that have a potential impact on both insurers and policyholders. 

Finally, we keep hearing about autonomous vehicles but how close are they to really becoming a reality and not just prototype?  We will look at the latest developments in the world of autonomous vehicles and the ever-changing insurance implications. So much technology on the cutting edge and, finally, the insurance industry is out in front.

Barbarians At The Gate

Steve Young, General Counsel & Senior Vice President, IIABCal

California's leading legal expert on agent issues will tell attendees why independent agents and brokers remain the best hope for regulators and consumers to survive 21st Century disruption in the insurance marketplaces.