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Jonathan Barger

Property Claim Ethics: Adjusting in Good Faith

Jonathan Barger, JD, Partner, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig
Nanci L. Smilie, CPCU, AIC, Litigation Specialist, Erie Insurance Group

  • Describe various challenges that claims professionals face when adjusting property claims
  • Identify good faith methods for resolving these challenges
  • Review recent bad faith case law developments
  • Describe how to avoid bad faith dangers in property claim adjustments
  • Diane Barnes-Reynolds

    Claims Handling for Iconic Hotel

    Diane Barnes-Reynolds, JD, Managing Partner, Tampa Office, Simon, Reed & Salazar, P.A.
    Kenneth R. Gilvary, M.S., P.E., Principal Engineer/Owner, Revision Engineering Inc.
    Tom Jefferies, Senior Vice President, Allcat Claims Service

  • Identify key issues when handling a large damaged occupied iconic hotel in a disaster zone          
  • Organize and manage claim conditions while separating sudden damage from ongoing conditions
  • Separate multiple causes of damage/loss using appropriate allocation methods
  • Evaluate risk and resolve complicated claim disputes, while maintaining excellent customer service to the insured.
  • Jeremy Beagle

    Water Loss Investigation: Principals & Methodologies

    Jeremy Beagle, CIH, CMC, CMCC, Sr. Principal Scientist, Sdii Global Corporation

  • Gain perspective into how to approach the assessment of a convoluted water loss
  • Learn the importance of collecting and documenting moisture measurements
  • Highlight the importance of confirming the information provided on receipts and other documents
  • Understand how laboratory analysis can be beneficial in identifying compounds associated with unknown substances being applied to a surface or area to mimic water damage
  • Heather Becker

    Art Claims: Disaster Response & Risk Management

    Heather Becker, CEO, The Conservation Center

  • Implement the helpful procedures for handling a client's collection in an emergency (basic protocols, stabilization, etc.)
  • Identify what damage to artworks was a direct result of the loss, as opposed to pre-existing damages.
  • Communicate with the conservation team after the disaster event.
  • Explain how damage could have been preemptively minimized for art and heirloom damages.
  • Timothy Begley

    Equipment Breakdown & Related Time-Element Issues

    Timothy Begley, CPCU, Director-Claim Account Mgmt., Hartford Steam Boiler
    George Dickover, CPCU, AIC, Executive General Adjuster, Selective Insurance Group
    Patrick F. Kelleher, CPA, CFF, VP, Investigative Accounting, Meaden & Moore

  • Describe the potential interplay of Equipment Breakdown and Commercial Property Coverage for a variety of claims scenarios
  • Identify strategies for adjusting a complex claim that involves Equipment Breakdown coverage where both Equipment Breakdown and first-party property policies provide coverage for an insured's loss
  • Evaluate what is covered in Home Systems Protection as compared to the HO policy and from what causes of loss, including apportioned claims
  • Aaron Boehm

    Wind & Hail Damage: Was it Nature or Human?

    Aaron Boehm, AIC, PCLS, Property Claim Manager, Western Reserve Group

  • Identify physical characteristics of genuine hail and wind damages
  • Differentiate manufactured (man-made) damages from natural with examples of damage
  • Describe options for claim resolution when fraud damages are documented
  • Compare the benefits and draw-backs to each option
  • Sherry Bos

    Auto Fraud Investigations: Drive for Results

    Sherry Bos, CPCU, CIFI, Field Investigator, SIU, Auto-Owners Insurance Group
    Steven R. Jarrett, MBA, CIFI, FCLA, Director/Leader-SIU, Westfield Group

  • Identify the three basic types of auto fraud and develop a plan of action for them
  • Recognize types of misrepresentation and application fraud
  • Describe various types of staged accidents
  • Determine which resources can aid in investigation
  • Steven Bowen

    Climate & Insurance: Risk, Preparation & Mitigation

    Steven Bowen, Chief Science Officer, Gallagher Re
    John A. Lee, , Coverage Atty, Meteorologist

  • Define the underlying science behind climate change
  • Identify current and potential regional impacts related to climate change
  • Explore efforts by the insurance industry to model and prepare for future impacts
  • Examine insurance industry risk mitigation effort
  • Kelly Bridgewater

    Complex Contents Adjusting

    Kelly Bridgewater, Adjuster Team Lead, Sedgwick
    Ashleigh Hochstettler, AIC, AIM, AINS, Manager - Large Loss Claims, Auto-Owners Insurance Group
    Charles McMartin, Director-Contents Solutions, Sedgwick

  • Large Loss Commercial Contents
  • High Net Worth Residential Claims
  • The "Cons" of Contents
  • David D. Brisco

    Think Like A Detective: Investigation for Subro

    David D. Brisco, JD, Member, Cozen O'Connor
    Daniel Knott, Sr. Subrogation Claims Adj., Western National Insurance
    Scott Thompson, AIC, ARC, SCLA, Claims Manager - Recovery, American National P&C Group

  • Identify the importance of obtaining information at claim intake (FNOL).
  • Distinguish the tools required to investigate, document and complete the claim.
  • Recognize how claim intake, investigation and documentation impact subrogation.
  • Denise Brown

    Preparing for Testimony: Only The Truth

    Denise Brown, VP-Executive Claims Consultant, InterWest Insurance Services
    Nelson E. Canter, JD, Partner, McLaughlin & Stern, LLP
    Demetrius Lambrinos, Esq., Counsel, Reeder McCreary LLP

  • Describe techniques that will make you confident in handling the deposition and/or trial testimony
  • Learn to spot the “tricks” opposing lawyers use to confuse or trap you
  • Identify ways to handle yourself to project the best image
  • Kenneth Bunn

    Confronting the “Reptile Theory”

    Kenneth Bunn, AIC, VP Claims, Builders Mutual Insurance
    JD Keister, JD, Attorney, MGC Insurance Defense

  • Examine considerations for litigation
  • Analyze the foundations of the Reptile Theory and the teachings of Ball and Keenan
  • Compare the various ways plaintiff attorneys are putting the Reptile Theory into action across the country
  • Identify how to spot the reptile and manage a claim before suit is filed
  • Rhonda Burns

    Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

    Rhonda Burns, Associate Vice President, Nationwide Group

  • Define what Diversity, Equity and Inclusion mean
  • Develop an awareness and understanding of unconscious bias
  • Recognize and address Microagressions
  • Encourage allyship and bystander intervention
  • J. Tyler Butts

    Cyber Coverage & Claims: Recent Trends

    J. Tyler Butts, JD, Attorney, Robinson & Cole LLP

  • Understand the different types of product in the marketplace that carriers are issuing to try and cover cyber threats from both a first- and third-party perspective.
  • Appreciate the different kinds of cyber risks that current exist, and understand how certain policies might respond to those risks.
  • Acknowledge specific considerations that need to be taken into account when handling cyber claims.
  • Understand recent caselaw addressing cyber coverage
  • Allyson C. Byrd

    Accidents: Immediate Steps in the First 48 Hours

    Allyson C. Byrd, JD, Member, McGlinchey Stafford
    Robin Roeder, SVP-Risk Management, Sedgwick

  • ...implement polices and guidelines to mitigate costs and exposure in litigation, as well as effectively respond to incidents.
  • ...communicate protocols to their employees on responding to incidents.
  • ...understand why the recommended investigative tactics are helpful to your company.
  • ...consider legal ramifications of a thorough, proper investigation.

    The 2023 Claims Conference is scheduled for March 17-20 in Boston at the Hynes Convention Center. The Sheraton Boston and Boston Marriott Copley Place are the two headquarter hotels. Information to make reservations will be posted in October.

    Thank you to those who submitted topics for the 2024 Claims Conference. The Claims Conference Planning committee and PLRB staff are currently reviewing proposals to create the curricula for the 2024 program.  

    Exhibit and sponsorship opportunities are available; please contact Tom O'Dowd at for details.

    Please check back in October for updates on the registration, agenda, educational sessions with presenters, and hotel reservations.

    We look forward to seeing you in Boston!

    We hope you will join us in Boston for three days of expanding your story as a claims professional:

    • Write your own agenda from over 100 educational course selections within 14 education tracks taught by industry leaders, preparing you for your future
    • Expand your network by telling your story as a claims professional and hearing the stories of a diverse range of claims professionals from hundreds of companies across the nation  
    • Prepare for the next chapter of your story by making connections at the Insurance Services Expo by interacting with a broad, innovative group of the industry’s leading service providers

    It was my first time, so it was a great time hearing from a lot of different people and experiencing something new.

    I like there are educated speakers who show genuine appreciation and passion for their topics.

    I enjoyed the variety of sessions and the networking promoted within the session. I alsoappreciated the collection of exhibitors that had various ways of engagement.

    The Networking was amazing, but just being able to be together with peers and new friendsagain was so needed!

    I enjoyed meeting other professionals in the business. I also loved the various topics andhearing how other insurance carriers were addressing some of the same issues we encounter.

    The informational sessions were very useful and gave me a lot of great things to bring backwith me.

    The variety of content and the sessions that were interactive. So valuable to learn from otherattendees and how they tackle challenges and issues at their organizations.

    Opportunity to connect with other claim professionals and vendors. Informative & interestingpresentations. Appreciated that a lot of the presentations qualified for CE credit.

    PLRB greatly appreciates the following claims service providers for their outstanding support for the 2024 Claims Conference.


    Diamond Plus




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