2019 Presenters

The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Boston


Robert M. Horkovich

Anderson Kill P.C.
Managing Shareholder

The Current Solutions in Environmental Claims

This panel will address the current issues facing the risk management community regarding environmental claims. New government initiatives related to global warming, RCRA, and even recently court approved private “voluntary” initiatives present fresh challenges to those attempting to manage risks. Solutions to those problems and techniques of dealing with the claims that have worked (and those that have not worked) will be discussed. The objective is to give the risk management audience a better understanding of the new challenges presented in the environmental area and ideas as to how to address them.

Vita DeMarchi &
Brendan Cotter

Synapse Partners LLC

Managing Partner & Corporate Councel


Coastal Climate Risk & Resilience in Commercial Lines

Climate resilience requires adaptation in the insurance industry; by underwriters who need to capture the cost of logarithmic increases in catastrophic natural disaster events, brokers who need to understand and discuss climate risk factors with the insured, and the insured, who can make material and physical property adaptations that could lessen a climate related loss. Nothing speaks to the bottom line and identifies the cost of climate risk better than a claim. Through evaluation of relevant climate-related claims along coastal regions in the US, key questions arise that demonstrate opportunity for adaptation throughout the industry: 1) What climate risk factors played a role in the loss? 2) Can the cost of the loss be quantified in underwriting? 3) What adaptation and resilience measures could the insured implement to reduce loss in the future? Claims provide valuable lessons that lead to change. Insurance producers need to be well versed or seek industry specialized expertise to qualify and quantify climate-related risk and coverage options to advise the insured. Risk Managers can work with insureds to manage risk by implementing loss control programs designed to minimize a climate-related loss. Insurers can seek ways to incentivize the insured for implementing a loss control plan around climate-related risks. Although climate risk and the increased cost of related losses is now being widely discussed in the insurance industry, especially in the insurer arena, the ability to adapt through loss control actions at the insured level needs to be bridged. Insurance producers who understand environmental risk and the insurer’s developing climate risk product appetite are positioned to build that bridge and create “boots on the ground” resilience in the industry. Vita DeMarchi is a Managing Partner and Risk Manager at Synapse. Vita provides scientific and engineering expertise to qualify and quantify environmental risks in commercial lines. Brendan Cotter is Corporate Counsel for Synapse. Brendan conducts claims and litigation research to assess current market conditions and emerging markets. Synapse is an asset rich, independent specialty wholesale insurance brokerage dedicated to serving our retail partners and their valued clients. Our Mission is to provide the highest level of expertise and service in the specialty insurance marketplace by building and nurturing the best people and partnerships.

Peter Jarvis



Underwriting Manager, Environmental EMEA


Commoditizing Risk

Whistle-stop tour of international countries and the different mandatory financial guarantees/ mandatory environmental insurance schemes put in place by governments. Talk through of the positives and challenges of the schemes and a look at whether financial assurance schemes deliver or hinder better risk management. 

Robert Snyder

The Fedeli Group

VP of  P&C Environmental Risk Management

Tara Cruz


JoAnn Burns

Underwriter | Ironshore

Emerging Risk – Brownfield, Habitational, Underwriting

Three Case Studies illustrate opportunities in Emerging Spaces 1 Villages, Cities, Counties, States – What don’t neighbors know about each other? Leveraging them together for potential Brownfield success? 2. What are some waste haulers slipping into contract language that create sales opportunity? 3. EIL coverage being written on Bigger Complex sites with a Phase I. Who is fooling who?.

Chris Smy



Environmental Practice Leader


The Role Of Environmental Insurance In A Changing Climate

Overview of current science, impacts to business, challenges with existing market solutions, discussion of market opportunity. Obejectives will be how a changing climate impacts business, Challenges with the underwriting process, and market Oppotrunities

Catherine N. Pierce


Ilene M. Munk

Managing Partner, Foley & Mansfield

MariKay Fish

Assistant Vice President, AIG (claims)

Paul Scian

Risk Analyst Senior Loss Consultant, GAIG


Persistent Claims and Coverage Issues

Interactive panel-style discussion with three panelists and VERTEX moderating. Two (2) questions will be posed. The questions highlight two claim and coverage challenges that are holding steadfast in the Environmental Insurance space. The following questions will be posed by the moderator, followed by input from each panelist as well as the moderator: 1. What are some of the challenges that arise from the underwriting and application process? i.e. misrepresentation, rescission, documentation limitations. 2. How are historic discharges being handled – are we doing things differently based on what we’ve learned over the years about the complexities that arise when multiple discharges are identified and/or when contaminant plumes have co-mingled? Focus on monetization.

Michael Hill

Alba Risk Management Services LLC



Captives, Escrows and other Alternatives to Traditional Environmental Insurance

This session will identify and discuss Alternatives that have been created in the wake of Traditional Environmental Insurers’ 2011 exit from offering Cost Cap Insurance and their 2016-present “hardening” of other products (e.g., PLL) needed to develop Brownfields and other contaminated properties.  As examples, it will focus on an EPA-approved Cost Cap alternative at a site that, in Oct. 2018, won EPA’s 1st Annual Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse Award, and a PLL Supplement/Alternative that, in Dec. 2018, was also approved by the federal government for use in a $1.7B redevelopment of 97 contaminated acres.  The approaches used by these and related products that will be discussed have proven to result in cleanups that are less expensive, quicker and better.

Crystal Stowell

Molly Diggory


Nicholas Palumbo

Rachel Miller


The Effects of Climate Change on the Insurance Industry and Considerations for Underwriters

Climate change is widely recognized as a significant global issue with potential risks to life, health, property, and the environment. The increase in frequency and severity of natural disasters impacts all aspects of the insurance industry, from underwriting to claims and even the carrier’s investment portfolio. Roux will give a four-person presentation briefly summarizing observed climate trends and discussing in depth how these changes in climate impact the insurance industry as a whole. Roux will deliver a comprehensive representation of arising challenges, incorporating emerging research from leaders in academia and the insurance industry. Existing risk and catastrophe models will be evaluated, and climate change variables that can inform future risk-based models will be discussed. The major takeaways from this discussion can be used by underwriters as a loss control tool to adequately incorporate climate change into their policies.

Phillip Ball

Trident Environmental

Certified Methamphetamine Inspector and Decontamination Specialist


Methamphetamine Contamination as an Emerging Environmental IAQ Issue

The content of the presentation will focus on methamphetamine contamination as it relates to properties where meth labs have been seized but also properties that have tested positive for meth contamination as a result of meth use (often times by a tenant). We will illustrate how meth contamination is distributed (both in labs and with use), how it is tested for, how it is remediated and how to limit tail end liability as an insurer especially given that meth claims are generally a covered loss despite assumptions that they aren’t. Our presentation will include a powerpoint, videos showing actual meth contamination sites and their remediation and reviewing real claim scenarios in which inexperience resulted in unnecessary claim payments.

John DeLascio


Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP


Emerging Legal Trends And Allocation Disputes In Environmental Claims

A discussion of the recent legal trends and allocation disputes in environmental claims. An update on case law addressing allocation related issues such as the so-called unavailability exception and allocation theories with respect to policyholders and as among different coverage lines. An analysis of the emerging theories looking back to historical coverages and forward to an exploration as to what may come.

Mike Gill &
Max Kenion

Synapse Services, LLC



Oil and Gas – Emerging Trends in the Environmental Insurance Market

Covering issues of CPL and PLL

Adam Dolan &
Paul Knobbe


Goldberg Segalla LLP


Marijuana: Emerging Environmental Challenges for the Insurance Industry

Goldberg Segalla LLP Partners Larry Mason and Paul Knobbe will co-present dividing the emerging risk topic of Marijuana: Emerging Environmental Challenges for the Insurance Industry into two primary areas: environmental impacts of the marijuana industry and cannabis business insurance coverage issues. The co-presenters will encourage a highly inter-active audience exchange of ideas as they explore this topic aided by a PowerPoint presentation. Of likely potential interest to attendees is the fact that little is known about the long-term impacts of the cannabis industry on the environmental; land-use policy and environmental regulation is in its infancy. Lessons learned from other agricultural risks as well as a specific analysis of marijuana business requirements will be examined to predict risk challenges for cannabis growers. The insurance industry’s response to this emerging risk is evolving and provides a timely opportunity to explore issues such as judicial conflicts emanating from cannabis coverage and how the current regulatory environment has caused insurers to cautiously expand risk offerings to cannabis-related businesses.discussion of the recent legal trends and allocation disputes in environmental claims. An update on case law addressing allocation related issues such as the so-called unavailability exception and allocation theories with respect to policyholders and as among different coverage lines. An analysis of the emerging theories looking back to historical coverages and forward to an exploration as to what may come.

William D’Angelo

WCD Group



Environmental Project Failures (aka “Troubled Environmental Projects)

This session will explore why, over the past 30 plus years, site remediation projects and Brownfield development projects have a history and reputation of costing more than anticipated, taking longer to complete, generating claims and often resulting in complete failure. The session will provide specific examples of the industry, experience and contract fundamentals that are not properly addressed and the risk assessment and management techniques and insurance options that can prevent and mitigate the impacts of these types of unsuccessful projects.

Ming Xu

Associate Professor

University of Michigan


Environmental Insurance in China

I will provide an overview of the environmental insurance market in China from aspects of government policy, market development, and business opportunities. I have been doing research on environmental risk assessment and environmental insurance as a means to mitigate environmental risk with a focus on China. I am excited to share my view on the environmental insurance market in China.

Patrick Mahoney

Divisional Vice President/Executive Underwriter

Great American Insurance Group

Kent Pollaro

Senior Production Underwriting Manager

Great American Insurance Group



2020 Emerging trends in environmental exposures and coverage solutions – A carrier’s perspective

This session will talk about the “new issues” of 20202

  • Understand the characteristics of these new and exotic contaminants
  • Understand the latest emerging trends in environmental insurance
  • Identify potential claims scenarios related to emerging issues
  • Discuss environmental risk mitigation strategies for these trends


Kent Holland

Construction Lawyer & Risk Management Consultant

ConstructionRisk, LLC

Tara Cruz

AmWINS Brokerage of New England

JoAnn Burns


Emerging Issues in EIL Placements


John O’Brien

Executive Vice President, Head of Environmental

Ascot Group




The Constraints To Selling More Environmental Insurance Products

Lessons from 28 years, working for the largest insurer and two new entrants into the market