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Insurance symposium addresses challenges in the residential property insurance market

BOONE—University students, faculty, regulators and industry leaders met in May at the Residential Property Insurance Symposium to discuss current problems and trends and to identify solutions for the residential property insurance market.

View larger imageDanny Lewis, left, a 2012 graduate of Appalachian State University, and Charles Lindsay, a 2012 graduate of UNC Charlotte, were among a panel of insurance industry professionals who spoke at an insurance symposium held on the UNC Charlotte campus in May. (Photo submitted)

That market is in a state of turmoil and the problems and potential solutions are complex, according to Dr. David Marlett, chairman of the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance at Appalachian State University. Appalachian and UNC Charlotte co-hosted the symposium in Charlotte.

Marlett said repercussions of Superstorm Sandy, the recent catastrophic tornadoes, unprecedented hurricane activity and the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 are among concerns for the need to create greater stability within this critical market.

Speakers from North Carolina as well as Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia shared their expertise.

“We greatly appreciate the speakers’ participation in the symposium, which provided students an opportunity to hear first-hand from national experts,” Marlett said. Among the speakers were N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and Ray Farmer, South Carolina’s director of insurance who provided their perspective as regulators and described the challenges of balancing the needs of consumers and the industry.

“The symposium was an excellent forum for researchers, students and insurance experts to discuss the concerns regarding the availability and costs associated with coastal property insurance and the exposure risks involved,” Farmer said. “As director of insurance for the state of South Carolina, the coastal property insurance marketplace is among my top priorities for the department. I welcomed the opportunity to attend and speak about South Carolina’s property insurance marketplace at this important event.”

Tom Marshall, a lecturer in risk management and insurance at UNC Charlotte, added, “A primary mission of the universities is to provide a forum for analysis and discussion of critical issues. The symposium was a unique opportunity for Appalachian State University and UNC Charlotte to bring together all elements of the insurance industry for dialogue in search of solutions to some of the industry’s most complex problems.”

More than 230 people attended the symposium, which provided learning and networking opportunities and offered six hours of continuing education credit.

“With financial support from 22 insurance carriers, managing general agencies and industry associations, the symposium represented not only a valuable forum but also a significant investment in the university insurance programs and ultimately in the students who represent the future of the insurance industry,” Marshall said.

Funding for the symposium was provided by the following sponsors: State Farm, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), AAA Carolinas, Universal Insurance Company, Nationwide, Travelers, AmWins, Allstate, Ascension, Auto-Owners, Burns & Wilcox, Hartford, Hull & Company, Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina (IIANC), Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of South Carolina Foundation, Keystone Insurers Group, Johnson & Johnson, Allen Tate Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Lloyds, Paul Davis Restoration, Southern 1752 Club and the Professional Insurance Agents of N.C. (PIA).

For additional information, contact Marlett at or Marshall at

About Appalachian’s risk management and insurance program

The risk management and insurance program at Appalachian develops students with a solid academic and practical foundation through both academic and enrichment programs. In addition to studying the risk management and insurance curriculum, students have the opportunity to receive extensive real-world exposure through career coaching, internships, shadow days, and travel to industry conferences and to Lloyd’s of London.

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