The 2023 NCIGF Legal Seminar took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 21-22 and focused on topics of current and perennial interest to attorneys, guaranty fund managers and insurance insolvency professionals. This was the first in-person Legal Seminar since June 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was well attended, and the meeting spaces were uniquely held on the 50th floor of the hotel, offering a beautiful view of Minneapolis.
Howard Glick, general counsel from the Alabama Insurance Guaranty Association and chair of the legal seminar task force, emceed the seminar where he, Robert Farber, executive director of the Minnesota Guaranty Association and NCIGF President & CEO, Roger Schmelzer, welcomed everyone to Minneapolis. As part of his opening remarks, Roger stated: “There is more work to do to secure the public policy foundation of the property and casualty state guaranty fund system. Meetings like these of our members and stakeholders demonstrate how seriously we take this responsibility to consumers, regulators, and industry.”
Kicking off day one was a panel on receivership and insolvency opening with a discussion on the importance of relationship building between receivers and guaranty associations, followed by a panel that included experts on reinsurance. The reinsurance group provided an overview of the topic and discussed the progression of reinsurance obligations throughout an insolvency, and the first half of the day rounded out with a panel discussing legal obligations when implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. The overall feeling was that the DEI topic was helpful and timely because companies are currently dealing with recruiting and retention issues and focusing on building an environment that makes employees feel welcome. Doug Fahringer from Pennsylvania remarked that everyone can have a seat at the table noting, “DEI can add [a letter] ‘B’ because I now feel like I belong. Just because you give up your seat for me does not mean you are giving yours away.”
An early registration raffle took place before the group broke for lunch and Vicki Graves, claims manager from the Oregon Insurance Guaranty Association, won a pair of tickets to the Minnesota Twins vs. Boston Red Sox baseball game that evening! Following lunch, the afternoon offered panels that included discussions on model act updates, bar date issues and wrapped up strongly with a presentation entitled, Issues that Evolve from the Modernization of the Workplace. The modernization panel sparked discussion and engaging questions on moving forward in the digital age of a hybrid workplace and the legal and operational challenges and obstacles that go along with those new workflows.
The energy and momentum of the educational topics continued into day two, with four thought-provoking panels covering updates on case law impacting guaranty associations, legal issues that occur as an insolvency is winding down, guidance for effective negotiations in insurance regulatory and receivership work, and a case study in ethic issues arising from unauthorized claims.
Robert Farber, specifically echoing John Wells (LA) from the 2023 NCIGF Annual Conference, said that his hope was that the great content from the panels, presentations and discussion that took place over the two days in Minneapolis would be carried back to people’s respective states and shops to help improve the system for the future, adding, “We are all leaders of our organization.”
Ashley Rosenberger, NCIGF Senior Legal Counsel, summed the event up by stating: “The Legal Seminar came together wonderfully thanks to the hard work of the legal seminar task force, speakers and so many others. Seeing this educational agenda come to life and experiencing the collaboration and energy that surrounded this event in Minneapolis was incredibly rewarding.”
A huge thank you to the Legal Seminar Task Force, presenters, panelists and our event sponsors, Faegre Drinker, Amery, Bressler & Ross and Locke Lord.
NCIGF will host a stand-alone board meeting in Indianapolis on August 30th and 31st followed by the final conference of the year, the 2023 Fall Workshop in Phoenix Arizona on November 15th and 16th. For more information on future NCIGF events, click here.