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Navigating Workers’ Compensation Changes in the COVID-19 Era
June 23, 2020 9:00 am - 11:00 am Pacific Time
WCIRB President & CEO Bill Mudge will provide his perspective on the COVID-19 impacts to the workers’ comp system and how agents/brokers and industry stakeholders can align for the health and recovery of the system. Mudge will also speak on how the WCIRB is taking actions to provide insights and perspectives for the workers' comp community.
COVID-19’s Impact on California Workers’ Comp Rules
The WCIRB will be discussing the rules arising from COVID-19 to the California Workers’ Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan—1995 (USRP) and California Workers’ Compensation Experience Rating Plan—1995 (ERP).
Speaker: Brian Gray, WCIRB Director, Classification Administration and Education
Workers’ Compensation Legislation in the COVID-19 Era
Even in a legislative session truncated by the Coronavirus pandemic, multiple bills are pending in the California Legislature that could substantially impact employers’ duties and liabilities, employee safety, and future premium costs within the workers’ compensation system. Get an executive summary of the most important bills, and experts’ predictions about what will happen next, from IIABCal General Counsel Steve Young and Legislative Advocate John Norwood—one of the most effective lobbyists in Sacramento.
John Norwood, Lobbyist, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of California
Steve Young, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of California
Insurance Company Perspective: Workers’ Comp & COVID-19
A panel discussion with State Compensation Insurance Fund and WCF Insurance representatives will weigh in on the unprecedented challenges and opportunities confronting the workers’ comp system in California as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including how carriers and regulators have responded, what broker-agents can do to help their clients, and the open questions that may dictate future legislative and regulatory changes.
Clark Payan, CEO, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of California
Chris Closser, Regional Vice President, WCF Insurance
Vernon Steiner, President & CEO, State Compensation Insurance Fund
Bill Mudge is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California, (the WCIRB), which he joined as CEO in 2011 following a 30 year career in the California insurance industry.
At the WCIRB, Bill has led a historic transformation of the company to become a leader in research and analytics, and, in the development of customer-valued products and services that are integral to a healthy workers’ compensation system.
Prior to joining the WCIRB, Bill held insurance company roles that included founding CEO of CompWest Insurance Company, CEO of Golden Eagle Insurance Company and Chief Underwriting Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Industrial Indemnity.
Brian Gray is the Director, Classification Administration and Education for the WCIRB. Mr. Gray joined the WCIRB in 1987 and has over 30 years direct experience in the application of the California Workers' Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan—1995 (USRP). His previous positions with the WCIRB include Director, Classification Research, Field Representative, Classifier/Test Audit Reviewer, Classification Research Analyst, Manager of the Policy Examination Department, and Quality Assurance Director in the WCIRB’s Classification and Test Audit Department.
John Norwood is one of California’s top legislative advocates and Managing Partner of Norwood Associates. He is considered the leader in the state’s insurance, financial services, and small business sector and represents a bluechip list of business, insurance, and financial clients. His career has spanned more than 35 years in various capacities representing clients before the California Legislature and regulatory agencies. During that time, John was one of the chief lobbyists for the California Manufacturers Association; founded and managed the Sacramento law and lobbying office of Heron, Burchette Ruckert & Rothwell, a national political firm. He has been the Principal of Norwood Associates since 1990.
John has earned a reputation as an expert in government relations, with access on both sides of the political aisle. In 1980, the California Journal named him, “one of the rising stars in the lobbying business.” In 2004, The Los Angeles Times stated: “for three decades Norwood has been in the middle of the scrum in most major insurance struggles in California.” California’s leading political magazine, Capitol Weekly, named him the “Most Trustworthy” lobbyist as a result of their 2010 poll of legislators and chiefs of staff. His successes include hard-fought campaigns amending California’s insurance rate regulatory statutes, reforming California’s insurance agent and broker licensing laws, obtaining numerous amendments to California’s privacy law for various clients, rebuffing challenges to title insurance and home warranty statutes, defending against amendments to California’s franchise law as well as laws and regulations governing contractors and swimming pool and spa businesses.
He graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor’s Degree in Government. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and is an active member of the California State Bar.
Steve provides counsel on all corporate legal matters affecting the non-profit trade association and its subsidiaries, represents the interests of independent insurance agents and brokers at regulatory hearings conducted by the California Department of Insurance and other state agencies, coordinates the Association’s involvement in litigation affecting insurance producers, and provides legal research and support to the Association’s legislative advocates. Young has served on the Insurance Law Committee of the State Bar of California, was a charter member of the Agent and Broker Advisory Committee to the California Insurance Commissioner, and is a frequent speaker and author on legal and regulatory developments affecting the business of insurance. He was the 2007 recipient of the Ramsden/Sullivan Memorial Award, the Association’s most prestigious honor for service to the American Agency System, insurance industry and community. Prior to joining IIABCal, he was Western Region counsel for the American Insurance Association, and also worked at Cassel & Abraham, a San Francisco labor law firm representing employers. He holds a Juris Doctor Degree, as well as a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism, from The University of Kansas, and is a former member of the Chancellor’s Club Advisory Board of the KU Endowment Association.
Clark Payan is Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of California (IIABCal). A graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Clark has 40 years of experience in the insurance industry. He began his insurance career in 1979 with his family’s independent insurance agency located in Palos Heights, Illinois. After several years as an Account Executive with Payan-Stitt Corporation, Clark moved to Denver, Colorado and subsequently held positions in the Underwriting and Marketing Departments of Aetna Life & Casualty PFSD.
In 1986, Clark relocated to San Francisco, California and served as Agency Services Director for the state association. He returned to the family agency in 1988 and in 1991 Payan-Stitt Corporation consolidated with Wm. H. Thompson & Company to form Payan, Alberts & Thompson, Ltd. Clark served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Payan, Alberts & Thompson, Ltd. until his return to the Bay Area and the state association (then named IBA West) in January, 1999. Clark initially took over duties as President of IBA West Service Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of IBA West.
Clark in 2004 assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer for IBA West, which later changed its name to IIABCal. Clark also serves as President of Independent Insurance Producers Service Corp, IIABCal’s for-profit subsidiary. He is a charter recipient of the Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI) and the Associate in Management (AIM) professional designations. He also is a recognized Graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organizational Management (IOM).
Chris Closser is a California native with more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry. Chris has been in management positions for more than 25 years, and has extensive California workers’ compensation insurance market knowledge, along with expertise in carrier operations, multi-products, multi-state product management, and sales. She currently works for WCF Insurance as a regional vice president based in the Roseville, California, office. Chris has a CPCU designation and a bachelor’s degree in business management.
Vernon Steiner is President and CEO of the State Compensation Insurance Fund with more than 30 years of insurance industry experience, the majority in workers’ compensation. As the President and CEO, he reports directly to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the day-to-day operations at State Fund. Prior to joining State Fund, Vern served as Senior Vice President, Claims at Zenith Insurance. Vern was a member of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute’s (WCRI) advisory board from 2009 to 2016, and he served as the California Workers’ Compensation Institute's (CWCI) Board of Directors Chairman and as a member of the Fraud Assessment Commission from 2014 to 2016. He is currently on the CWCI board, the executive committee of the board, and has served on the WCIRB Governing Committee since 2014.
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