Claims + Damage Recovery (Apr 13-15)

This program focuses on sharing best practices and building relationships with other leaders in claims and collection management, and gaining insights from guest speakers who have been expert witnesses in claims investigations. Discussions address a wide variety of issues around balancing the need to protect utility assets with the ever-increasing priorities of providing an excellent customer experience. Participants learn from industry professionals who provide services to our members, and discuss issues common to Western utilities such as fire and storm recoveries, inverse condemnation, settlement and negotiations and proper record keeping.

General Details

Program Chair
Marci Pence, Manager, Claims, Puget Sound Energy

Program Location
Puget Sound Energy
355 110th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Who Should Attend
Managers or supervisors responsible for claims and collections functions
Senior claims investigators and adjusters
Legal counsel responsible for claims areas
Insurance specialists
Collections leadership
Service companies supporting the claims and collection areas

Registration Options
Member: $429
Regular: $829

Prices increase $100 after March 31. Registration includes meeting materials and welcome reception, all meals on second day including networking dinner, and breakfast and lunch on final day.

For more information contact Anna Sanger Reed at 503.688.2795.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Welcome Reception at Courtyard Seattle Bellevue/Downtown
Co-sponsored by:
JNR   Aegis

Thursday, April 14, 2016

7:00 AM – 7:30 AM
Registration and Check-In

7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
Breakfast at Puget Sound Energy

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
Welcome to Puget Sound Energy
Speaker: Kimberly Harris, CEO, Puget Sound Energy
As President and CEO of Puget Sound Energy, Kimberly is focused on providing PSE customers with safe, dependable and efficient energy service. With Kimberly’s influence, PSE has become a national leader in energy efficiency and renewable resources. The result is a balance between reliably serving customers today and looking toward the future in energy delivery.

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Opening Roundtable
Facilitator: Marci Pence, Manager, Claims, Puget Sound Energy
Get to know your peers as you share current strengths and challenges experienced in claims and damage recovery organizations.

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Networking Break

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Trends in Bodily Injury Claims
Speakers: John Buonagurio, Manager of Claims Services, Salt River Project
Fritz Beeson, Senior Director Law Services, Salt River Project
John and Fritz will present a case study of a typical liability claim from start to finish. The example will include investigating the occurrence, injury assessment, damage mitigation, demand package review and final settlement. This interactive session will also include discussion time to identify best practices from other utilities.

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Networking Lunch

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Investigations – They can Make or Break Your Case
Speakers: Jim DeFrates, Claims Manager, NV Energy
Rob Ramos, Director, Risk & Claims Management, Southern California Edison
How solid is your investigation?  Learn from utility members about their current techniques, strategies, and lessons learned which include taking complex measurements and obtaining key items of evidence.

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Networking Break

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Damage Prevention for Third Party Contractors
Speaker: Scott Sammons, Safety Communications Program Manager, (Damage Prevention), Puget Sound Energy
Most utilities work with contractors to maximize efficiency of operations and minimize costs, but how can you prevent damage and ensure that contractors are working safely, legally, and in the company’s best interests? Hear lessons learned in contractor collaborations from Puget Sound Energy.
• Training and information provided to contractors
• Damage data and what it tells us
• What does the future hold for dig laws?

5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Networking Dinner
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar
430 106th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Friday, April 15, 2016

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Managing Claims with Contractor Liability
Facilitators: Rob Ramos, Director, Risk & Claims Management, Southern California Edison
Paul Pimentel, Investigations Manager, Southern California Edison
Improve the customer claims experience in the handling of contractor/service provider claims.  Do the contractors handle your claims as you would expect, or are there more efficient, effective and professional ways to handle them?  Be prepared to participate in the roundtable session as utility claims leaders share best practices and ideas on how to overcome common obstacles in the handling of these claims.

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Tips from the Trenches: Maximizing Pre-Litigation Settlement Value through Direct Negotiation with Insurers
Speaker: David Ryder, Attorney at Law
Interactions with insurance companies can be challenging. Learn some of the established best practices and strategies for maximizing pre-litigation settlement from an expert in the field, including establishing the relationship, developing a theme to the claim, documenting the claim, less talking and more listening and bringing down the hammer…softly.

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Process Improvement + Efficiency
Facilitators: Samantha Lewis, Supervisor of Credit Operations, Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Marci Pence, Manager, Claims, Puget Sound Energy
Hear about ongoing process improvement efforts at Puget Sound Energy and Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Efforts are focused on automation, efficiency, and productivity including use of technology to drive paperless process and creating an interface between work management tools and billing systems. This session will also include a roundtable to leverage ideas presented and time for sharing process improvements at other utilities.

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
Program Wrap Up
Facilitator: Marci Pence, Manager, Claims, Puget Sound Energy
Closing roundtable for any pressing issues not previously discussed. We will collect feedback and gather ideas for the next Claims + Damage Recovery program.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Adjourn + Lunch

Hotel + Travel

Courtyard Seattle Bellevue/Downtown
11010 NE 8th Street
Bellevue, WA 98004
Phone: 425.454.5888

Reservation Instructions
Please contact the hotel directly at 1.800.321.2211.

Identify yourself as being with WEI Claims + Damage Recovery to receive a special rate of $149 single/double plus state and local taxes. This rate is guaranteed to March 31, 2016 or until the WEI room block is full.

Rate does not include state and local taxes (currently 14.4%). Overnight parking available for $18 per night per vehicle.

Meet The Speakers

Kimberly Harris

Puget Sound Energy


John Buonagurio

Salt River Project

Manager of Claims Services

Fritz Beeson

Salt River Project

Senior Director Law Services

Jim Defrates

NV Energy

Claims Manager

Rob Ramos

Southern California Edison

Director, Risk & Claims Management

David Ryder

Puget Sound Energy

Attorney at Law

Scott Sammons

Puget Sound Energy

Safety Communications Program Manager