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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Fragmentation of Insurance: A Conference from The Rutgers Center for Risk and Responsibility

Insurance can make anyone nuts. It’s both invaluable and maddening. Sheafs of paper with words written in phrases that only occasionally read well or make sense to anyone without years of insurance experience. And on top of all that, the coverage – or lack of coverage – is seldom apparent until one deciphers the coverage parts and the exclusions, and more.

Happily, insurance experts are talking more often and in plainer words about why insurance does and does not work. To that end, Professor Jay Feinman and the Rutgers School of Law are hosting an upcoming conference on fragmentation of risks, and the impacts for insurance buyers. The topics and speakers are first rate, as described below from the web site:

The Rutgers Center for Risk and Responsibility presents a conference on:

Fragmented Risk

March 1, 2013

8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Rutgers School of Law – Camden

217 North 5th Street, Camden, NJ

Online registration is here


"Insurance policies embody a tension between bundling related risks and fragmenting risk through exclusions, narrow definitions, and other limitations. Policyholders benefit from bundling risk because coverage is easier to purchase and more predictable, because there are fewer gaps in coverage and those gaps that remain are more easily understood. Fragmenting risk allows insurers to exclude coverage for correlated risks where potential losses are high (such as flood damage under homeowners’ insurance), to reduce premium costs to respond to market conditions, and to limit potential liability for new and unanticipated risks. But fragmenting risk causes many losses to be uninsured, as is evident following natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy.

This conference on Fragmented Risk will engage academics, industry professionals, lawyers, and regulators in discussion of fragmenting risk in property insurance, commercial general liability policies, business interruption insurance and other areas. Fundamental to an understanding of the legal, economic and practical parts of general liability is an understanding of how and why insurers fragment risk. This topic raises important issues for consumers, insurance companies, courts, regulators, and society at large.

Fragmented Risk and Bundled Risk

Jeffrey Stempel, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Boyd School of Law: Rediscovering the Sawyer Solution: Bundling Risk for Profit and Protection

Harold Weston, Georgia State University, Robinson College of Business: A la Carte Coverage—Unbundling Causes of Losses and Coverage Grants to Allow Insured Selection

Commentator: Dr. Steven Weisbart, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Insurance Information Institute

Catastrophes and Fragmented Risk

Christopher French, Villanova University School of Law: The Aftermath of Catastrophes: Valuing Business Interruption Insurance Losses

Donald Hornstein, University of North Carolina School of Law: The Balkanization of Catastrophe Property

Michael Childress, Childress Duffy, Ltd.: Claims Practices After Catastrophes—The Hidden Conflict

Commentator: Peter Kochenburger, University of Connecticut School of Law

Creating, Interpreting, and Regulating Fragmented Risk Policies

Michelle Boardman, George Mason University School of Law: Fragmented Insurance Policies – A Reasonable Expectation of the Shards?

James Davey, Cardiff University School of Law: Fracturing and Bundling Risks: The Coverage Expectations of the ‘Real’ Reasonable Policyholder

Daniel Schwarcz, University of Minnesota School of Law: Risk Segmentation and Transparency

Commentator: Thomas Considine, Chief Operating Officer, MagnaCare; Former Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Professional Education

CLE Credit: 5.0 credit hours NJ/NY, 4.0 credit hours PA

Registration Fee: $100 if seeking CLE, $50 if not seeking CLE

Register at"

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