Superstorm Sandy has forced design professionals and people responsible for buildings and infrastructure to focus as never before on risk avoidance, rapid reconstruction, and resilience. In this urgent process, many have discovered how property insurance at the individual, state, and federal levels critically influences whether, what, and how effectively a community or property owner is protected – and thus how quickly and well they can rebuild, if at all.

Yet it is no surprise that most of us simply don’t understand insurance: how standards are set, decisions are made, entities inter-relate, and the process launches.

To help define the issues and answers, the Design for Risk & Reconstruction Committee [DfRR] – formed by AIANY to pro¬vide a forum for greater risk aware¬ness – has assembled a remarkable group of high-level insurance industry specialists for two eye-opening programs. Part 1 brings five representatives from the insurance and reinsurance industries, FEMA/FIMA, the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability, and the National Institute of Building Sciences. They will give an overview of how property insurance works and is regulated – the way it is supposed to work and what averts anticipated outcomes.

They will also address such questions as what insurance availability and affordability look like in the future for the increasingly disaster-prone Northeast; what the de facto relationship is between regional and municipal planning policy and insurance; and how new policies, guidelines, and also FEMA maps are affecting property insurance and insurability – and thus property value. Most pertinently, they will cover how property insurance issues affect how design professionals and their clients can approach a project.

Please mark your calendar: Part 2 of “Who’s Going to Pay for This?” will occur on Wednesday, January 29th. The first program is the macro view; the second is the micro: What makes a building insurable? How are materials selected and tested? Are design professionals involved? How does “this” really work? What existing and approved methodologies are there to harden structures against disaster? .

Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Mitigation, FEMA
Candace DeSantes, Senior Vice President, Willis Re, “One of the world’s leading reinsurance advisors for 180 years”
Katherine Greig, Senior Policy Advisor, NYC Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability
Jeanne Salvatore, Senior Vice President, Insurance Information Institute

Ryan Colker, Director of the Consultative Council/Presidential Advisor
National Institute of Building Sciences; Staff Director of the Council on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

Organized by: AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR)

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