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Hard Markets, Soft Markets, and Social Inflation

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 61 minutes
Recorded Date: March 18, 2020
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  • Hard market – certain types of insurance are hard to obtain, insurance costs can increase, impacted by hurricanes, tornadoes, increasing insurance claims
  • Soft market – coverage is easier to purchase and is usually less expensive.
  • Social inflation – occurs when payouts for covered losses climb due to higher jury awards for cases that go to court and other factors. Predicting these trends and including them as part of the loss reserves affects the underwriting, pricing and claims aspects of insurance.
  • The seminar examines the interplay between insurance coverage, policy language and jury verdicts, and how they are driving the cost of claims beyond the policy limits.
  • Several cases with nuclear verdicts to highlight the impact of social inflation on insurance claims.
Runtime: 1 hour, 1 minute
Recorded: March 18, 2020


Insurance is cyclical in nature - there are hard markets and there are soft markets. Each type of market is affected by catastrophic events, underwriting guidelines, and societal trends. What drives these different markets, what is social inflation, and what impact does it have on insurance claims?

Join our experts in this seminar as they examine the interplay between insurance coverage, policy language, and jury verdicts, and how they are driving the cost of claims beyond the policy limits.

This program was recorded on March 18th, 2020.

Provided By

FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation
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Robert F. Tyson, Jr.

Managing Partner
Tyson & Mendes LLP

A native of Staten Island, New York, Bob Tyson is a Founding Partner and strategic managing partner of the firm.

Mr. Tyson is a trial lawyer. He specializes in arguing damages in catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and high exposure jury trials. He is especially known for his groundbreaking work on Howell v. Hamilton Meats, a case he argued and won before the California Supreme Court. Howell has since been hailed as the most significant insurance decision to come down in over 40 years – altering the way California interprets the collateral source rule and impacting the damages a plaintiff may recover. Mr. Tyson successfully argued an injured plaintiff may only recover the much lower amount that is paid for medical expenses, not the full medical bills, as past medical damages. This difference between what is billed versus paid saves insurance companies and defendants over $10 billion dollars every year. The victory earned Mr. Tyson the California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) award from the California Bar Magazine, among other awards.

Prior to founding Tyson & Mendes in 2002, Mr. Tyson practiced law at some of San Diego’s largest defense firms, including Edwards, White & Sooy and Booth, Mitchel & Strange. Throughout a nearly 30-year legal career, he has successfully resolved a variety of cases involving complex business, personal injury, products liability, commercial and general civil litigation, professional malpractice, environmental and employment law – representing individuals, corporations, partnerships, professionals and many other different types of businesses. Active in the community and legal profession, he frequently lectures on a variety of legal issues to business and professional organizations.

He earned his B.S. in finance from Villanova University in 1986 and earned his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in 1989.

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Karen L. Sorrell, CPCU

Editor, FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation
ALM Media, LLC

Karen L. Sorrell, CPCU is an Editor at FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation.

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Christine G. Barlow, CPCU

Managing Editor, FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation
ALM Media, LLC

Christine G. Barlow, CPCU, is Managing Editor of FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation, a division of National Underwriter Company and ALM. Christine has over twenty-five years’ experience in the insurance industry, beginning as a claims adjuster then working as an underwriter and underwriting supervisor handling personal lines.

Before joining FC&S, Christine worked as an Underwriting Supervisor for Maryland Auto Insurance Fund, and as Senior Underwriter/Underwriter for companies Montgomery Mutual, Old American, Charter Group, and Nationwide. The publications Christine has written or edited include Personal Lines Unlocked: The Key to Personal Lines Underwriting, Personal Lines Endorsements Coverage Guide, Commercial Flood Insurance Coverage Guide, Personal Flood Insurance Coverage Guide, Homeowners Personal Lines Coverage Guide 5th Edition, Personal Umbrella Coverage Guide 2nd Edition, and Condominium Coverage Guide 2nd Edition, all published by the National Underwriter Company. Christine regularly writes for Claims Magazine and National Underwriter Magazine.

Christine regularly presents and moderates webinars on a variety of topics and is an experienced presenter.

Christine graduated cum laude from Towson University, Maryland, with a degree in Sociology/Psychology with a concentration in Gerontology.

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Patti Harman

Editor-in-Chief, Claims Magazine
ALM Media, LLC

Patricia L. Harman is the editor-in-chief of Claims magazine, a contributing editor to, and chairs the annual America's Claims Event (ACE), which focuses on providing claims professionals with cutting-edge education and networking opportunities. She covers auto, property & casualty, workers' compensation, fraud, risk and cybersecurity, and is a frequent speaker at insurance industry events.

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