Training Offerings

Investigation

“The DNA of Fire Investigation” (1 hour or 3 hours CE Credits)

This presentation focuses on the building blocks of how a successful fire investigation is conducted. Actual cases are utilized to help claims and legal professionals understand the basic steps of a fire investigation and allow them to evaluate retained (and adverse) experts findings in a systematic manner.

CE Credits available for California and Texas.

Vehicle Fire Investigations – “Don’t Get Burned” (1 Hour CE Credit)

This program utilizes visually compelling fire cases to illustrate effective vehicle forensic fire investigation involving:  Private Passenger Vehicles, Recreational Vehicles, Trucks, and Heavy Equipment. This workshop is designed to provide thoughtful understanding among claims professionals to provide some tools and perspective to cost effectively utilize experts in the context of the overall claim resolution goals.

“Vessel Fire Investigations – Sink or Swim!”

Determination of origin and cause for a fire confined to a large ship or a small craft demands attention to investigative issues unique to marine fires. Materials and construction are considered in conjunction with fire spread issues. Utilizing actual case studies of vessel investigations, this program provides context understanding the dynamic circumstances, fuels and materials that complicate such investigations.

This program was designed by FCA President Don Perkins who is fire and marine investigator. He was in the United States Navy as Submariner and Navy Diver. He also served 10 years as a reservist with the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, San Francisco. to apply the general principles of fire investigation to the unique circumstances in maritime vessel and cargo fires.

“Vessel Fire Investigations – Navigating Troubled Waters” (2 Hours CE Credits)

This program utilizes compelling fire cases involving a variety of vessels to illustrate effective forensic fire investigations. The discussion evolves to the discussion of the evaluation of the expert and their findings. The fire loss case studies range from a multimillion dollar yacht to commercial container transport vessels. The ensuing investigations provide a teaching opportunity to evaluate and contrast the investigation methodology utilized by both public and private sectors in order to provide perspective as to the challenges involved in these cases.

 

“Earth, Wind and Fire! – An Overview of Wildland Fire Issues” (2-Hours CE Credits)

This program is designed to provide educational insight into the challenges of investigating fires that are not contained within a compartment.  The fuels that burn and fire spread issues are as critical components as the fire patterns that remain.  Weather effects are also discussed at length with regard to moisture content of fuels and effects of wind.  It will help the attendee ‘see the forest for the trees’.

“Urban Wildland Interface – Construction Issues”

This program is based upon FCA’s work with the Office of the California State Fire Marshal’s data developed after the 2003 Southern California Wildfires.  It highlights construction techniques that were proven effective in limiting fire damage and the costs/benefits associated with such techniques.  This program is approved for CE Credits for Architects and is of potential interest to insurance claims and underwriting professionals.

"Roofing Fires"

This program was developed specifically to address the most common causes of roofing fires and to highlight the risk management practices critical to avoiding fire.  Case studies of actual fire investigations address the challenges to investigation of such events and the process expected of an investigator conducting such an examination.

"Large Loss Fires – A Team Approach"

Fire Cause Analysis has investigated many fires in terms of total dollar loss.  Significant loss exposure due to: death/injury, direct property damage or loss of use, requires that coordination among many professionals [with varying interests] be maintained.  Case studies of these large loss fires illustrate the tactical benefits and cost savings that can be realized.   The effective utilization of “Examination Protocols” is also discussed.

Ethics

“Ethics and the Claims Adjuster” (1-Hour CE Credit)

This workshop is designed to provide thoughtful dialogue among claims professionals to provide some tools and perspective.  It is not designed to ‘teach or preach’.  It provides some ‘real world’ claims examples and allows for the participants to discuss and evaluate the competing interests and pressures that exist in our business.

“Ethics - Insurance and Beyond…” (1-Hour CE Credit)

This workshop is constructed upon the fundamental concept that insurance is a business of trust.  The discussion frames this concept within the context of societal issues to which all can relate.  Relevant topical examples will be utilized to illustrate the challenges faced by insurance professionals.  This session is not designed to teach or preach!  It is designed to highlight the importance of ethics to insurance professionals.  The goal of the workshop is to raise awareness to ethical issues in order to help “build an ethical, effective, sustainable business culture that safeguards your reputation.”  Josephson Institute – 2011

“Another Look at Ethics” (2-Hours CE Credits)

The insurance claims professional’s responsibilities extend beyond the technical ability to resolve issues of: coverage, liability and damages. The process of investigation, evaluation and resolution is one that relies on good judgment to discharge their contractual responsibilities to their customers. This workshop is designed to provide thoughtful dialogue among claims professionals to provide some tools and perspective. It is not designed to ‘teach or preach’. It provides some ‘real world’ claims examples and allows for the participants to discuss and evaluate the competing interests and pressures that exist in our business.

Claims

“Managing the Fire Case”

Fire related litigation can be potentially complex and thus confusing for a jury or arbitrator.  This program will help the legal and claims professional identify the ‘themes’ of their case at an early stage.  This effort will focus the investigation in a cost effective direction and lay the foundation for admissibility of graphics and scientific evidence if needed.  Significant discussion will include anticipating the adverse party’s case and ‘removing their bullets’. This class is very effective when taught in tandem with trial counsel experienced in fire litigation.

Daubert and Beyond - Managing the Claim’s Expert (CE credits)

The skills of the forensic fire investigator must be utilized in a manner that allows for the expert opinions to be admissible in court.  This program addresses the potential challenges to expert testimony admissibility and the proactive approach to handling the potential case killer!  Qualifying the expert prior to retention and the standards that apply are addressed in a discussion of NFPA 1033.  The methodology utilized by the investigator is explored as a tool to defeat such challenges.  The lessons learned in the film “My Cousin Vinny” entertain and illustrate effective voir doir.

“Fire Claims Subrogation – A Practical Guide” (2-Hours CE Credits)

The insurance claims professional’s responsibilities generally involve the technical ability to resolve issues of: coverage, liability and damages.  Once they discharge their contractual responsibilities to their customers, insurers appropriately seek recovery against responsible parties.

This workshop is designed to provide practical tools to enhance recovery after the peril of fire.  It provides insight as to the effectiveness in ‘front loading’ an investigation and cost control measures for experts. In addition, the class provides insight into the investigation and liability evaluation issues that arise in the wake of the destruction of fire.

‘Fire Proofing’ Your Claim – Don’t Get Burned! (1-Hour CE Credit)

The peril of fire and the severity that is associated with fire is a huge exposure for insurers.  This presentation will integrate actual case studies and the NFPA 921 document to help adjusters understand the technical issues involved as well as the investigative issues necessary to resolve: coverage, liability and damages.  This session will also provide them with the ability to better understand and manage their job responsibilities.  Claims professionals will learn to Fire Proof their Cases to Avoid Getting Burned!

“Fire Claim Investigation: Subro, Arson & Other Exposures” (2-Hours CE Credits)

This program utilizes visually compelling fire cases to illustrate effective forensic fire investigations.

The insurance claims professional’s responsibilities include the demanding challenge of evaluating the technical abilities of experts.  The investigation, evaluation and resolution of coverage, liability and damages require good judgment to discharge their contractual responsibilities to their customers.  They aren’t expected to be experts.  They are expected to use good judgment in working with evaluating experts.

This workshop is designed to provide thoughtful understanding among claims professionals to provide valuable tools and perspective to cost effectively utilize experts in the context of the overall claim resolution goals.

“Spoliation and the Claims Adjuster” (1-Hour CA. CE Credit)

Evidence taken in the course of a forensic fire investigation is a critical element to proving the investigator’s findings.  However, that very same evidence [if improperly taken, secured or handled] can destroy an otherwise sound case.  This workshop explores the issues involved in fire related litigation when evidence is in the mix.   It highlights considerations in taking/securing/testing evidence and discusses tactical issues when evidence is taken by an adverse party.

“Failure Analysis Integrated with Forensic Investigation – A Practical Workshop” (2-Hours CE Credits)

This program utilizes a series of case studies related to claims issues to illustrate the nexus between engineering failure analysis and effective forensic investigations.

The insurance claims professional’s responsibilities extend beyond the technical ability to resolve issues of: coverage, liability and damages. The process of investigation, evaluation and resolution is one that relies on good judgment to discharge their contractual responsibilities to their customers. The insurance claims professional’s responsibilities also include the demanding challenge of evaluating the technical abilities of experts. They aren’t expected to be experts. They are expected to use good judgment in evaluating experts.

This workshop is designed to provide thoughtful understanding among claims professionals to provide some tools and perspective to effectively utilize experts in the evaluation of claims.  Experiments of the forensic testing will be conducted and shown live and/or via video.  Temperature data logging, FLIR thermal imaging, x-ray and microscopy will be utilized in order to reinforce the teaching messages.

“Navigating the SIU Minefields: Strategies for Success”

Share “battle tested” insights into such potentially explosive SIU issues as the “Innocent Co-Insured”, interactions with law enforcement, and responding to “bad faith set up” letters. Defuse such seemingly benign, but dangerous, SIU challenge areas as Reservation of Rights, the Mortgagee Clause, and agency relations.  More effectively chronicle and communicate your “good faith” goal of balancing your vigorous pursuit of the truth with fair treatment of the insureds.  Take away numerous practical tips to help you effectively manage the many difficult issues that SIU claims frequently present.

Arson

“Anatomy of an Arson – Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll” (1 hour CE credits)

This dynamic workshop/presentation utilizes an actual claim experience that took the insurance adjusting and investigation team a look into dark corners of their insured’s world. The current mortgage and economic crisis sets the stage for a fire claim for policyholders that face: foreclosure, bankruptcy, and generally desperate times!

"Litigating the Arson Case"

This class is taught in tandem with trial counsel experienced in arson litigation.

Fire Cause Analysis has co-authored a chapter of a 2008 Continuing Education of the Bar [CEB] publication on scientific and technical evidence in California which serves as the foundation for the class.  This program will help the legal and claims professional identify the ‘themes’ of their case at an early stage.  This effort will focus the investigation in a cost effective direction and lay the foundation for admissibility of graphics and scientific evidence as needed.  Significant discussion will include anticipating the adverse party’s case and ‘removing their bullets’.  

“True Lies – an Arson Case Study”

This presentation actively involves the audience in the process of forensic fire investigations.  The audience will view actual fire scene photos and participate in the data process.  The presenters will provide the context for the data observed that led to the finding of arson.  The investigative methodology utilized will then be challenged and alternative hypotheses will be explored. Video will be used to enhance the experience and a discussion of the civil trial will shine the spot light on the “True Lies of an Arson Case”.

“Seven Deadly Sins of Adjuster Testimony” (2 Hours CA. CE Credits)

This program addresses every insurance professional’s nightmare: testifying in a deposition or at trial.  Using actual testimony and video, the instructors explain the most common mistakes insurance claim professionals make when testifying, share common lawyer “tricks and traps”, and offer “witness tools” to help the claim professional testify effectively.

“From Everest to Arsonist – Suicide in the Courtroom” (1-Hour or 2-Hours CE Credits)

This program utilizes a factually compelling fire case to illustrate effective forensic fire investigations. The discussion evolves to the discussion of the evaluation of the expert and their findings.

The dramatic fire loss to a multimillion dollar residence starts the story.  The ensuing investigations by both public and private sector provide perspective as to the challenges involved in these cases.  The subsequent trial and verdict allows for a unique opportunity to evaluate the investigation methodology utilized.  The bizarre suicide in the courtroom by the arsonist serves as the climax to the case.

This seminar is designed to provide thoughtful understanding among claims professionals to provide some tools and perspective to effectively utilize experts in the evaluation of fire claims.

"Subrogation of the Fire Claim – Tactical Tools for Success"

This program is designed to be presented in tandem by FCA and a subrogation lawyer.  We discuss fire peril recovery claims from our respective points of view and emphasize the value of working together along with the claims professional to maximize potential recovery.  Actual fire cases are utilized to cover a range of topics from: mechanical failure to theories of liability.

If you are interested in any of our classes and presentations, please fill out the form below. If a topic isn’t on the list and you would like to request a presentation on that topic, please call our office at 1-800-726-5939 or fill out the form below, and one of our representatives will get back to you shortly.

 

Note: FCA is in the process of getting all classes approved for CE credits.  If there is a particular class of interest that you would like CE credits for, please let us know as the course application has to be filed no less than 30 days prior to class date.