Study Analyzes Potential Impact of Toxic Mold

January 9, 2002

As insurance companies encounter a growing number of toxic mold and mildew-related claims, the industry needs to be acutely aware of health risks associated with the problem, as well as coverage considerations, public education efforts and cost containment issues, according to a new study released by Guy Carpenter &. Co. Inc.

According to Business Wire, the report, Toxic Mold: A Growing Risk? is based on a recent seminar sponsored by Guy Carpenter to provide insurance company executives with a better understanding of the potential impact of toxic mold and mildew on the insurance and reinsurance industries.

According to presenters at the seminar, there have been nearly 9,000 toxic mold and mildew-related claims filed in the U.S. and Canada in the past 10 years. The claims are growing in size, are geographically widespread and impact both the home and office, including a $32 million award in Texas, an $18.5 million settlement to a California homeowner and an action initiated by a New York employee seeking $65 million for workplace mold exposure.

The Guy Carpenter seminar brought together the insights and analysis of several experts in the area of toxic mold and mildew, including:

— J. Brian Tuttle, co-owner, Steamatic of East Texas Inc., who discusses the science behind mold and the challenges it presents to insurers, including prevention and removal.

–Michael S. Wilson, Partner, Davis & Wilkerson, P.C., who provides insight into the legal issues facing the insurance industry in the areas of coverage, loss mitigation and claims handling.

–Jerry F. Johns, president, Southwestern Insurance Information Service, who discusses the media’s role in informing the public about exposure to mold and mildew and the insurance industry’s response.

–Alexis Dick, deputy commissioner, Inspections Division, Texas Department of Insurance, who examines the role of building codes as a means of reducing overall exposure.

–Harry C. Zimmer III, senior vice president and senior property officer, Gerling Global Reinsurance Corporation of America, who addresses toxic mold and mildew exposure from a reinsurance industry perspective, reviewing underwriting, claims and coverage issues as well as its implications for reinsurers.

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