The primary mission of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center is to support the Risk Management and Insurance major at Appalachian State University. Two additional goals are to assist the industry in the design and delivery of continuing education programs and also to help educate the public as to the role of insurance in modern life.
In order to meet these external goals, the Brantley Center held its first Insurance Symposium in on July 21-22, 2008. The topic was Coastal Insurance Issues given the wide interest in the topic. The symposium is designed for insurance professionals, regulators, legislators as well as faculty and students. "The state's coastal areas have been fortunate to avoid the destruction of hurricanes like those that have hit Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana during past years", said David Marlett, Chair of the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance at Appalachian State University. "But the coastal exposure is growing so much year to year, it's just a matter of time. We want to provide a forum where we can discuss and learn from experts in other states.
Distinguished participants included five current and former Insurance Commissioners
- George Dale of Mississippi
- Eleanor Kitzman of South Carolina
- Jim Long of North Carolina
- Kevin McCarter of Florida
- Scott Richardson of South Carolina
Wayne Goodwin, the future N.C. Insurance Commissioner attended the Symposium and shared his thoughts "Coastal insurance is a ticking time bomb that the next Insurance Commissioner is going to have to handle".
Additional distinguished participants included the following:
- Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)
- Smitty Harrison, Executive Director of the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association
- John Miletti, Vice President and Counsel, Government Relations, Travelers
- Steve Weisbart, Chief Economist of the Insurance Information Institute
- Michael Young, Senior Director of Mitigation and Regulatory Affairs of RMS
The forum led to thoughtful discussion among stakeholders and an examination of the coastal insurance market. "A health insurance market is critical to the economic development of our coastal counties," Marlett said. "Without insurance on homes, the property owners can't get home mortgage loans. This hurts the lending sector, construction and real estate developers."