Claims People: Chubb, Topa, Greenberg Traurig

March 6, 2020
Chubb Appoints Head of Claims, Complex Claims

Chubb has expanded its North America claims leadership team with two new appointments: Bill Hazelton was named head of Chubb North America Claims, and Megan Watt has been appointed to a newly created position, head of North America complex claims.

Hazelton will oversee the strategy for Chubb’s commercial and personal lines claims operations.

Watt will lead a team designed to complement Chubb’s underwriters and business partners, Chubb said. She has experience in casualty, mass tort and other complex claims, the company said.

Hazelton will report to Global Claims Officer Mike Smith. He will be based in Jersey City, N.J.

Hazelton joined Chubb in 2005. Previously, he served as practice leader for Chubb’s Environmental, Excess Casualty and Construction Industry team. He received a Master of Arts degree in History from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and History from James Madison University.

Watt will report to Hazelton and remain based in Basking Ridge, N.J. She has close to three decades of insurance and leadership experience. Watt received her juris doctor from New York Law School and graduated from Barnard College-Columbia University. She is a member of the New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C. and Illinois Bar Associations.

Topa Hires Claims Auditor
Kari Stern

Topa Insurance Company has hired Kari Stern as director of claims auditing and compliance.

Stern, based in Calabasis, Calif., is responsible for department-wide legal and regulatory compliance. She is the main liaison between Topa’s claims department and the California Department of Insurance. She manages the internal and external claims and compliance audits, and is responsible for managing the relationships with all third party-administrators.

Stern has 30 years expertise in litigation, risk management, and regulatory compliance for multiple lines including Commercial General Liability, Cyber, and Employment Practices Liability, Topa said.

Most recently, Stern was a senior claim manager at Tokio Marine, where she managed 20 claims personnel, completed risk assessment and reporting to re-insurance clients, and was an integral part of their Reinsurance Program Development Team. She had also worked for Western General Insurance Co. and Unitrin’s Speciality Lines Division.

Topa, which is headquartered founded in Southern California in 1981, describes itself as a “boutique” insurance carrier. John E. Anderson purchased the carrier in 1984 from Baldwin United Corp. and folded it into his Topa Equities Ltd., which is a privately-held conglomerate with business interests in automobile dealerships, beer and beverage distribution, real estate, property management, consumer finance and insurance with operations in California, Nevada, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Greenberg Traurig Adds 3 Insurance Attorneys

The Greenberg Traurig law firm has expanded its Insurance and Litigation practices with the appointment of shareholder Jon T. Neuman and of cousel Aaron J. Lockwood in Phoenix and Lisa M. Petrovsky in Los Angeles.

Neumann has represented insurers and other clients in complex disputes in federal and state courts, as well as in varied domestic and international arbitral forums, the law firm said.Neumann represents health insurers in health-benefits litigation and other high-stakes disputes with health care providers. He guides insurers through the legal aspects of complex coverage disputes, including class actions involving institutional bad faith claims, national insurance claim-handling programs, and computerized evaluation tools. He provides coordinating counsel services for the national defense of institutional claim-handling programs and offers counseling services to help insurers avoid litigation and minimize bad-faith exposure. Neumann also advises on the efficient and fair management of claim-handling operations.

Lockwood represents insurers in disputes arising from insurance coverage, claim handling, and alleged insurer bad faith, as well as other complex business disputes, the Greenberg firm said. He regularly represents insurance companies against contractual, extra-contractual, and punitive damages claims involving a range of insurance products. Lockwood represents health insurers in virtually all aspects of benefits litigation, as well as in high-stakes disputes with providers. He also advises corporate clients in a variety of complex litigation matters in state and federal courts and in arbitral forums around the country.

Petrovsky focuses her practice on the representation of insurance companies in complex arbitrations and litigation before federal and state courts. She advises on a wide range of coverage disputes, including products liability and toxic tort matters, issues involving property damage, and health insurance payor/provider matters. Petrovsky has experience in general commercial litigation and defends corporate clients in environmental and products liability cases.

The global law firm said it is expanding its litigation practice in response to client demand.The firm said it has added more than 75 attorneys to its Los Angeles and Phoenix offices collectively, including more than 25 in Litigation, more than 15 in Corporate, and 15 in Real Estate.

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