Download as iCal file

Export to Calendar

Lunch and Learn: Vine to Wine, and the Fire In Between

Wednesday 22 April 2020, 12:00pm - 02:00pm


Remote option only.


Among business sectors greatly affected by recent wildfires has been California's wine industry, which is the fourth largest wine maker in the world. In 2017, California's wine sales in the US market alone were US$35.2 billion, with 278 million cases shipped in the US and worldwide.

There is also the risk of "smoke taint" on the wine that is produced, potential damage dependent largely on when the grapes were exposed to smoke. The impact of insured winery losses extends beyond just the domestic market and the London Market is seeing significant claims; specialty line insurers cover wineries' buildings and properties and Lloyd's syndicates provide cover for wine in production and storage.

Naturally caused forest fires are usually started by dry lightning where little to no rain accompanies a stormy weather disturbance. However, human fire activity is the primary cause of wildfires and are reportedly almost ten times more likely to start than natural fires, although most are accidental. The three primary classes of wildland fires are surface, crown, and ground fires. Each classification depends on the quantity and types of fuels involved and their moisture content and will determine how fast the fire will spread.

Insurance coverage is paramount and this presentation will investigate how California wildfires have impacted wineries at varying levels as well as damage to the wines themselves, losses to winery buildings (including storage facilities), water systems, homes, vineyards, landscaping, tasting rooms and wine tourism.

Our speakers will discuss how Californian insurers continue to update their risk models and how non-admitted insurers – such as Lloyd’s syndicates – could see a bigger share of this market. Frequency of wildfires in California, as well as the wide range of damages that may ensue, will see wineries needing to ensure that they have adequate insurance coverage in place. Climate change (seen as potential trigger of these catastrophes) and issues of corporate responsibility will also be included in the discussion.


Jonathan Thames  Pamela Schultz  Erik Kowalewsky 

Jonathan W. Thames
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Pamela Schultz
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Erik Kowalewsky
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Who Should Attend: 

Underwriters, Underwriting Managers, Claims Adjusters and Managers, and all insurance professionals

Special Assistance:
In Compliance with the American's with Disabilities Act, AIMU will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate persons with disabilities at its meetings. Please call John Miklus at (212) 233-0550 

Refunds/Cancellations/Substitutions: Refund requests will be honored if received at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled start date. All refunds will be subject to a processing fee of 4%. Cancellations received after the refund deadline and "no shows" are subject to the full registration fees. Substitutions may be made by notifying AIMU via email or in person on the day of the event.

Location Remote option only

Contact Elvira Rodin at 212-233-0550,