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A Global Pandemic and the Insurance Industry's Regulatory Response

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 91 minutes
Recorded Date: January 29, 2021
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  • Initial Pandemic Challenges for Carriers
  • Policy Holder Relief
  • The Economy and State Budgets
  • Work from Home & Returning to Office
  • Regulatory Modernization
  • Innovation & Technology
  • Proxy Discrimination
  • Insurance and COVID-19 Disruptions
  • Exclusions
  • Ongoing challenges facing insurance carriers
  • Potential legacy issues
Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Recorded: January 28th, 2021


The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of life for both businesses and individuals. We will focus our discussion on the ways in which existing insurance policies have worked to ease the strain caused by the pandemic, what insurance departments are doing to respond to emerging concerns, and what both in-house and plaintiff's attorneys see as the biggest challenges in this environment.

This program was recorded on January 29th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Ellie Jurado-Nieves

Vice President & Counsel, Government Affairs
Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America

Ellie Jurado-Nieves is Vice President & Counsel, Government Affairs at the Guardian Life Insurance Company where she has led the company's state government relations activities in various states including New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana and Minnesota.

Ellie also served as the Diversity Strategy Partner for the Law, Compliance and Government Affairs Department. In this role, Ellie partnered with Human Resources to develop departmental programming in support of Guardian's goals to invest in talent, drive a culture of inclusion and involvement, provide an inclusive customer experience and champion inclusion in the community. Ellie is the founder of Guardian's Women's Leadership Network, an employee resource group with over 400 members and 6 chapters across the U.S. and in India.

Prior to joining Guardian, Ellie served as Chief of Staff to the President of MetLife International. In that capacity, she was responsible for coordinating all global business activities, projects and functions on behalf of the President in Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

Ellie attained a B.A. in Communications from Fordham University and a J.D. from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. She received her MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business with specializations in Leadership and Global Business.

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Ray Farmer

South Carolina Department of Insurance

Ray Farmer has served as Director for the South Carolina Department of Insurance since former Governor Nikki Haley appointed him on November 13, 2012. Mr. Farmer brings fifty-three years of experience in the insurance industry to his leadership role.

In 2017, Mr. Farmer received The Order of the Palmetto from Governor Haley, the state's highest civilian honor awarded to citizens of South Carolina for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance. In 2018, Mr. Farmer oversaw the passing of the Data Security Law – a law that is the first in the nation to require insurance companies to have a comprehensive and secure plan to protect consumer data.

Mr. Farmer also has the honor of serving as the Immediate Past President for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

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Francine L. Semaya

Insurance Federation of New York, Inc.

Francine L. Semaya is currently a legal consultant in insurance regulation, reinsurance, insurance insolvency and transactional matters. She was previously the chair of the insurance regulatory and transactional group of two international law firms, where she handled corporate and regulatory filings, and counseled clients with respect to compliance with insurance regulatory requirements, as well as reinsurance and insolvency matters. She concentrates her practice in reinsurance, insolvency and national and global insurance regulatory matters in the areas of property, casualty, life, annuity, surety and financial guaranty. In addition to handling insurance regulatory, insolvency and transactional matters, she performs legal and compliance audits and serves as an expert witness. Ms. Semaya was named a “2009 Woman to Watch” by Business Insurance magazine.

Active in several professional organizations, Ms. Semaya is a past President of the International Association of Insurance Receivers, having previously served as a member of its Board of Directors. She is a longtime member of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), where she has assumed various leadership roles including six years as the section’s Delegate to the House of Delegates and three years on TIPS Council. She served as the founding Chair and then Chaired the TIPS Task Force on Federal Involvement in Insurance Regulation Modernization and Health Care Reform from its inception in 2004 through August 2014; past Chair of the Task Force on Implementation of TIPS Insurance Insolvency Report; a member of the Excess Surplus Lines and Reinsurance Committee and a member and past Chair of TIPS Insurance Regulation Committee. Ms. Semaya is on the Board of Directors of Insurance Federation of New York. She is also a member of the New York City Bar’s Insurance Law Committee; past member of the Practising Law Institute’s Insurance Law Advisory Board and AIDA. As a member of Federation of Regulatory Counsel, she served for several years on its Admissions Committee.

Ms. Semaya is a frequent lecturer and has authored numerous articles in both legal and insurance trade publications, including National Underwriter Property & Casualty, Best’s Review, American Bar Association, Practising Law Institute and others on topics pertaining to insurance regulatory, reinsurance and insolvency law. She is often called upon to organize and chair seminars and programs of significance to the insurance industry. Ms. Semaya is Co-Author of Insurance Law for Common Interest Communities: Condominiums, Cooperatives and Homeowner Associations, published by Sunshine Gardens Legal Publishers, LLC, 2018 and The Law of Flood Insurance – North Carolina Edition, Sunshine Gardens Legal Publishers, LLC, 2018.

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Lorelie S. Masters

Hunton Andrews Kurth, LLP

A nationally recognized insurance coverage litigator, Lorie handles all aspects of complex, commercial litigation and arbitration. Lorie has advised clients on a wide range of liability coverages, including insurance for environmental, employment, directors and officers, fiduciary, property damage, cyber, and other liabilities. She also handles various types of first-party property insurance claims, including claims under boiler and machinery, business-interruption, contingent business-interruption, extra expense and other related coverages.

Lorie has handled and tried cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts across the country and in arbitrations in the United States and abroad. At issue in these cases typically have been millions of dollars of insurance coverage for products and environmental liability, silicone gel breast implant claims, and other types of liability. Most recently, she obtained a settlement worth millions of dollars under D&O and E&O policies bought by a national nonprofit facing RICO and other high-stakes claims. She served as lead trial counsel for policyholder in an action enforcing CGL insurance coverage for the then-largest property damage class action settlement ever. The National Law Journal called that jury’s verdict one of the “most significant jury verdicts” of the year. She has also handled many other matters in litigation, arbitration, and settlement negotiations, recovering, collectively, billions of dollars for her clients.

Lorie is co-author of Insurance Coverage Litigation, an in-depth legal treatise first published by Aspen Law & Business in 1997 and updated annually. She co-authored a second book, entitled Liability Insurance in International Arbitration: The Bermuda Form, which won the 2012 Book Prize from the British Insurance Law Association for “outstanding contributions to the literature on insurance,” and is recognized as the seminal work on the issue of Bermuda Form arbitration. She was invited to serve as an Adviser to the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance, a position she has held since 2010.

A partner in the insurance coverage practice, Lorie’s clients say she “is very good at explaining complicated issues, and then distilling them for commercial use,” according to Chambers USA 2016, which ranks her in the upper echelons of her practice nationwide. She also was named a Top Ten Super Lawyer in DC for 2014 and 2015, among other recognitions.

Lorie writes and speaks extensively on insurance coverage, technology, and litigation. In addition to her legal practice, she is active in diversity and inclusion matters and has represented many individuals and groups pro bono, including policyholders denied health care coverage and victims of human trafficking. In 2007, she obtained one of the first money judgments in the country under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, after a trial in the federal court in the District of Columbia.

Lorie currently serves on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association (ABA) and as Treasurer of the DC Bar Foundation, the largest funder of legal services in the DC area. She is very proud of her service in 2008-2009 as President of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (“WBA”) and her role in helping to organize the WBA’s centennial celebrations in 2016-2017. She helped to found the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel and served as its second President in 2013-2014. She served as national Policyholder Chair of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation, 2000-2003.

Lorie is admitted to practice in the US Supreme Court, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, US District Court for the District of Columbia, US District Court for the District of Maryland, US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, and the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. She ran for attorney general in the District of Columbia’s first-ever election for that position in 2014.

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