As the nation nervously looked on, the massive storm surge caused by Hurricane Gustav topped–but did not breach–the weakened New Orleans levee system a couple of weeks ago. That was a huge relief not only to owners of homes and businesses in the area and their insurers, but to one specialty underwriter on the hook for an unusual related risk as well–the professional liability of architects and engineers in charge of fortifying the protective walls.

Mark Henderson, vice president of Markel Shand Inc., watched with concern for the safety of those in New Orleans, but also as someone with skin in the game–as an underwriter insuring architects and engineers who have been rebuilding the levees that ruptured during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, flooding The Big Easy.

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