News & Commentary
Content posted in August 2012
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Isaac Wrapup: Damage Estimates in Billions
News  |  8/31/2012  | 
While not a notable wind event, Hurricane Isaac left a trail of extreme floods in southern Louisiana.
Patient Hackers Pose Growing Threat to Insurance Companies Large and Small
News  |  8/30/2012  | 
Malicious actors, ranging from hostile nation-states to politically motivated 'hacktivists' and organized crime rings, increasingly are leveraging advanced persistent threats to patiently target insurers, seeking intellectual property and customer information -- or just for practice.
Allianz Life Brings in Accenture Exec as VP of Infrastructure
News  |  8/30/2012  | 
Tom Mundt will also serve as the key IT contact with parent company Allianz SE.
Wellpoint Invests in Consumer Health Kiosks
Commentary  |  8/30/2012  | 
The insurer is investing in kiosk maker SoloHealth so it can "get closer to the consumer and engage them where they are," according to the manufacturer's president.
Abe Yaknour Named Crum & Forster CTO
News  |  8/30/2012  | 
Yaknour will work with C&F CIO Nicole Bennett to frame the company's infrastructure, simplify technology platforms across the C&F enterprise, and develop technology strategy.
Reporter's Notebook: New Orleans Praised for Isaac Preparedness
News  |  8/30/2012  | 
What were people at insurance companies saying as Isaac bore down on the Gulf Coast?
Validus to Buy Flagstone Re for $600 Million
News  |  8/30/2012  | 
Reinsurer Validus Holdings Ltd said it will buy Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings for about $600 million in cash and stock to boost its property reinsurance business.

Isaac Moves North after Drenching US Gulf, New Orleans
News  |  8/30/2012  | 
Tropical storm Isaac is expected to weaken further as it heads north on Thursday, after causing significant damage to the U.S. Gulf Coast but nothing on the scale of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005.

Hurricane Isaac: CNA Mobilizes to Assist Claimants, Ensure Business Continuity
News  |  8/29/2012  | 
The Chicago-based commercial insurer has deployed claims professionals in and near the affected areas and has equipped employees based in the New Orleans area to work remotely.
EQECAT: Isaac Losses So Far $1.5 Billion Onshore, $1 Billion Off
News  |  8/29/2012  | 
Hurricane Isaac has caused up to $1 billion in economic losses for offshore energy properties and up to $1.5 billion in insured losses onshore in Louisiana and neighboring states, disaster modeler Eqecat said on Wednesday.

Concerns About Strategy & Growth Drove WellPoint CEO Braly's Resignation
News  |  8/29/2012  | 
Concerns about strategy and growth drove WellPoint CEO Braly's resignation; health insurer's board states, "Now is the right time for a leadership change" in explanation of the decision.
La. Parish President: Isaac "Is Not a Category 1 Storm"
Commentary  |  8/29/2012  | 
Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser was audibly distraught in discussing the extent of the storm in his jurisdiction southeast of New Orleans.
550 Pound Bomb Near Munich Re Shows Risk Mitigation FAIL
Commentary  |  8/29/2012  | 
Bomb control experts pad unexploded WWII bomb with hay bales to absorb shock of explosion, failing to foresee consequences upon controlled detonation.
Isaac Strengthens into a Hurricane: NHC
News  |  8/28/2012  | 
Storm Isaac strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane on Tuesday as it approached the northern Gulf coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest bulletin.

Towers Watson and Hughes Telematics form Strategic Alliance
News  |  8/28/2012  | 
Hughes Telematics' In-Drive solution will power Towers Watson's DriveAbility service offering.
We’re All Risk Managers Now: Anticipating Hurricane Isaac
Commentary  |  8/28/2012  | 
Mobile apps, social media and the availability of real-time content give everyone -- from insurance company actuaries to private citizens -- sophisticated capabilities to prepare for natural catastrophes, such as the looming Hurricane Isaac.
More than 200,000 Homes At Risk of Isaac Storm Surge, CoreLogic Says
News  |  8/28/2012  | 
Tom Jeffrey, senior hazard scientist at CoreLogic, tells I&T that while the New Orleans area shouldn't expect a Katrina-level wind event, the potential for water damage is high.
Tropical Storm Isaac Just Below Hurricane Strength: NHC
News  |  8/28/2012  | 
Tropical Storm Isaac, located about 80 miles (125 km) southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, was just below hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (110 kmph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
AIR Worldwide Says 2012 US Crop Insurance Losses up to $20 Billion
News  |  8/28/2012  | 
The drought that ravaged U.S. farmland this summer will likely cause total crop insurance losses of more than $13 billion, and perhaps up to $20 billion, disaster modeler AIR Worldwide said on Tuesday.

Social Media for the Insurance Industry: Deriving Value from "Worksocial"
Commentary  |  8/27/2012  | 
Worksocial is what you get when you have business processes, events, and a social platform tied deeply together.
Manulife, John Hancock Shuffle Compliance Execs
News  |  8/27/2012  | 
Kevin Cloherty has been named SVP and global compliance chief for Manulife.
Tropical Storm Isaac Moves Toward U.S. Gulf Coast
News  |  8/27/2012  | 
Tropical Storm Isaac churned across the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, disrupting U.S. offshore energy production and threatening to hit Louisiana on the anniversary of devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Andrew Made the Insurance Industry Stronger: Marsh's Pieroni
News  |  8/24/2012  | 
The scope, destruction and costs of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 forced the insurance industry to revamp everything from risk forecasting to claims management. Marsh's Chief Operating Officer William Pieroni says technology has been key to helping insurers up their game when it comes to catastrophe response.
8 Insurance Industry Impacts of Hurricane Andrew
Slideshows  |  8/24/2012  | 
Technology, regulation, construction and the P&C insurance industry itself all have changed since – and in some instances, because of – Hurricane Andrew, the category 5 storm that made landfall in south Florida on August 24, 1992. Here are eight ways that the catastrophe changed the way insurance companies do business.
While Floridians Reminisce on Andrew, Battle Over Insurance Rages
Commentary  |  8/24/2012  | 
Florida residents are looking back on their Hurricane Andrew experiences 20 years after the storm made landfall. Meanwhile, the state's "insurer of last resort" established 10 years after the storm faces financial issues.
Tropical Storm Isaac Takes Aim at Haiti, Dominican Republic
News  |  8/24/2012  | 
Tropical Storm Isaac headed toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Friday, continuing its march across the Caribbean after unleashing heavy rain on parts of Puerto Rico.

Cover-All's Roblin: After Andrew, Policyholders "Between a Rock and a Hard Place"
News  |  8/24/2012  | 
The former CIO of USF&G tells Insurance & Technology about how technology has smoothed over some of the issues companies like his had faced after Andrew.
The Key Technologies That Transformed Insurers’ Catastrophe Response Post-Hurricane Andrew
Slideshows  |  8/24/2012  | 
Geocoding, modeling, digitization, modern claims systems and dashboards are among the technologies that are helping insurers do a much better job of catastrophe forecasting, planning and response, 20 years after Hurricane Andrew caused more than $26 billion in damage.
Catastrophe Modelers Credit Hurricane Andrew with Jump-Starting Business
News  |  8/23/2012  | 
AIR Worldwide's insurer clients didn't believe the company when it reported its first loss estimates from Hurricane Andrew. Now, catastrophe risk models are integrated across the enterprise — some might argue, too integrated.
Allstate Names Former Ally, BOA Exec New CMO
News  |  8/23/2012  | 
The insurer spotlighted Sanjay Gupta's analytics and e-commerce experience in making the hire.
Travelers Sues NFL Over Brain Injury Lawsuits
News  |  8/23/2012  | 
Several subsidiaries of Travelers Companies Inc sued the National Football League and a host of other insurers, seeking to avoid paying to defend the league against a wave of brain injury-related claims by thousands of former players and their families.
Celent’s Light: Hurricane Andrew the P&C Industry’s First Black Swan
News  |  8/22/2012  | 
The storm had a transformational effect on the industry and the public, but some of the lessons of Andrew may remain unlearned.
Guardian Releases Mobile App for Dental and Vision Plan Members to Locate Providers
News  |  8/22/2012  | 
Users can search by name and location for contact information, interactive maps to locate dentists from one of the nation’s largest dental networks and vision providers from both VSP and Davis Vision.
Though Science Improves, Hurricanes Remain Maddeningly Unpredictable
News  |  8/22/2012  | 
There were more named storms than the average over the past two years. However, whether these storms impact heavily populated coastal areas is dependent on short-term weather patterns, Swiss Re says.
Learning the Lessons of Hurricane Andrew
Commentary  |  8/21/2012  | 
Hurricane Andrew caused more than $26 billion in reported damage, but also inspired the insurance industry to transform the ways it manages claims and provides customer service. Insurance & Technology examines the changes, challenges and lessons learned from Hurricane Andrew in a series of special reports.
5 Reasons Why Hurricane Andrew Still Matters
Slideshows  |  8/21/2012  | 
In the 20 years since Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida on August 24, 1992, there have been more damaging hurricanes and natural catastrophes, but no other event has had as much impact on the insurance industry. To kick off I&T’s special coverage of Hurricane Andrew’s 20th anniversary, here’s a look at the catastrophe and how it has changed the industry.
Ginni Rometty, Golf and Technology Strategy
Commentary  |  8/21/2012  | 
IBM's recently named CEO has been in the headlines, not because of a big deal or technology announcement, but because of golf club Augusta National's now-rescinded no-women-members policy. What's wrong with this picture?
State Compensation Insurance Fund Names New CIO
News  |  8/21/2012  | 
Marjorie Hutchings takes over infrastructure engineering and internet operations for the workers' compensation provider.
National Life Selects iPipeline for Distribution
News  |  8/21/2012  | 
The company will use Content Partner and iGO e-App
How to Craft Better Insurance Industry Communications: Hire Writers, Not Lawyers
Commentary  |  8/21/2012  | 
Focus group confusion leads to three communication insights related to regulatory compliance issues raised by the Affordable Care Act.
HP Offers That Cloud Thing, The Onion Reports
Commentary  |  8/21/2012  | 
Additional features offered to consumers include crowdsourcing, app, all the Gs, and available capacity up to one thousand.
Aviva India Licenses CSC
News  |  8/20/2012  | 
The life insurance carrier will use the Integral policy administration suite.
Matrix Financial Solutions Enters Insurance Market
News  |  8/20/2012  | 
The Broadridge Financial Solutions division will expand its financial services and processing offerings to support the insurance industry.
Report: Prudential Emerges as Leader in Hartford Life Bidding
News  |  8/20/2012  | 
Sources told Bloomberg News that Pru could pay as much as $1 billion for The Hartford's life insurance unit.
Aetna to Buy Coventry for More Than $5 Billion, Expanding Medicare/Medicaid Business
News  |  8/20/2012  | 
Health insurer Aetna Inc said on Monday that it would buy rival Coventry Health Care Inc for $5.6 billion to increase its share of the fast-growing, U.S. government-backed Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Operationalizing a Fraud Detection Solution: Buy or Build?
Commentary  |  8/20/2012  | 
Homegrown solutions allow total control over development, but insurers often discover that the total cost of ownership for a fraud detection solution is lower with a vended solution.
Is Information Security an Impossible Dream?
Commentary  |  8/17/2012  | 
When an executive responsible for data security told me he wouldn't bank on his mobile phone, I didn't waver from my habits one bit. Am I part of a problem?
Lessons for Insurers from Progressive's Social Media Disaster
Commentary  |  8/17/2012  | 
Progressive's handling of a claim involving the death of a policyholder destroys any vestiges of doubt about the power of social media to harm an insurer's brand.
6 Tips for Avoiding a Social Media Debacle
Slideshows  |  8/17/2012  | 
Progressive's "robotweet" debacle put a spotlight on social media's importance within the insurance industry and the risk companies take if they do not implement a sound social media strategy.
What Revived Telematics in the UK?
Commentary  |  8/17/2012  | 
Aviva recently announced a new initiative that uses consumers' own mobile phones to gather driving data four years after it ditched usage-based insurance due to lack of interest. PwC UK's Jonathan Burdett tells I&T why the time was right to re-enter the business.
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