June 17, 2008

Like my colleague Anthony O'Donnell mentioned in Editor's Note for this week's I&T newsletter, "a great wave of water is washing over" parts of the Midwestern United States. Here's the evidence:

And while Anthony -- and no doubt some insurers -- can appreciate the metaphorical significance of the floods there, all insurers should be able to grasp the more tangible lessons that these floods and other recent natural disasters have provided - that things can go wrong, very wrong, and that when they do, it is imperative to have an up-to-date disaster recovery or business continuity plan in place.

Business continuity planning (BCP) has always been something of a priority for insurers, but I've seen a renewed focus of the topic over the past few months. Just last week, I spoke to executives at Hastings Mutual based in Hastings, Mich., a town that lost power for over 17 hours on June 8, following a nasty storm. The regional insurer, however, managed to provide uninterrupted customer service thanks to disaster recovery plan that leveraged a 500 KW power generator.

Last month, I spoke with The Hartford's Keven Busque and Michael O'Connor on their recent BCP efforts, which has included placing a data center in Colorado-far away from the large carrier's local data center in Simsbury, Conn.

My conversation with Busque and O'Connor can be seen and heard here and on the ACORD LOMA conference web site.