Spring 2017

Current world events appear to be following Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. How? In an age when technology has provided the ability to fade borders and enable globalization, the surge we see today in nationalism in many countries would appear to be globalization’s equal and opposite reaction. But as with all things in motion, which action prevails may be only a factor of when. Take Brexit, for example. Will the European Union last, or for that matter, will the United Kingdom? How will Brexit change Britain? Will the next referendum on Scottish independence from the UK break a kingdom united? And what of Ireland?

For insurers and drivers alike, the coming transition to fully automated vehicles is likely to be a bumpy road—and a road with its share of speed traps and blind curves. Beyond the technology’s promise for increased safety and efficiency, it’s also anticipated to cause unprecedented change to the auto insurance industry and will likely alter the way insurers handle underwriting and claims going forward. To better understand the insurance industry’s perspectives with regard to automated vehicles, ISO, a Verisk Analytics business, conducted the ISO Automated Vehicles Survey, capturing comprehensive feedback from approximately 400 participants.

Water views can be attractive so long as the viewer’s feet remain dry. But for homeowners living in flood zones, seasons of higher waters are always a pressing concern. And for insurers performing the underwriting on homes and other structures, concerns about flooding only seem to multiply. Damage costs incurred due to flooding vary significantly depending on the age and type of property involved. Such detailed information isn’t commonly available in the United Kingdom—and that can hamper efforts by insurers to accurately predict the potential costs of flooding at the property level.

In the annals of election upsets, border crises, and mass human migrations, 2016 was a year to remember, if not to learn from. Metrics of global political risk prepared by Verisk Maplecroft underscore a bitter lesson: 60 percent of countries worldwide are more likely to witness a decline in government stability by the year 2019. By the same metric, the forecast for the United Kingdom appears even worse, with a 69 percent probability of a decline. Unstable governments can lead to uncertain regulatory environments, undermining investor confidence and carrying serious potential to puncture a company’s bottom line.

Regulatory Outlook: Winds of Change Worldwide

By Kirsten Wallerstedt and the 3E Regulatory Research Team

Across the globe, the winds of 2016 brought gusts of change in terms of politics, immigration issues, and cultural clashes. Perhaps not surprisingly, it was also a year of significant movement for chemicals and toxic substances on the regulatory landscape. A number of changes are triggering new requirements for importing/exporting substances and soon may affect business supply chains.

Whiplash can remain a major pain point after a vehicle accident, crashing into insurer bottom lines through extensive claims. With an estimated £2 billion in annual costs in England and Wales, officials in the United Kingdom have been developing plans since 2015, in part, to end cash compensation for minor whiplash claims. The most recent phase began in November 2016 with the publication of the consultation paper and impact assessment “Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury (“whiplash”) Claims Process,” with the intent to reduce the cost of whiplash claims for insurers and motorists alike.

Challenged by rising medical costs, the threat of fraud, and claims that can quickly spiral out of control, workers’ compensation insurers are seeking betters ways to achieve profitability. Fortunately, financial gains are possible when claims organizations prioritize accessing the right data for better decision making. When delivered and applied correctly, this data can help eliminate work-arounds and manual tasks and reduce claims-processing time, effort, and errors.

As drivers benefit from seesaw prices at their gas pumps, the oilfield services and manufacturing sector has seen a very difficult last few years. This volatile situation has been even more acute coming on the back of the longest boom period the oil market has ever known. Subsequently, there was a collapse in the market, making business decisions even more difficult and critical. Judging by the number of e-mails that bounced back during a recent survey by Wood Mackenzie, a Verisk Analytics business, estimates of job losses could amount to a third of supply chain jobs across the entire energy sector.

With their fresh outlook, comfort in using high-tech devices, and penchant for sharing vehicles, millennials are potentially changing the way insurers do business. Two trends—the movement of many millennials into cities and their dependence on technology—have rapidly shifted the paradigm for purchasing insurance. Now, as the millennial generation comes of age and begins to settle down, another evolution is underway in the field of homeowners insurance. Insurers seeking to capture this new segment of the homeowners market recognize it’s being largely driven by technology, shifting customer demographics, and changing customer expectations.


Scott Stephenson Podcasts

Judah Cohen

Clouds on the Horizon

Verisk Analytics Chairman, President, and CEO Scott Stephenson spoke to A.M. Best about why any institution concerned about security and privacy would send data seemingly into the unknown.

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Judah Cohen

Executive Order on Immigration

Verisk Analytics Chairman, President, and CEO Scott Stephenson spoke to A.M. Best about the Executive Order on Immigration.

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Additional Podcasts

Businesses Face Evolving Supply Chain Risks in 2017


While the three categories of global risks remain the same, the frequency and severity of risks experienced year to year vary, according to Aaron Michel, senior engineer of AIR Worldwide. Michael explained to Insurance Journal that in order to avert supply chain disruption, businesses need to be proactive in identifying and managing risks.

Using Analytics for Workers’ Comp Cost Containment Strategies


According to Rob Lewis, president of ISO Claims Partners, all carriers will need to use some form of predictive analytics in order to stay competitive in the market. Lewis outlined to Insurance Journal the uses and benefits of using predictive analytics in workers’ compensation, including all stages of a claim as well by the underwriting and compliance departments of an insurer.

Understanding Hail Modeling


Hail damage amounts to billions of dollars in losses every year, according to Dr. Arindam Samanta, director of product management and innovation at Verisk Analytics. Samanta explained to Insurance Journal the difference in modeling hail versus other weather events, as well as hail modeling’s value in reducing claims with erroneous dates of loss and in predicting locations where there might be a higher prevalence of hail.

The Impact of Smart Home Devices on Residential Property Claims


Insurers and consumers can benefit in multiple ways as more smart appliances and devices move into homes, according to Joe Wodark, director of product development for Verisk – insurance solutions. Wodark talked to Insurance Journal about how first notice of loss, settlement and subrogation are all claims processes that are expected to improve as a result of the data derived from smart devices.

An Update on the Use of Predictive Modeling to Combat Fraud


Dan Donovan, AVP of Claims Solutions at Verisk – insurance solutions, provided an update on the use of predictive modeling to combat fraud in a conversation with Insurance Journal. While a few lines of insurance remain slow to adopt predictive analytics, declining cost barriers, cloud storage and telematics will likely increase adoption rates, according to Donovan.

The Continued Evolution of Telematics


IoT/Telematics Claims Product Development AVP Dawn Mortimer of Verisk – insurance solutions discussed the future of telematics, its expected impact on carriers, claims and underwriting with Insurance Journal.