Summer 2016

For data, as with oil, and for more than almost every other commodity, safe movement and storage are becoming global issues. If even a moderate oil spill can spread to shores unforeseen and necessitate an environmental cleanup, any data breach tends to bring its own far-reaching consequences and sticky situations. Data is a unique kind of export because it often carries details of our health, income, personal communications, and living situations. So there’s good reason that urgent calls for its protection and encryption continue to appear in headlines and broadcasts. A data spill can instantly touch people’s livelihoods, reputations, and privacy, often in potentially damaging ways.

Coal producers find themselves on the horns of an existential dilemma. Will they move forward just as they have in the past, absorbing yet more blows from a growing coal-averse community? Or will they transform themselves into a new kind of energy company, at least partly comprising of less controversial or even “desirable” fuels? Underlying these two options is the near certainty that we will never have a coal-free future, for reasons of scale, economics, and technology.

The third quarter of 2016 will witness a major milestone in the history of telematics as the first data exchange between insurers and consumers who drive connected cars powers forward to reality. Today, with the Verisk Telematics Data Exchange™ nearing its launch date, it seems appropriate to look into a future envisaged during months of intense planning and also to consider how far telematics technology has come since its rudimentary beginnings.

If it appears that the weather has become more volatile recently, then appearances may not always deceive. And there may be a reason behind the wild swings in weather—likely having to do with rapid changes in the Arctic. First, some background: Each hemisphere on Earth is divided into three main regions—the tropics, the midlatitudes, and the polar regions (in the Northern Hemisphere, the Arctic). Each region occupies 30 degrees of latitude. But because Earth is a sphere, the tropics, which occupy the widest band of the sphere, are much greater in area than the midlatitudes and even more so than the polar regions.

Auto Claims Frequency, Severity: What’s Behind the Rise?

By John E. Cantwell and Dorothy E. Kelly

At the 2016 shareholders meeting for Berkshire Hathaway, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett was asked about the declining financial performance of one of the holding company’s insurers, GEICO. Buffett responded, “[L]ast year both frequency, how often people had accidents, and severity, which is the cost per accident…both of those went up quite suddenly and substantially.” With the insurance industry facing ever-tighter margins, this Verisk analysis looks at some factors driving those changes, as well as their potential implications for policyholders and insurers.

Controls on toxic substances in the United States are getting tougher, raising challenges to compliance and record keeping for chemical manufacturers, importers, and handlers. On June 22, 2016, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2576), which modernizes the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). As a result, businesses face a complex array of rules and regulations that carry significant penalties for noncompliance.

Catastrophic floods have been damaging homes for as long as people have lived in dwellings. Floods can cause devastating losses to homeowners and businesses almost anywhere in the United States, both on and off established flood plains. Even so, flood insurance—the product that should serve as the primary backstop against these types of losses—is still not widespread. Outside of government-funded programs and a narrow set of specialty policies, available flood coverage remains extremely limited. In the event of a flooding disaster, only a fraction of residential and commercial properties exposed have any real source of financial protection.

Evaluating automobile bodily injury claims—whether from young or old, healthy or infirmed-can be a daunting task. But those difficulties often multiply when addressing a claim involving a Medicare beneficiary. Likewise, Medicare beneficiaries can present added challenges in compliance, too. Far from being insoluble problems, however, the two C’s present a largely untapped opportunity to leverage data and analytics as a tiller to successfully steer claims decision making, evaluation, and settlements.



Judah Cohen

Evolution of Insurance Telematics

Verisk Analytics President and CEO Scott Stephenson spoke to A.M. Best about how innovation and collaboration is fostering the evolution of insurance telematics.

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Judah Cohen

Benefits of Usage-based Insurance

Neil Spector, president of Underwriting at Verisk – insurance solutions, spoke to A.M. Best about the benefits of usage-based insurance for consumers and insurers.

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