Winter 2016

The dream of a self-propelled vehicle dates back at least to the 1700s, with the desire to find a more reliable means of transport than through horse or human power. By the 1800s, the steam engine helped establish a true automobile that was considered state-of-the-art until a new arrival—the internal combustion engine—showed the boiler had run out of steam. The 21st century appears to have perfected a fully electric vehicle, bringing another solution to the age-old challenge of how best to power ahead.

Sometimes the chains that bind can become the chains that unwind. In a landmark study of how businesses create value, Michael E. Porter, an economist and professor at Harvard Business School, theorized about a series of distinct actions that help create value in products and services—in Porter’s language, a “value chain.” In making an automobile, for example, the chain begins with raw steel, glass, and rubber and ends with a shining product ready for the road. Materials are transformed and assembled during a series of steps into something progressively more valuable, with an end product greater than the sum of its parts.

In 2015, Verisk Analytics had an exciting year of new connections: named by Forbes as the 18th Most Innovative Company in the World, joining the S&P 500, and enrolling General Motors as the first major American auto manufacturer to commit to our new insurance telematics data exchange. To learn more about another compelling connection—the connected home—Verisk Review recently spoke to Joe Wodark, property product manager at Verisk – insurance solutions.

There are risks in politics—as well as risky politics—and political campaigns with culminating elections may often carry costs for the public that can’t be seen from the voting booth. Before the arrival of “deep data” and predictive analytics, many insurers were largely blind to potential risks introduced or heightened by political campaigns—risks that can range from business losses to personal property damage.

When Hurricane History Repeats: What If Katrina Struck Today?

By Dr. Sylvie Lorsolo and Dr. Karthik Ramanathan

Only a decade ago, Hurricane Katrina—the costliest natural disaster ever faced by the insurance industry—struck the United States, causing historic damages along the Gulf Coast, inundating New Orleans, and leading to the deaths of 1,464 people (Louisiana Department of Health figure).

Whether a company is involved in electronics, oil and gas, chemicals, or other consumer products or services, a range of new regulatory trends is already having an impact on business and supplier relationships. An evolving norm in the marketplace is that companies are accountable for the actions and decisions of the suppliers in their upstream network.

There’s a notable level of cautious optimism in the insurance industry about new opportunities in emerging risks that hold potential to drive the future marketplace. The industry has experienced positive combined ratios from 2013 through the first half of 2015, including positive underwriting results coupled with tighter margins, record levels of policyholder surplus, and lower natural catastrophe losses covered by reinsurance rates not seen since the early 2000s (Insurance Information Institute, Dr. Robert Hartwig,

The use of predictive analytics in claims is becoming increasingly common due to a number of compelling factors. Pressures on insurers, particularly in the area of workers' compensation, have spurred closer attention to claims costs. In another trend, a recent Towers Watson survey found one of the greatest challenges facing the claims operations in the property/casualty industry is recruitment and retention of top talent, followed closely by effective implementation of data capture, metrics, and analytics.