Our Top 12 of 2019: Bomb cyclone, wildfires, event response, open ecosystems & more

by Jen Smoldt on December 19, 2019

bomb cyclone 2019

We're counting down our readers' favorite articles of 2019. Who can forget March's historic "bomb cyclone" winter storm that paralyzed parts of the U.S. and triggered massive flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi river basins? That storm resulted in an estimated $4 billion in insured losses. We covered that event and the importance of accurate flood data and maps in our Spring flooding worsened by record U.S. snowpack article. Likewise, wildfire risk continues to be a hot topic in P&C as insurers strive to get a handle on their wildfire exposures. October's wildfire outbreak in California once again reinforced the need for better wildfire solutions that can help insurers protect both their insureds and their portfolios in the face of this growing peril. Read about innovative wildfire solutions in our article Underwriting wildfire requires a more strategic approach

Catastrophe risk across the board—from flood to wildfire, severe storms, and hurricanes—points to more extreme and severe events in the face of climate change. As such, one of our focuses this year was on how insurers could be more proactive with their event response through innovative solutions like automated event alerts. In 2020, we'll continue to create content that explains how innovations in data and analytics are helping insurers solve the many problems that the new catastrophe landscape is bringing to bear. Likewise, we'll continue to underscore the importance of insight hubs, like SpatialKey, where broader sharing of data and interoperability can drive increased operational efficiencies and improved access to quality hazard and event data.

Now let's count down your favorites...

12: How P&C insurers can use crime data for more accurate and informed risk assessment

Pitney bowes arson image for crime use caseFor insurers who underwrite commercial properties, crime risk data can often be overlooked or under-prioritized in comparison with other hazard data. In the P&C industry, we’re often quick to note the insured or economic losses associated with catastrophes. But, did you know that crime costs billions each year? The FBI reported nearly 7.2 million property crimes in the U.S. in 2018 with an estimated $16.4 billion in property crime losses, not including arson. Continue reading...

11: Pass the Thanks: Nurturing an attitude of gratitude at work

gratitude at workThe holidays are a good time to stop and take stock of what we’re thankful for, both personally and professionally. The problem is, many of us just don't make time for thanks. “Gratitude” is the manifestation of thanks—or thanks in action. It’s such a powerful, simple thing, yet so seldom expressed, especially in the workplace. In fact, one survey found that people are less likely to express gratitude at work than anyplace else, with 74 percent never or rarely expressing gratitude to their boss. Continue reading...

10: How different flood types impact flood risk

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In order for insurers to most effectively understand flood risk, they must have access to data that provides a full picture of the hazard, including the different flood types that might affect a property: fluvial, pluvial, and storm surge. Although it may seem that flood is just flood, it’s important to understand the different flood types due to the various impacts each flood type can have on a property, and thus different levels of damage. Read more...

9: 2019 is going to be BIG for U.S. private flood 

opportunity-1Challenges still exist for insurance organizations looking to enter the private flood market, but the availability of trusted flood data is no longer one of them. Although the U.S. private flood insurance market is still small ($600 million) compared with the U.S. protection gap ($10 billion), early adoption is happening—and insurance organizations that establish footholds in the market now will be well-positioned to succeed once the floodgates inevitably open. Read more...

8: Spring flooding worsened by record U.S. snowpack

MNfloodingFEMA andreaWhen low temps prevent thawing between winter storms, snowpack condenses to store significant precipitation that can lead to springtime flooding. In fact, one cubic foot of snow can contain anywhere from 1 to 3 gallons of water. 2019 was the wettest winter on U.S. record thanks to extreme snowfall and events like the 'bomb cyclone' and Polar Vortex, which lead to historic flooding. Here's why it's critical for insurers to look beyond FEMA data to inform their actual flood risk. Read more...

7: How disparate solutions sabotage your event response

While the quality and quantity of data in the market is abundant, some carriers are lagging behind when it comes to accessing and interpreting these models because their systems are disjointed and outdated. Accessing data from disparate sources, or “system hopping,” delays response time and can sabotage a carrier’s downstream customer satisfaction. Continue reading...

6: How to make your event response run like clockwork

When catastrophes strike, you have no time. You’re under pressure to quickly understand the financial impact of an event and provide estimates to management. At the same time, you (and your team) are constantly tracking the event, processing hazard data, making sure exposure data is accurate, pulling reports, and (hopefully) beginning outreach to insureds. The last item—proactive customer outreach—may suffer though when the other to-dos consume your time and resources. Read more...

5: You may say I’m a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

file-4023941973Can you imagine a world where the open ecosystem dream is a reality? A world where our collective insurance platforms talk to each other. A world where the industry moves faster and better by working together. Oasis and Simplitium along with a host of others, including SpatialKey, are on this path. While it feels idealistic, it is possible. Making data more portable between platforms—interoperability—is not something novel. It’s just fundamental and increasingly vital for long-term survival whether you’re a re/insurer, broker, MGA, or solutions provider. Read more...

4: Automating event response: P&C challenges and solutions

Automating event response - hurdlesThe event response workflow has a lot of moving parts—especially when you’re trying to accomplish them manually. This can lead to inefficiencies, delays, and customer dissatisfaction. There’s a difference between a well-oiled machine and a machine that’s just chugging along reacting to events rather than preparing and mitigating for them. Read more...

3: Come together, right now...and play nice with others

hey that's mineAs former Willis Re CEO, John Cavanagh, said in an interview with Insurance Thought Leadership“Nothing flies, floats or gets built without insurance….Insurance plays a significant role in society and we need to protect that.” Indeed, the insurance industry is a small world that plays a big role in protecting society at large. Continue reading...

2: Underwriting wildfire requires a more strategic approach 

emdigest.com_wildfire-1100473_1280_2Following back-to-back years of tragic wildfires, some California residents and business owners may face another crisis—getting adequate and affordable wildfire coverage. Surplus line carriers and the FAIR Plan, for homeowners who can’t get mainstream insurance, are seeing notable spikes in policies. According to the Surplus Line Association of California, in the first three months of this year 19,389 policies with $52.6 million in premiums were sold—up 93 percent and 143 percent respectively over the same period last year. In counties at "very high risk" of wildfires, the FAIR Plan is running 300 percent ahead of last year. Read more... 

1: A Maritime Metaphor for P&C Industry Change 

sail boat 2 imageNew digital technologies, increased competition, and changing customer demands are forcing 61 percent of insurance carriers and financial services firms to move away from traditional business models, according to a recent global study of C-suite insurance and financial services executives. While we don’t need a study to tell us that digital disruption is real, what’s boggling is what the other 39 percent of organizations are (or aren’t) doing about it. Read more...

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