All posts by Maria Sassian

From the I.I.I. Daily: Our most popular content, September 10 to September 13

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University of Pennsylvania Hackathon Recap

Brent Carris, Research Assistant at the Insurance Information Institute, files this report from the PennApps hackathon.

The Policy Incubator and the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I) teamed up to sponsor a “hack-for-resilience” route at this year’s PennApps, the nation’s first student-run college hackathon which took place on September 7-9.

Presentations were given by: Howard Kunreuther, Carolyn Kousky, and Brett Lingle of the Risk Center at the Wharton School; and the I.I.I.’s Brent Carris. Presenters discussed innovative tech-driven, insurance and disaster-relief/preparedness solutions. Student interest exceeded expectations, with 44 teams entering the hack-for-resilience.

First place was awarded to a hack called Babble.  This team created a mesh network that can be used when Wi-Fi is down to facilitate post-disaster communications, coordinate help, triage assistance, and give better information to first responders. Second place was awarded to a hack called Eleos that would match disaster victims’ needs directly with those who have resources to help. Eleos along with many other hacks were created in response to recent events, such as the California wildfires, and inspired by students whose family and friends survived disasters. You can see all other entries and winners here.

The I.I.I. is proud to partner with universities across the country to recruit the next generation of insurance professionals. Stay tuned for next week’s post from Kansas State University’s career event.

 

 

Hurricane Florence – property losses and insurance implications

Approximately 758,657 homes in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia with a reconstruction cost value (RCV) of approximately $170.2 billion are at potential risk of storm surge damage from Hurricane Florence, according to a Corelogic® release.

As we continue to keep a close watch on Hurricane Florence, we’ve put together a list of our content to help understand the insurance implications of storm related property losses.

Hurricane Florence – Home preparedness tips

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall along the Southeast or Mid-Atlantic coast as a category 4 storm on September 13.

According to computer model forecasts, Florence will come ashore in Southeast North Carolina, although slight variations could alter the path of the storm that will affect areas of the nation that are far away from the location of its landfall.

A state of emergency has been declared in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia in order to mobilize resources to mitigate the effects of the storm. If you are in the path of the storm, plan your evacuation route ahead of time!

Below are just a few steps you can take to protect your home:

  • Cut weak branches and trees that could fall on your house and keep shrubbery trimmed.
  • Hurricane force winds can turn landscaping materials into missiles that can break windows and doors. Much of the property damage associated with hurricanes occurs after the windstorm, when rain enters structures through broken windows, doors, and openings in the roof.
  • If you don’t have storm shutters to protect your windows from breakage, fit plywood panels to your windows, which can be nailed to window frames when a storm approaches.
  • Make sure exterior doors are hurricane-proof and have at least three hinges and a dead bolt lock that is at least one-inch long.
  • Seal outside wall openings such as vents, outdoor electrical outlets, garden hose bibs and locations where cables or pipes go through the wall. Use a high quality urethane-based caulk to prevent water penetration.
  • If you live in a mobile home, make sure you know how to secure it against high winds and be sure to review your mobile home insurance policy.
  • If you have a boat on a trailer, know how to anchor the trailer to the ground or house—and review your boat insurance policy.
  • If you have a swimming pool, lower the water level (additional tips here.)

For more detail on what to do when a hurricane threatens click here.

From the I.I.I. Daily: Our most popular content, 09/4 to 09/6

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From the I.I.I. Daily: Our most popular content, August 27 to August 30

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Insurance Labor Outlook 2018 Q3

The U.S. insurance industry continues its hiring spree in 2018, with 63 percent of companies saying that they plan to increase staff during the next 12 months, according to a new Jacobson and Ward Group survey.

The primary reason cited for hiring is the expectation of an increase in business volume – 66 percent of companies listed this as the primary reason-to-hire. Business expansion and/or entry into new markets was listed as the second most popular reason for hiring (43 percent).

The most difficult to fill positions are executive, technology, and actuarial, while the biggest growth is expected in technology, claims and underwriting roles.

“The insurance industry is coming face to face with an unprecedented talent reality,” says Gregory P. Jacobson, co-chief executive officer of Jacobson. “Virtually non-existent unemployment, an emerging skills gap and impending mass retirements of the industry’s continually aging workforce are challenging insurers to reevaluate their current staffing strategies. This survey will provide a baseline from which insurers can make necessary adjustments to build a successful workforce.”

When it came to reducing staff, 11 percent of companies reported that automation will be the primary reason for reductions in staff during the next 12 months followed by reorganization at 9 percent.

The Jacobson Group and Ward Group conducted a webinar to review the trends uncovered by the survey. The webinar can be viewed here.

 

The I.I.I. tracks insurance industry employment trends here.

The dangers of smart city hacking

 

The adoption of smart city technology is altering the way municipalities manage critical services and infrastructure. Worldwide spending on technologies that enable smart cities is projected to reach $80 billion in 2018 and will grow to $135 billion by 2021.

There are as many as hundreds of thousands of connected systems embedded throughout a city’s critical infrastructure, which are used for things like traffic monitoring and emergency alerts. Researchers from IBM and Threatcare evaluated three smart city sensor hubs and uncovered vulnerabilities, including bugs that would allow hackers to access the systems.

The type of damage exploiting smart city technologies could cause includes: Causing disaster detection and alarm systems to report incorrect data; manipulation of law enforcement response (for example manipulating traffic control infrastructure to create gridlock and delay law enforcement teams from accessing the real scene of a crime); and the manipulation of farm sensors to cause irreversible crop damage.

From the I.I.I. Daily: Our most popular content, August 17 to August 23

Here are the 5 most clicked on articles from the I.I.I. Daily newsletter.

 

 

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