New Geneva Association & IFTRIP task force to address emerging cyber terror risks

The Geneva Association is launching a joint task force on cyber terrorism and cyber warfare with the International Forum of Terrorism Risk Reinsurance and Insurance Pools (IFTRIP). The special-purpose task force aims to conduct research on cyber terrorism risks across the re/insurance industry. Its initial findings will be published in mid-2020.

The launch of this new task force was announced at the IFTRIP 2019 International Conference in Brussels, Belgium. It will be led by Rachel Anne Carter, the Geneva Association’s Director of Cyber, supported by Julian Enoizi, CEO of Pool Re and Christopher Wallace, CEO of Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation and president of IFTRIP.

Read the press release

IMS Demonstrates Insurance Telematics First: 42% Crash Reduction & 7% Combined Ratio Improvement

Waterloo, ON, Canada, Oct. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — IMS, the insurance telematics technology arm of Trak Global Group (TGG) is now positioned to offer North American and European insurers unprecedented access to the learnings from driver data via TGG’s award-winning Carrot Insurance brand.

Carrot’s direct interaction with its installed customer base has driven innovative product development, including the latest telematics smartphone based “Better Driver” app, which  recently won the prestigious 2019 UK Insurance Times Technology and Innovation Award for Best Customer Mobile app.

“Carrot’s award-winning technology has modified driver behavior in a positive way, and we are eager to make our learnings accessible to insurers,” said Nino Tarantino, CEO- Americas, IMS.

Accessing this critical data will enable insurers to:

  • Improve policyholder engagement
  • Offer a reward platform that builds loyalty
  • Motivate safer driving behavior
  • Realize the positive impact on combined ratios

“We have developed and tested our insurance telematics propositions with our own Carrot customers so our insurer partners don’t have to,” Tarantino continued.  “No other telematics service provider has this kind of direct-to-policyholder experience and insight, but we do through Carrot, and we want to share what we have learned with the insurance companies we work with.”

Carrot, which launched in 2012, has since overseen a 42% reduction in the number of accidents among its customer base, thanks to its pioneering technology and an active risk management program, including rewards for good driving, which has turned the insurance experience on its head for policyholders.

Carrot’s policy has also built customer loyalty. The company has returned $5M to customers during the past seven years and the rewards program, in turn, offers a built-in incentive for consumers to check their status and driving feedback.  In doing so, frequently, consumers drive better and safer.

“Carrot’s telematics program has made a previously unprofitable market segment for us profitable again,” said Ed Rochfort, Managing Director of Carrot Insurance. “By analyzing telematics data we’ve been able to dramatically improve our risk pricing while reducing the cost of claims. A huge win by all accounts.”

“We’re making big improvements in reducing the cost of motor claims for our insurer clients, saving them time and money by providing indisputable proof of what actually happened in an incident. We believe Carrot’s claims data analytics has reduced CORs for our insurer partners by 7.7%,” Tarantino said. “In turn, our insurance customers are using these same insights from Carrot to create their own digital insurance strategies.”

For further detail on the Carrot difference, insurers can download IMS’ Carrot case study to access learnings and insights from this award-winning offering: https://www.intellimec.com/carrot-insurance-rewards-case-study. Alternatively, insurers can contact IMS for more information at: https://www.intellimec.com/carrot-insurance-insights.

About IMS

IMS, part of Trak Global Group, is a leading connected car and telematics solutions provider, delivering services and analytics to insurers, governments and enterprises. IMS is the developer of the cloud-based DriveSync® connected car platform which has received industry acclaim for its ability to offer customers a data source-agnostic, multi-device strategy for service provision.

About Trak Global Group

Trak Global Group (TGG) is one of the world’s largest telematics companies, gathering and interpreting data from connected devices to help organizations manage driver and vehicle risk. The group has long-standing partnerships with global insurers, leading motor manufacturers, corporate fleets and daily rental companies and is the UK’s largest insurance telematics business.

In late 2018, TGG acquired IMS, the 3rd largest insurance telematics business in North America. In addition to its partnerships with major insurers, it has more than 130 patents associated with connected car services and has pioneered the use of telematics technology for Road Usage Charging in the United States.

In September 2019, private equity house Three Hills Capital Partners took a significant minority stake in the business, providing in excess of $50 million in growth capital.

About Carrot Insurance

Carrot Insurance, also part of TGG, is a UK-based, award-winning telematics insurance broker specializing in novice drivers. In 2015, Carrot received the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for its work in reducing young driver accident frequency, and in 2015, it launched Better Driver, an app-based product representing the UK’s first mass-market usage-based insurance product.

For more information on IMS:

Visit: https://www.intellimec.com

Why Cybersecurity Should Matter To Your Small Business

Huffpost Canada

In an increasingly demanding economy where time and efficiency are crucial, it’s incumbent on small business owners to ensure their proverbial ducks are in a row. Perhaps none of those ducks are more important than security, namely cybersecurity. Having e-commerce protection for both consumers and owners is essential to ensure your business doesn’t suffer from potential privacy breaches. In partnership with Intact Insurance, we’ve identified five reasons why cybersecurity should be top priority for your business.

1. Protect your business from phishing schemes

One of the biggest online foes for small businesses are phishing schemes. According to this 2019 US report, one in every 99 emails is a phishing scheme. This is when a scammer pretends to be a legitimate company or individual in the hopes of receiving your personal, banking or credit card information. Opening these emails can open up a Pandora’s box of problems. It’s important that business owners and employees recognize certain characteristics of these emails to avoid being a victim. If you don’t recognize the company or name of the sender, don’t open on the email. If you’re still unsure, try calling the company directly to verify the authenticity of the email.

“Invest in the ongoing training of your employees and managers to be able to recognize phishing scams,” recommends Yan Lacoursière, Senior Loss Prevention Consultant at Intact Insurance. Scammers use the human aspect to trick you (lack of knowledge and kindness, for example). “Remember, when in doubt, don’t click on anything and don’t give away any sensitive information,” he says.

2. Protect your business from denial of service attacks

Cybersecurity has also grown in stature due to the fact that phones and tablets can do everything traditional computers can. However, it also opens other avenues for risks from outside computers including a DDoS, or distributed denial of service attack. It’s a malicious attempt to crash one’s server by flooding the website with too much traffic. A strong preventive measure would be to use a cloud-based DDoS mitigation service – it’s what keeps a website running during an attack. Offloading server functionality to a cloud platform allows it to filter through malicious traffic before it reaches you.

3. Protect your business from online hackers

No matter the size of the company or its location, the looming threat of hackers stealing sensitive information is very real. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, nearly one in five small businesses (18%) have been affected by a cyber attack or data breach in the last two years. This not only applies to your company’s website but all social media and email accounts, too. Avoid the online threat by changing passwords regularly (quarterly is recommended) and disabling auto-fill forms. Store data in a virtual data room and hide admin pages from search engines, so hackers can’t find it easily. Above all else, keep your operating system and antivirus programs up to date to stay protected from malware.

4. Protect your business from wi-fi eavesdropping

By default, wi-fi is not secure. Hotspots don’t use encryption, providing no protection at all when on a public network. So, if you’re working remotely, the best way to secure data is to connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN). By doing this, every activity on your or your employees’ computers is sent through an encrypted tunnel, making it extremely hard for anyone to eavesdrop and capture any passwords, emails and file transfers.

5. Have the right insurance when all else fails

The cost of repairing a breach and covering legal expenses could set you and your company back. Contact your broker to learn how privacy breach coveragecan manage the impact caused by theft, loss, or unauthorized access to your customers’ or employees’ personal information. Running a small business online can be both overwhelming and exciting. By staying informed and taking the right steps, you can ensure the safety of your business, employees and clients’ data. Not only that, you’ll be able to watch your business grow and fulfill your dreams.

 

 

Desperate for lifesaving insulin, Americans head to Canada

The excerpreted article was written by  | The Globe and Mail

There’s a new kind of drug runner in town – American mothers of children with Type 1 diabetes who cross into Canada in minivans to buy life-saving insulin at a fraction of the cost they would pay at home.

In The Washington Post, reporter Emily Rauhala tells the surreal tale of a caravan of Minnesota moms who travelled to Fort Frances, Ont., where they purchased $1,200 worth of insulin at a local pharmacy, a stash that would have cost them $12,000 in the United States. (Humalog, a popular product, sells for $34 in Ontario, without a prescription. In the U.S., the same vial costs as much as $300.)

The journey was loaded with symbolism, recalling the caravan of migrants headed to the U.S. from Latin America, which was turned back, in part, because President Donald Trump said it was harbouring drug smugglers.

But the insulin moms primarily want to draw attention to the perversity of U.S. drug prices, the absurdity of patent laws and the failings of the insurance system.

Insulin was discovered almost a century ago by researchers affiliated with the University of Toronto. It was one of the great medical discoveries of all time, a drug that has saved millions of lives. The pioneering scientists involved wanted patients with diabetes to receive insulin at little or no cost, so they sold their patent for $1 to the university.

In a rational world, insulin, a drug that is as essential to survival as water for some, would cost next to nothing.

Yet, in the wealthiest country in the world, patients with Type 1 diabetes ration insulin, and even die, because it is unaffordable.

Insulin was first derived from animal sources such as dogs and pigs. Then came synthetic “human insulin,” recombinant products and bioengineered insulin analogues. Once injected with needles and syringes, insulin is now delivered with pens and pumps, based on careful monitoring of blood sugars.

Each of these iterations has improved safety, efficacy, tolerability and convenience. They have also allowed manufacturers to secure new patents on the processes and products – and increase prices. And increase them they have.

According to a report from the Health Care Cost Institute, between 2012 and 2016, the average cost of treating diabetes for a U.S. patient nearly doubled, to $5,700 from $2,900.

READ MORE HERE: 

Beazley unveils streamlined insurance policy for media and tech industry

New York, May 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Specialist insurer Beazley has updated its MediaTech insurance policy to keep pace with the rapidly evolving technology market and cyber threat landscape faced by firms as they seek to innovate and grow.

Media and technology businesses are at the forefront of developing and applying new tools and systems. They need assurance that they are not only covered by a policy but also supported by expert risk management services that help reduce their exposure.

The Beazley MediaTech policy has been streamlined to provide clear and concise wording and seamless protection, combining comprehensive errors and omissions (E&O) and media liability insurance with cyber coverage.

As well as accessing Beazley’s newest, more comprehensive E&O coverage, businesses will benefit from our team’s experience in managing thousands of claims. E&O claims have involved software failures, hardware defects, implementation errors and downtime, as well as intellectual property rights and personal injury disputes arising from media content.

Beazley’s E&O and media coverage includes:

  • Broad professional liability to address the need to cover non-technology professional services
  • Unintentional breach of contract for professional liability exposure
  • Online and offline media, including content published on social media
  • A wide range of trade secret misappropriation claims
  • Unfair competition alleged with copyright or trademark infringement
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Defamation, invasion of privacy and plagiarism.

Cyber coverage has also been incorporated into the policy. This includes:

  • breach response costs
  • first-party coverage for cyber extortion
  • data recovery costs
  • business interruption and dependent business interruption resulting from security breaches and system failures
  • e-crime coverage for fraudulent instruction fraud, funds transfer fraud and telephone fraud.

To ensure clients can reduce their cyber exposure and be prepared in the event they fall victim to a breach, Beazley offers access to a full suite of pre-breach and risk management services through our in-house Beazley Breach Response Services team.

Bob Wice, Beazley’s head of US cyber & tech, said: “Beazley MediaTech has been designed to protect firms that are at the cutting edge of using and developing new technology in exciting and often experimental ways. We’ve enhanced our offering to ensure it keeps pace with the evolving risk landscape.

“Our policy is underpinned by a market-leading claims service, provided by our cyber & tech claims team, which understands the liabilities technology companies face and will provide first-class support in the event of a loss.”

Note to editors:

Beazley plc (BEZ.L) is the parent company of specialist insurance businesses with operations in Europe, the US, Canada, Latin America and Asia. Beazley manages six Lloyd’s syndicates and in 2018 underwrote gross premiums worldwide of $2,615 million. All Lloyd’s syndicates are rated A by A.M. Best.

Beazley’s underwriters in the United States focus on writing a range of specialist insurance products. In the admitted market, coverage is provided by Beazley Insurance Company, Inc., an A.M. Best A rated carrier licensed in all 50 states. In the surplus lines market, coverage is provided by the Beazley syndicates at Lloyd’s.

Beazley is a market leader in many of its chosen lines, which include professional indemnity, property, marine, reinsurance, accident and life, and political risks and contingency business

Safe Investing With the Warren Buffett of Canada!

Fairfax Financial ( TSX:FFH) is an insurance and investment holding company that owns several property and casualty insurance companies, both commercial lines and reinsurers. The company’s subsidiaries operate throughout the world with significant exposure to developing economies. Fairfax has always been focused on compounding book value growth over the long term, primarily through outperformance in its investment portfolio. Fairfax holds nearly $40 billion in investment float and can be viewed as a leveraged investment vehicle.

Fairfax’s corporate objective is to grow book value by 15% per year over the long term. Under the leadership of CEO Prem Watsa over the last 34 years, the company has easily surpassed that target with 18% growth in book value.

An attractive feature of Fairfax is the company’s ability to take advantage of high volatility to make smart capital-allocation decisions. Fairfax’s investment portfolio has low correlation to the S&P 500 and has historically outperformed during global market panics. At present, Fairfax’s valuation multiple is the lowest it has been in the last seven  years. Fairfax has averaged a combined ratio of 96% between 2012 and 2019, representing low financial risk.

Although Fairfax’s high underwriting leverage implies limited capacity to take on more business during stressed times, the large float should help Prem Watsa buy great companies hand over fist in a depressed market. Fairfax’s portfolio has a heavy weighting in treasury bills that positions the company well in times of extreme volatility.

Traders have often criticized Fairfax’s defensive approach, but Prem Watsa and Fairfax’s board of directors has remained steadfast in the company’s investment approach of not bowing to complaints of short-term investors. Fairfax’s ample liquidity and credit default swaps should allow the firm to deploy several billions of dollars should the escalating trade war with China lead to market opportunities.

Fairfax’s investment portfolio reported good results in the first quarter of 2019. The company’s equity holdings increased 10% year to date modestly, behind the S&P 500. The company’s bond portfolio continued to perform well and has outperformed the benchmark over the last three decades under the stewardship of bond guru Brian Bradstreet.

Investment gains in 2019 substantially offset portfolio losses incurred in the last quarter of 2018. Fairfax continues to move capital from cash into equities on an opportunistic basis. Portfolio cash weightage has now dropped to 19% of total investments compared to 48% a year ago and is at the lowest level since 2009. The allocation to fixed income increased and higher interest rates are expected to increase investment income for the company.

Fairfax’s executives have indicated an appetite to exit positions that no longer fit with the 15% book value growth objective. The company is expected to participate in significant share buybacks over the next decade, which should bode well for long-term, patient shareholders.

Some of the risks identified on conference calls include unexpected losses from one-time insurance events, foreign exchange risk due to Fairfax’s large developing market exposure, miscalculation of property risks, and an underperforming investment portfolio. However, at a valuation multiple of one times book value, the market’s pessimistic view on the company appears to be unwarranted. Fairfax is not complaining and has significantly ramped up share repurchases to take advantage of the company’s depressed valuation!

Just one ticking time bomb in your portfolio can set you back months – or years – when it comes to achieving your financial goals. There’s almost nothing worse than watching your hard-earned nest egg dwindle!

 

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