London Market Responding to Shifting Sands of Terrorism

Posted by on August 29, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

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The War and Terrorism market in 2014 has not seen as large an influx of new entrants and capacity into the London market as in recent years. Instead, it has settled down to engage in intelligent underwriting and healthy competition for this class of business in a vibrant and ardent insurance arena, which in turn continues to produce low loss ratios.

Much of the drive toward selling terrorism insurance is not only the competitiveness of the terms available, but also the need to satisfy lenders and financial officers of corporations. After all, there is the ever-present scenario that in the event that there was a loss, why, if coverage was offered, was it not bought?

Presently, the London terrorism market remains highly capable and willing to offer capacity to almost any country in the world, with 158 countries enjoying the comfort of terrorism cover currently. Varying degrees of capacity allocation and pricing in some cases are of course a necessity, but underwriters continue to show healthy desire for risk in the push for a profitable economic bottom line, and a comprehensive and affordable product for insurance and reinsurance buyers alike.

Read my full piece that also appeared in Insurance Day, with additional thoughts on ISIS, Israel and Gaza, the Ukraine situation, and the upcoming TRIPRA expiration date in the United States.

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Say What? How to Speak ‘C-Suite’

Posted by on August 28, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

c-suite-photo by Louis Foong_LMU

If you have participated in a meeting between members of the c-suite and risk management, you almost certainly have observed two groups struggling to converse with each other.

CEOs, CFOs and COOs oversee multiple disciplines, each with its own lexicon, and successful risk management teams bridge these communication gaps by appropriately staging meetings before they begin.

While there are plenty of ideas circulating in the risk management community, here are four key takeaways you can use to ensure your next interaction with the c-suite is not lost in translation:

  1. Set the context for the conversation
  2. Be cognizant of terms that have multiple meanings
  3. Use examples and metrics that resonate with your audience
  4. Prepare useful explanations & analogies for more complex topics

Specialists who can translate their subject matter into terms senior management immediately grasp are enormously valuable to an organization. With these tips, you will not only get your point across, but meet the need of every c-suite for someone who speaks their language.

Read my full article that appeared on for further information on tips such as avoiding terms with multiple meanings, repeating definitions of terms during their initial uses, and using meaningful metrics.

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DEA’s New Rule Tightens the Squeeze on Workers’ Compensation’s No. 1 Prescription Drug

Posted by on August 27, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

(Credit: AP, 2010)


The Drug Enforcement Administration’s new rule–effective the first week of October 2014–more tightly restricts workers’ compensation’s No. 1 prescription drug, Hydrocodone with Acetaminophen. (For further background, read my white paper on ‘opioids’ wreaking havoc’). This drug may only be prescribed for up to 90 days without an office visit and a new written prescription.

While the rule will not be a game changer for employers, it may offer the opportunity to get a better wrap around your most expensive claims. Medical treatment guidelines simply don’t support the majority of injured works to remain on opioids beyond 90 days.

For those who do need a renewed prescription, have your claims adjuster ensure that a random urine drug test is part of the process before the new script is written. Fewer than 1-in-7 opioid patients are being randomly screened, yet at 90 days, research has demonstrated that more than 70 percent are not taking their medication as prescribed. A disconnect, perhaps?

Employers should use these new rules to strengthen their claims management program.

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What, No More Baby Pictures?

Posted by on August 25, 2014 | Be the First to Comment


For decades, physicians have proudly displayed pictures of infants and children and, many times, the stories of the care provided to them as well. If you fail to see such a display during your next visit to a pediatric or obstetric clinic, the reason may be outlined in a recent New York Times article. 

While the basic core components of HIPAA have not changed significantly, what has changed is an increased level of HIPAA enforcement at the state and federal levels. It appears that no clinic or healthcare organization has been fined over the unauthorized posting of patient photos, but the increased enforcement concern has led many healthcare providers to be far more cautious.

In my latest white paper, I explain further about whether a picture is really “individually identifiable health information,” if consent is automatically provided if parents send photos directly to the clinic, and three tips for healthcare entities to follow if they would like to implement a HIPAA-compliant process.

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State of the Cyber Insurance Market: 10 Lessons Learned From Major Retailer Breaches

Posted by on August 22, 2014 | Be the First to Comment


It is not an overstatement to say that there is a “pre-Target and “post-Target” state of the cyber market for major retailers from both the underwriting and the client side.

In November–December 2013, cyber thieves executed a well-planned intrusion into Target’s computer network and the point-of-sale terminals at its 1,800 stores around the holiday season and successfully obtained not only 40 million customers’ credit and debit card information, but also noncard customer personal data for as many as 70 million customers.

But Target was not alone, as in that same time period, retailers such a s Neiman Marcus and Michaels were also reportedly exposed with 1.1 million and 3 million cards at their respective establishments.

Read my newest white paper that features a comprehensive snapshot of the Target case study, the 10 lessons learned from the underwriters and pointe of view, as well as a peer group perspective on the current state of the cyber insurance market.

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