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'Super Rain': The New Climate Threat

Paul Carroll, Editor-in-Chief of ITL

The flash flooding in Texas over the weekend and into Monday crystallizes a concern that has increasingly troubled climate scientists, something that might be called "super rain."

The issue is partly the sheer amount of rain that can fall in a single storm because global warming lets summer air carry much more moisture. Even more, the issue is how fast that rain can fall. The flooding in Texas, for instance, occurred not just because more than 15 inches of rain fell in parts of Dallas in a 24-hour period on Sunday and Monday (more than two summers' worth of rain) but because three inches of that rain fell in a single hour on Sunday -- almost half a summer's worth of rain, just like that.

Hotter weather exacerbates the problem by baking the ground, creating conditions where more water runs off rather than being absorbed. Wildfires increasingly expose more ground to the effects of that hotter weather. And, as cities grow, they pave over more ground that could absorb rain, yet sewer systems haven't been upgraded.

Sounds like a job for insurance, right? By pricing the growing risk accurately, insurers can send important signals to policyholders, and risk managers can counsel cities, business and individuals about how to better protect their properties against "super rain."

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Join Majesco’s Chief Strategy Officer Denise Garth and CyberCube’s Head of Client Management & Technology Services Ross Wirth for a discussion on rethinking data sources, helping insurers to innovate and provide value, and the challenge of having access to enough data for AI/ML algorithms.

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At what point does social inflation severely constrict the availability of certain lines of coverage and thereby give rise to legal remedies, such as tort reform?

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Navigating a business' ups and downs can be as challenging as steering a ship through a storm on the high seas. I’ve done both—and lived to tell how it can be done.

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MGAs and E&S carriers are thriving, and they have lots of runway in front of them. They can continue to exploit their deep understanding of market niches, can drive efficiencies in the often-cumbersome underwriting process and can increasingly fit into insurers' processes by being at the forefront of APIs.

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Newly available data will be ingested into weather models to improve forecasting for carriers, reinsurance companies and even insurance linked securities.

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Coastal home and business owners need adequate protection now as much as ever, especially as climate change leads to more severe and frequent storms. Unfortunately, the nature of risk – especially catastrophic risk from hurricanes – has become harder to predict using traditional underwriting tools. Florida's new $150 million “My Safe Florida Home” legislation and the "predict and prevent" philosophy it embodies offer an opportunity to apply new tools and technology for a better result..

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ITL FOCUS AUGUST: Workers Compensation


As tough as staffing is throughout the insurance industry, the world of workers' comp has things doubly bad -- it has to deal not only with its own staffing issues but those of its clients.

As Mark Walls, vice president of client engagement at Safety National, explains in this month's interview, many companies are having to ask employees to do more to cover for gaps in staffing. Companies are also being less rigorous about pre-employment physicals and may rush people into action. The risk of injury is rising as a result.

At the same time, workers' comp carriers and third-party administrators are having to deal with their own shortages of adjusters, nurse care managers and so on, while dealing with caregivers that are struggling to line up enough doctors and nurses.

The result? Not pretty.

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Innovation Roadmap Webinar

As technology demonstrates its potential to transform the insurance industry, some insurers and startups are realizing it’s not a zero-sum game: they are stronger together than alone. Hear insurer and startup executives discuss this, and other perspectives gained from collaborating around insurance innovation and technology, in this Future of Risk webinar. Moderated by Paul Carroll, Editor in Chief of Insurance Thought Leadership, the panelists are Andy Cohen, President and COO of Snapsheet; Louis Gagnon, President and CEO of Foresters Financial Services Inc.; Peter Ohnemus, Founder and CEO of dacadoo; and Andrew Robinson, CEO of Skyward Specialty Insurance Group.

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