Oklahoma Earthquake – A New Peril With An Old Problem

Posted by Ivan Maddox on Jun 1, 2016 10:14:10 AM

It is not often a new cat peril appears, but Oklahoma is now an earthquake zone. The changing seismicity in the state is so pronounced that the USGS is committing to updating their earthquake hazard maps annually, instead of every five years. The high risk blotch on the USGS maps dwarf the better-known (but still relatively obscure) New Madrid zone in southeast Missouri and the Cascadia zone in Washington. Note: these are “chance of damage” maps, and do not express severity.

The arrival of a localized cat peril has provided a unique glimpse into how insurers and regulators work together to ensure the risk to property is adequately mitigated. According to AM Best (May 25, mind the subscription wall) the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, Mr. John Doak, is making a determination right now on whether the insurance market for quake coverage is competitive enough to avoid further state regulation. His decision will determine whether state regulators will have more or less influence on insurance pricing and terms. Specifically, according to the AM Best article: “Doak is concerned recent filings do not substantiate the need for increased rates, that the use of multi-line discounts discourages consumers to switch carriers for a lower price and that 70% of earthquake policies are sold by just a few companies (Best’s News Service, April 19, 2016).”

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Topics: Earthquake

Can there be growth in the protection gap?

Posted by Ivan Maddox on Feb 23, 2016 11:52:41 AM

Last week I wrote about the Protection Gap and how insurers should be serving it. The post has been a huge success, mostly because it features Hemant Shah, CEO of RMS (thank you Mr. Shah!). The article pivoted on the question “What risk is the insurance industry not ready to handle?” and Mr. Shah’s response:

“I worry more about the risks the insurance industry is not covering right now.”

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Topics: InsitePro, Flood Insurance, Earthquake, Insurance Technology, Insurance Protection Gap

A Cat Modeler's Guide to the Protection Gap

Posted by Ivan Maddox on Feb 16, 2016 10:29:57 AM

Last week on AMBest TV there was an interview with Hemant Shah, the articulate co-founder and CEO of cat-model makers RMS. It was a standard set of questions one would ask a cat modeler, but there was one response that’s worth a deeper look. 

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Topics: Floods, Insurance Underwriting, Natural Catastrophe, Other Risk Models, Earthquake

Top 5 Accomplishments of InsitePro

Posted by Ivan Maddox on Feb 1, 2016 8:41:31 AM

Last week I took a look at the Top 5 Risks of Hazard articles from 2015. Today, here is a look at the Top 5 Accomplishments of InsitePro, the risk assessment software we are building here when not writing blog posts.

5. API connectivity. Insurance software is slowly but surely moving towards interconnectivity between disparate systems and software packages. Not everything is in the cloud (yet), but almost all insurance systems are able to integrate analytics and datasets. InsitePro fits this type of environment with its full suite of APIs and web services, plus it is based in the cloud and waiting for the industry to realize the benefits there.

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Topics: InsitePro, Flood Modeling, Wildfire, Earthquake

Earthquake - The (Un)Expected

Posted by Ivan Maddox on Dec 9, 2015 11:27:16 AM

Last week BuzzFeed ran a piece on the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a sometimes-forgotten and sometimes-remembered seismic zone in the middle of the United States that could potentially cause over $100B in damage. We took a look at New Madrid earlier this year (though at that time, I couldn’t pronounce New MAD-rid properly), specifically at how only 20% of the homes in the exposed region are insured for quake based on work by Swiss Re.

The BuzzFeed article, The Day the Earth Stood Still by Thomas Gounley, looks at a day 25 years ago this month when the big earthquake was predicted to hit the area. The article is not about geology or seismology, per se, but rather how a certain Iben Browning predicted (with 50% certainty!) that an earthquake would hit New Madrid on December 3, 1990. Needless to say, nothing happened. The article describes the media circus and shows the fun people had on their marquee signs, as well as taking a look at the underlying science of the fault zone.

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Topics: Property Insurance, Earthquake

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