The Storms Are Coming For The Insurance Industry

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The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway. As always, there was a flurry of media activity on the launch day of June 01, with everyone sharing their (rather gloomy) predictions for the season ahead. Last week you were reading Allstate Files Patent Application For “Insurance VR Simulator”. This week we’re bringing you:

Homeowners and public adjusters may now feel a little more emboldened to record an insurance adjuster’s inspection of a home, after a Florida appeals court ruled in favor of the practice last week – the third such ruling in as many years.

The 4th District Court of Appeal, in West Palm Beach, held that because the American Strategic Insurance Corp. policy does not address the question of video and audio recording of an inspection, the case should be remanded and reconsidered. The court reversed a Palm Beach County trial court’s 2021 ruling in favor of the insurer, which found that the insurance policy did not authorize the filming of the insurer’s inspector.

“We conclude that nothing on this record precludes an insured from recording an insurance adjuster’s inspection while in the insured’s own home,” 3rd DCA Judge Martha Warner wrote in the opinion. “The trial court erred in entering declaratory judgment for the insurer.”

American Strategic, a Progressive Insurance Co. subsidiary based in St. Petersburg, argued that the HO policy did not permit the recording of its inspector. But the appellate court found that the policy did not forbid it, either. The judges noted that courts have consistently held that any ambiguity in a policy must be strictly construed in favor of the insured “and strictly against the insurer.”

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Emerging tools such as artificial intelligence and natural language processing are being used in the insurance sector, but costs remain high and there are questions about bias being introduced into machine learning, according to a speaker at the Public Risk Management Association’s annual meeting Monday.

“Everything is smart these days,” said Brian Billings, vice president of predictive analytics in Ballwin, Missouri, for Midwest Employers Casualty Co., part of W.R Berkeley Corp., and such devices as cell phones and televisions now collect data from their users. “All of that technology is being driven by the use of data.”

Machine learning, including artificial intelligence and natural language processing, takes the data being collected and tries to predict some kind of outcome, Mr. Billings said, such as a numerical value or, in the case of the insurance sector, a claims scenario.

With natural language processing, a model is trained to read text, Mr. Billings said. Such technology can take a 40-page discharge summary and extract specific relevant text, such as all doctors’ or lawyers’ names, or medical notes. “It has huge implications in the claims adjusting space.” He noted that his company has such tools in use.

Read more in-depth here.

The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway. As always, there was a flurry of media activity on the launch day of June 01, with everyone sharing their (rather gloomy) predictions for the season ahead.

Forecasters in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service in the United States, have predicted “above average” hurricane activity for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs until November 30. Specifically, they have predicted a 65% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

NOAA forecasters have predicted this above-normal activity due to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon.

Read more in-depth here.

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