Tag Archives: losses

Beehive theft

Insurance policies are costly for beehive theft.  Very few beekeepers are compensated for their losses. Beekeepers provide millions of hives to California almond tree growers between December and March each year.

Beehive thefts are on the rise. More than 2 million hives are needed to pollinate California almond trees. Experts believe that beekeepers are behind the thefts. They have the knowledge as well as the equipment to take the hives. Up to 200 hives are stolen in one go. The hives are generally unmarked, however, some beekeepers are putting GPS tracking units in their hives. Someone stealing the hives makes pure profit from the honey in the hives without any upfront work.

The problem of beehive theft is also prevalent across England and Wales. Certain strains of Queen bees can fetch up to 180 British pounds each. Bee mortality insurance is furthermore covered when bee losses occur due to “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD). The chief symptom is no or a low number of adult honey bees present but with a live queen and no dead honey bees in the hive. Researchers who are trying to find out the cause of CCD are focussing on the invasive Varroa mite. According to a 2007 article, the mite Varroa destructor remains the world’s most honeybee killer. It results in deformed wing virus and acute bee paralysis. The bees also suffer a compromised immune system. New studies are finding that a group of insecticides called Neonicotinoids are also the possible cause of CCD.

Other causes being considered are pesticides, fungi, the use of antibiotics and the long-distance transport of hives.
In addition, malnutrition, poor quality Queens and immunodeficiencies. The USDA is currently piloting two Apiculture insurance programs in various states across the USA. Broken Arrow Crop Insurance can also offer programs for beekeeping operations. These programs are sold via private insurance companies.

Tornado

Tornado Alley is where tornadoes cause severe damage. These areas include Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Kansas and Nebraska. The National Weather Service received reports of 18 tornadoes across the south of the USA on 2nd May 2018. The largest is what chasers refer to as a wedge tornado. This implies that the tornado is as wide as it is tall.

Many insurance companies deny valid claims for tornado losses. Report the event immediately to your carrier. Resist the urge to clean up. Document as much as you can with photographs and videos. Call the insurance company to report a claim. Ask for an advance. Some companies make an immediate payment of $1500 to $5000 when the damage is significant. If your home in uninhabitable, ask if the insurance company will cover the expense your family may incur whilst residing elsewhere. Demand frequent updates after you have put in a claim.

These insurance claims are challenging. Roofs are torn off. Doors and windows are shattered. Therefore this results in both wind and water damage. Whichever type of damage has occurred can lead to disputes between homeowners and insurance companies. Water damage must be claimed separately. Flood water is a different peril. It may not be covered at all. Neighbourhoods far from where the tornado touched down may be affected. Thus owners of businesses and homes miles away from the tornado may need to submit damage claims.

Regarding tornadoes, many exclusions however may apply. Your policy may have mould exclusions. Mould will not be taken into account. Furthermore, if your roof is older than 20 years at the time of the tornado, the insurance company will take depreciation into account. Whilst most replacement cost policies will allow you to recover the depreciation, recent endorsements by the Insurance Services Office allow carriers to pay actual cash value on roofs older than 20 years. Cosmetic damage is excluded as well, therefore matching of shingles and undamaged portions of the roof will not be matched.

Cyber exposure

The fastest growing peril faced by businesses today is cyber exposure. Firms are driven by data and are dependent upon technology.

Occurrences in 2017 highlighted cybersecurity issues. Furthermore, we were shown how vulnerable we are to the hacking of our personal information. Hospitals, voting records and school districts were targeted. Not only were US consumers the focus of the hackers but also another 150 countries.

Three hundred thousand computer systems across the globe were affected by the malevolent Wannacry, NotPetya and Equifax malware. They caused extensive business interruption losses.

Brad Gow, global cyber product leader at Sompo International has warned that a threat could come from a dozen different directions. Cyber experts view the industry as unprepared for cyber exposure due to a lack of experience and data. This is troubling in a continually evolving cyber risk environment.

The NotPetya malware was composed to attack corporate networks. It used a hacked version of a well-known accounting program in Ukraine. It destroyed data and filesystems within each computer.

Most of the attacks happened in Ukraine and Russia. Losses amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars within a few weeks. However, business interruptions continued for months.

Brad Gow said that fortunately, it had not been a true zero-day event. If it had been, this would have turned the cyber insurance market on its head. A zero-day attack happens when developers have not had time to fix a recently discovered software vulnerability. Therefore, there is time for hackers to take advantage of the security gap.

Equifax Inc. expects the 2017 data breach costs to top $275 million this year. Reuters has stated that this could be the costliest hack in corporate history.

In May 2017 WannaCry targeted computers running Microsoft Windows operating system. Data was encrypted and then Bitcoin ransom payments were demanded.

It appears that companies are taking cyber insurance more seriously since the above attacks.

Maersk, a transport and logistics company, lost more than $200 million due to the NotPetya attack. As a result, the company has said that they are taking cyber insurance coverage very seriously.

Tornadoes Mississippi

Tornadoes in Mississippi:

Insurers have paid more than $31.6 million on 2,801 claims from tornadoes that hit Mississippi during January 2017.

The Mississippi Insurance department expect insured damages to reach the $100 million mark, with $50 million in uninsured losses.

A powerful tornado tore a 31 mile path across Mississippi killing four people and destroying more than 1200 homes. The most damage was in the towns of Hattieburg and Petal. At least 20 deaths were reported.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said more than $51.7 million had already been approved.

The Mississippi Insurance Commission asked the insurance industry to expedite payments for living expenses for affected individuals.

More than 1,200 homes were damaged in eight total counties. 549 were destroyed or sustained major damage as a result of these tornadoes.

4 insurance companies including Allstate and the Hartford set up a help centre at Petal to assist storm victims. The units issued living/emergency expense payments to those people who were displaced.

It is estimated that insured damages would be about $100 million and uninsured losses more than $50 million.

Georgia was affected by storms, including tornadoes on January 21 and 22. Fifteen deaths were reported. The storms caused $100 million in damage.

The Georgia Department of Insurance urged the insurance industry to respond as quickly as possible to the affected individuals.

“Individuals in these areas have suffered devastating losses and should receive special consideration with regards to their insurance claims,” Hudgens said. “I have notified the larger insurers and expect them to first and foremost take care of the immediate needs of their policyholders. This includes providing direct emergency funds for basic necessities such as food and shelter.”

Mr. Hudgen of the Department also asked the insurance industry to exercise leniency in dealing with affected individuals. He referred to individuals whose premiums may appear tardy. This may be due to disruption of services such as mail, telecommunication as well as loss of property.

Insuring Tow Trucks

Drivers of tow trucks engage in a world fraught with danger. When repossessing vehicles, they face angry drivers. The road conditions may be poor due to rain, snow and potholes. This results in dangerous driving. Circumstances which require the use of heavy equipment causes havoc and danger on US freeways.

Less and less insurance companies therefore are willing to write business for tow truckers. As a result the tow truck business is in a state of distress.

The American Transportation Insurance Group (ATIG) opened its doors in 2001. The president and CEO, Chip Thompson, stated that this speciality insurance is at its worse. Since 2001 ATIG has specialised in the higher risk transportation market. In particular, garage, towing, trucking and repossession market.

ATIG are losing one out of every four customers. Tow truck companies are closing down.

There is a constant increase in the costs of litigation and healthcare. Tow truck companies are facing these snags. Most of the U. S. commercial auto insurance market has faced difficulties in recent years.

This market has reflected underwriting losses for five consecutive years. According to Fitch ratings, it is the most under performing product segment in the U. S. property/casualty insurers market.

“It’s the perfect storm for garage and commercial auto in the last six months and I don’t see it letting up anytime soon,” Thompson said.

In September 2016, Progressive stopped writing insurance for the tow trucks. Others followed suit. Eight or nine carriers pulled out of this sector.

Reasons vary. Certain carriers made a profit and then pulled out. Other carriers lost money and thus exited. Some carriers decided they did not want this business any longer.

The industry was aware that Progressive is very technologically sharp. They understand the risks. For example, the rates per the ZIP code per the risk per street. Therefore most carriers felt that if Progressive does not forsee a profitable future in this sector, neither would they profit.

Progressive is upholding their duty to current policy holders. However, they are not writing new accounts. They expect to affect small changes to their current program. This will result in Progressive forging ahead once again in the new business arena.

Chip Thompson (ATIG) says that he has people putting cameras inside the trucks. They face outward and inward. Drivers eating or talking on the phone whilst driving are treated with zero tolerance.

He added that a focus must be put on driver training. In addition, he said, if you have insurance which is semi-affordable, protect it for all you are worth.

International Travel Insurance

International Travel insurance is insurance intended to cover medical expenses, financial default (i. e. failure to meet the legal obligations) of travel suppliers as well as other losses incurred while travelling either within one’s own country or international.
Whether your trip is for business or pleasure, domestic or abroad, adequate medical emergency evacuation coverage is important should you experience illness or injury during your travels.

Natural disasters. Building evacuation due to fire or smoke. Political unrest. Every day thousands of travelers across the globe risk being subject to unforeseen events of all kinds. What happens next is the bigger issue.

Emergency evacuations are not uncommon – especially these days. Whether you call the United States home or reside in another country, it’s not enough to have basic insurance coverage. Emergency evacuation is a foreign country could involve much more than hospitalisation. In fact, it is likely in such an event it will involve a number of other expenses surrounding your emergency evacuation, which could threaten your financial stability.

Traditional insurance carriers are hard-pressed to provide you with adequate emergency evacuation coverage due to high risks and exposures you face in a situation requiring emergency evacuation. Moreover, most carriers do not cover medically related expenses in such emergency situations.

Temporary travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a ‘multi-trip’ policy that can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame. Coverage varies and can be purchased to include higher risk items such as ‘winter sports’.

The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance plans are:
1. Medical emergency (accident or sickness)
2. Emergency evacuation
3. Repatriation of remains
4. Return of a minor
5. Trip cancellation
6. Trip interruption
7. Visitor health insurance
8. Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
9. Overseas funeral expenses
10. Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
11. Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
12. Flight connection was missed due to airline schedule
13. Travel delays due to weather
14. Hijacking

Medical expenses coverage can be Per Occurence or Maximum Limits

Some travel policies will also provide for additional costs, although these vary widely between providers.

In addition, often separate insurance can be purchased for specific costs such as:
1. Pre-existing conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes)
2. Sports with an element of risk (e. g. skiing, scuba diving)
3. Travel to high risk countries (e.g. due to war, natural disasters of acts of terrorism)
4. Additional Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
5. 3rd Party supplier insolvency (e.g. the hotel or airline to which you made non-refundable pre-payments has gone into administration.
6. Acute on-set of pre-existing conditions – this term is very different from Pre-existing conditions. It means a sudden and unexpected occurence of pre-existing medical conditions without any prior warning from a medical professional.

Travel insurance companies, especially in the USA, do not offer coverage for pre-existing coverage but they do offer coverage for acute on-set of pre-existing conditions. If you have pre-existing conditions, make sure you get this coverage to protect yourself against any emergency situation that arises due to pre-existing conditions in spite of taking care.

Common Exclusions

1. Pre-exiting medical conditions but a lot of companie now cover for “acute on-set of pre-existing conditions”
2. War or terrorism – but some plans may cover this risk, and some do cover for acts of terrorism.
3. Injury or illness caused by alcohol or drug use.

Usually, the insurers cover pregnancy related expenses, if the travel occurs within the first trimester. After that insurance coverage varies from insurer to insurer.

All Aboard Benefits can provide you with the coverage you need, helping you manage the complications and costs of medical and travel emergencies that may occur during your trip and help you to avoid a future loss of income.

The Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance Program covers the wide variety of risks and exposures that can occur during your trip. They will provide you with emergency medical coverage of medically related expenses, should you experience illness or injury during your travels.

Coverage options include:

Emergency evacuation, including that for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions
Air ambulance rescue
Transport of dependent children back home
Hospital visit from spouse or other loved one
Repatriation of remains
Accidental death and dismemberment
Security evacuation (including natural disaster coverage)
Optional adventure sports coverage
Optional baggage coverage

The program also includes the following 24-hour emergency travel assistance options:

Arrangements for last-minute flight changes
Hotel and reservations arrangements
Lost luggage
Medical referrals
Replacement of lost prescriptions
Emergency cash transfers
E-mail and phone messaging to family and friends
Pre-trip health, safety and weather advisories
Airport transportation
Personal security assistance
Identity theft assistance

Group Travel Medical Insurance

Also available is a dependable and cost-effective international group medical insurance plan for international travelers and persons living or working abroad.

Eligibility:

Large or Small Groups and Organizations:

Vacation tour groups, missionary or church groups, students and corporate groups.

Corporate Health Insurance for Employers:

Employers who need International Insurance Coverage: a policy can be issued if you have 5 or more non-citizen employees who do not qualify for the company’s existing health plan, if one already exists. Criteria is that the employees are living and working outside of their home country. Spouses and dependent children under the age of 18 can also enroll. Custom benefits can be designed according to your requests.

Standard US major medical benefits include inpatient and outpatient services and prescription drugs. International plans include emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, medical provider referral and multilingual customer service.

Trip Cancellation Worldwide:

International Trip Cancellation insurance plans provide trip cost reimbursement benefits that help ensure you’re prepared in the event of an accident, illness or loss when travelling. These worldwide travel cancellation insurance plans also provide reimbursement if your international cruise or trip is interrupted or cancelled as a result of tour operator or travel supplier default, weather that causes complete cessation of services, or a number of other events that may cause interruption or cancellation of your business trip or prepaid vacation.