AIG appoints Peter Zaffino as chief executive officer

Current CEO Duperreault will become executive chairman


Source: Business Online AIG appoints Peter Zaffino as chief executive officer

Two Key Decisions Regarding COVID-19 Related Business Losses

Law360 reports that more than five thousand civil lawsuits have been filed by businesses seeking to recoup pandemic-related losses under their commercial policies. This new wave of litigation has called upon courts across the country to determine whether commercial policyholders have a right to recover for business losses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just last month, two federal courts reached conflicting decisions in similar suits brought by commercial policyholders against their insurers. The rulings, issued one day apart, highlight the challenges litigants will face in pursuing lawsuits of this nature on either side of the docket. In Studio 417, Inc., et al. v. The Cincinnati Ins. Comp., the plaintiff-insureds brought a class action against their insurer after their for pandemic-related business losses were denied. The respective policies each contained the same relevant language, which obligated the insurer to cover “direct ‘loss’ unless the ‘loss’ [was] excluded or limited”. A “Covered Cause of Loss” was defined as “accidental [direct] physical loss or accidental [direct] physical damage”. However, the policies were silent as to what constituted a “physical loss” or “physical damage”.
Source: The Claims Page – USA Two Key Decisions Regarding COVID-19 Related Business Losses

Firms urged to revisit emergency response and business continuity plans

Spotlight shines on risk consulting and engineering


Source: Business Online Firms urged to revisit emergency response and business continuity plans

Diversity Pays Off

The racial reckoning of recent months has raised the bar for business leaders. It is no longer enough for them to simply understand that a diverse group of employees, managers, executives and board members creates better results. They need to have the commitment and motivation to act as well as the fortitude and patience to improve the work environments they oversee. Whether it is diversity in age, ethnicity, religion, identity or gender, companies that support a diverse and inclusive culture will find greater success than those that do not. And the data proves it. Articles from McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) highlight how revenue, profit and performance are impacted by diversity and inclusion (D&I), and these numbers are significant. According to BCG, companies with diverse management teams experienced a 19% increase in revenue, compared to others with less diversity. McKinsey also reports racially and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better. When D&I intersect with one another, good things happen.
Source: The Page – USA Diversity Pays Off

Westpac takes huge insurance charge against earnings

Charge is the latest blow for country’s oldest bank


Source: Business Online Westpac takes huge insurance charge against earnings

Calls for insurance incentives for farmers reducing fire risks

“The Federal Government must take the lead on building a more resilient Australia”


Source: Business Online Calls for insurance incentives for farmers reducing fire risks

Tesla Insurance Could Potentially Be America’s Biggest Auto Insurer

Tesla – the auto offshoot of Tesla Inc. – could become one of the largest auto insurers in America, if the unit’s valuation by chief executive Elon Musk is to be believed. In a recent quarterly earnings call, Musk dropped hints that he sees Tesla taking up a good portion of the company’s car business. “Obviously, is substantial. So, could very well be, I don’t know, 30%, 40% of the value of the car business, frankly,” he said. Thirty per cent (30%) may not sound like much, but a report from CleanTechnica puts the figure into perspective. As of July, Tesla’s value exceeded almost every company in the S&P 500, the clean technology news portal noted, with the company’s market cap currently sitting at $391.95 billion. If Tesla was 30% of the company’s current market cap, it would easily take the top insurer spot from State Farm, which has a market cap of $42 billion.
Source: The Page – USA Tesla Insurance Could Potentially Be America’s Biggest Auto Insurer

ASIC deputy chairman resigns following expenses scandal

A review looks into his alleged use of taxpayer funds to cover rent expenses


Source: Business Online ASIC deputy chairman resigns following expenses scandal

How to Pressure Test Pipes Safely

When you have good plumbing, you’ll be able to run your water efficiently and effectively. However, when the pipes’ pressure is too high or low, you’ll run into problems. High water pressure will stress the entire system while low pressure will challenge good water flow.

The key to keeping your plumbing system in good shape is to test the pressure. Using air to assess the condition of a plumbing system is a good option. Knowing how to pressure test pipes safely isn’t always easy though. This system uses compressed gas which can cause pipes to explode if not done properly. It should also not be done with plumbing systems that have plastic piping installed.

 

Testing the System

If you’re testing a system that already has water, the plumbing pressure testing of pipes first involves turning off the main shutoff valve. Allow any water to drain from the pipes and then shut off faucets.

If the system is new without any water present, put a cap on stub-outs connected to the system. You’ll want to either solder or glue caps on water systems. If it’s a drain vent waste system, you can simply glue caps to stub-outs and then cut them off after completing the testing.

 

Install the Fittings

If it’s a new system, you may have to install the proper fittings to connect a pressure gauge and air compressor hose. For water systems, just leave the cap off of one stub-out. Then you can install a tee and adaptor for the hose and gauge on the stub-out. If it’s a waste system, attach the adaptor to a clean-out fitting and install a tee.

Now that you have the system ready, you can attach a water gauge. It’s best to do this in a laundry room faucet or you can also use an outdoor faucet with a threaded spout.

 

Connect the Hose

Connect the compressor hose to the system. Start by attaching an adaptor to a different faucet where you can connect this hose. Then attach the compressor to the faucet.

 

Change the System

Now that you’re ready to go, turn on the compressor. Let the pipes fill with air until your pressure gauge indicates that you’ve reached the optimal test pressure reading. Not all systems have the same pressure reading. You’ll have to review plumbing codes to get the correct reading for the system that you’re testing. It’s going to be different for water or drain systems.

 

Turn off the Compressor

Once you’ve reached the pressure desired, shut down the compressor. Allow the system to pressurize for 15 minutes. After you’ve waited, remove the hose but leave the pressure gauge in place. You can expect to hear some air escaping the pipes if there are any leaks in the system and may want to note them.

If you notice that the gauge’s pressure remains unchanged, you can be sure that the system is leak-free. However, if the pressure starts to go down, you’ll know that you have a leak present.

 

Repair Leaks

If you’ve noticed that there are leaks present, then you’ll be able to contact a professional plumber to have the system repaired. If you are yourself a plumber, you can consider repairing them yourself. The most common areas to find the leaks will be in the joints or any connections with the pipes. The three types of joints include IPS, compression, and soldered. While the repair for them is fairly straightforward, you may not want to take on these repairs unless you are experienced with plumbing repairs.

 

Testing the System

“It’s never a bad idea to test your plumbing system, and this process is fairly simple. It involves only seven steps, but it shouldn’t be done unless you are competent as incorrect testing can damage your entire system.”

Around the Bend – Plumbing Frankston

Not all plumbers are willing and able to pressure test pipes with air so you may have to contact a professional to get this testing completed. If you have a new system or an existing one where you suspect the pressure is not correct, testing is your best option.


Source: WorkSafe News How to Pressure Test Pipes Safely

Stay Safe at Work & Avoid Coronavirus Infections

In March of 2020, with novel coronavirus latching its claws across the globe, many businesses, workplaces, restaurants and schools were shut down to abstain the virus from spreading like wildfire. Millions of people around the world are staying home and practicing social distancing in order to curb the virus. But not everyone out there has the luxury to protect themselves against this virus by staying safe at their homes. Health care workers, medical shops, grocery shops, law enforcing personals and other public workers have to report on duty. Keeping them safe and providing those with maximum protection must be given utmost attention as they truly deserve that.

 

As this virus is novel, the information about it is very limited; in fact we are learning more about it with each case. With the attempt to flatten the curve, as the cases and death rate is still on the rise, we must follow the guidelines set by WHO (World Health Organisation). Fueling of misleading and deceptive information can create bedlam and lead people to act impulsively. Uncertainty causes confusion and that leads to chaos, which must be avoided at all cost as that would only deteriorate the situation further.

 

To effectively combat this pandemic and also to keep the employees safe from detrimental emotions, employers must have an open discussion about their reservations. The potential impact on their lives work and health wise, how can they protect themselves and the people around them and work in a safe and efficient environment. The responsibility lies on the employers to plan for this pandemic and make sure their employees have the best conditions to work in as they are the true warriors. They must address specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, ways of transmission and other ways this virus can contact.

 

Failing in planning proficiently can cause a cascade of failures as the workers try to deal with the challenges of the virus with insufficient resources and support from the establishments. Some workplaces and offices that were closed down during the lockdown are looking to reopen and face a new set of challenges. While owners, managers and even the employees want to get back to their normal life, with normal routine and normal working hours (seriously working at home has been the most daunting experience ever) the new guidelines and SOPs should be followed religiously to have a safe, stable and continuous run.

 

What’s the Risk of Contracting Coronavirus in the Workplace?

 

Occupational health and safety advisors must work in cooperation with the managers and carry out inspections that can competently assess the risk a particular workplace can have regarding the spread of the virus. Work on the ways to curb the virus, plan protective and preventive measures that keep that particular work environment safe and virus free, is the only way to reopen businesses in an innocuous way. Workplaces or jobs that have little to no contact with the general public or others are at a relatively low risk of exposure from the virus. On the other hand, jobs that ask for frequent contact with the general public, have high foot traffic at the workplace and need to work with the other employees have a higher risk of contracting the virus. The decisions to reopen, revise timings or close should be done after a detailed inspection, keeping all the aspects under consideration.

 

Vital measures that Must Be Taken by ALL Workplace to Protect against COVID-19

 

The first and foremost is the awareness that must be engraved in the employees. Hold workshops and awareness campaigns that instill the preventive measure in the minds of the workers, in order to get the desired results. Workplaces and offices must also not skim or spare any expense in providing resources that make the prevention easy. Get sanitising tunnels installed at the entrances, frequents signs that remind and encourage people, hand sanitisers should be readily available and masks must be supplied to all employees.

 

Tips for an Optimal Workplace

 

As we most certainly know that Coronavirus attacks our respiratory track and is highly contagious. It spreads from person to person through the droplets of cough, sneeze or even while talking. The droplets can stay active on a variety of surfaces and that too up to days. So the best bet against this virus is to frequently wash hands. Employees must be encouraged and reminded frequently about washing hands. Employers can run drills, have alarms set or even an announcement to wash hands after every hour can be very effective. Signs must be installed at public places like washrooms and cafeterias to remind people to wash hands. Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, lathering all nooks and crannies of the hands can very efficiently keep the virus at bay.

 

Another way to proficiently keep the workplace virus-free, a strict, customary and standard cleaning and disinfecting procedure must be activated. All the surfaces that are frequently touched like stair railings, door knobs and handles, water dispenser, cafeteria, bathrooms, meeting rooms, countertops etc must be disinfected with a strong alcohol cleaner. Disinfecting wipes must also be provided to all employees to clean their own workstation before leaving so viruses cannot accumulate in the premises.

 

Wearing masks must be made mandatory on the work premises at all times. It must also be secured on the mouth and nose and preferably an N-95 mask that has multiple layers for an optimal protection. Masks mustn’t be placed under the nose, on the chin, hanging from one ear or removed entirely after one hour into the job. The basic etiquettes of covering a sneeze and cough must also be reminded through signs and symbols. All these can be done by strict monitoring and reinforcement, otherwise workers tend to get lost in their routine to completely bypass all the preventive measures.

 

Virus can spread when people are within 6 meters reach of one another. Employers have to take the difficult and very crucial decision to choose the employees that must be called at the workplace and rest could just do their work from home. The work hours can be made more flexible and less daunting. The 1-meter-apart signs must be placed in areas where queues can form. The places where meetings and gatherings have to be held, it must be cleaned, disinfected and sitting should be done at a safe distance. Workers must also be discouraged to share their things like phones, pens, lunch and desks with other co-workers to curtail the virus flow.

 

At the entrance of the premises, a fever check point should be installed. Taking the fever readings daily will be very beneficial for the workplace and the workers. Random tests of the employees will keep them on edge and they will take all this seriously. The repercussions of illness must be cleared to them. Any employee having any symptoms must be abstained from entering the area. They should be sent home and quarantined till there is no symptom of the acute respiratory illness. The fever and other signs must be gone for at least five days without any fever reducing medication.

 

Free tests of the employees can also do wonders for a virus-free workplace. The employers should be flexible in their policies and empathetic in these difficult and unreliable times. Sick people need to stay at home.  grant leaves for workers that have the need, and remain humane in your policies.

 

Another job for the employers is to manage is the creation and management policies, crafted to respect the concerns of the workers about pay, leave, safety and other questions that arise during these peculiar times. Collaborate with companies that can come up with good medical care service deals for employees in case of contracting the virus. These should be extended to the family members as well.

 

COVID-19 work health and safety resources using the below links:

 

The rights of the Employers

 

Workers must cooperate with their representatives and employers in order to build a safe work environment. Neglecting the prevention measures or not abiding by the rules is not acceptable as you are not only risking yourself but the other around you. Hiding symptoms and coming to the workplace is a big violation, workers must report to the employers immediately. International Labor Standards on the rights of workers and employers must be respected.

 

The Rights of the Employees

 

Special protection and leverages should be granted to older employees as they are the ones at the most risk from this virus. There shouldn’t be any stigma associated with the virus neither any discrimination done by the employers. Workers must be given access information and protection and supported in their vulnerable times. If they feel uncomfortable for any work assignment they can remove themselves from that task but with a reasonable justification.

 

Overview

 

In order to protect ourselves and the people around us we must follow the 4 layered protections essential for mitigating Coronavirus. Wearing a mask, observing social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting frequently and hand washing can help stop the spread of the virus. Employee well-being and resilience is an asset of any firm and to protect that they should eat healthy, workout, have a good 8 hour sleep, manage stress and take a break to revitalise and rejuvenate.


Source: WorkSafe News Stay Safe at Work & Avoid Coronavirus Infections

Australia’s Extreme Wildfires Predicted To Worsen

Thousands of tourists and residents evacuated parts of Australia on Friday as hot temperatures and strong winds were expected to worsen wildfire conditions over the weekend. “This is a ferocious fire that is still out there, and the climatic conditions are going to be very difficult to contain in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at a press conference Friday. At least 19 people have died, dozens are missing and more than 1,400 homes have been lost in the country’s wildfires, which have been burning since October. Authorities have said this season’s fires are the worst in Australia’s history and that the crisis is likely to last for months. Hundreds of fires are active across the nation with more than 12 million acres of land scorched.
Source: The Page – USA Australia’s Extreme Wildfires Predicted To Worsen

What Is Social Inflation, And Why Is It Hurting Insurance?

Social inflation is one of the latest buzzwords in . It is used by insurers to describe the rising costs of resulting from things like increasing litigation, broader definitions of liability, more plaintiff-friendly legal decisions, and larger compensatory jury awards. While the core components driving social inflation have been evident for some time, their impacts on the industry have only really started to come to a head in the past couple of years. “Probably one of the biggest drivers of social inflation is the general anti-corporate sentiment that exists, reaching back to the financial crisis,” said Mike Hudzik, managing director, head of casualty underwriting, US & Canada, Swiss Re. “It seems like it’s a long time ago in our rear-view mirror, but it really created an environment that continues to gain momentum today. Since that time, there’s been a greater division or separation of wealth, and there’s just generally a feeling that someone needs to pay when there’s some kind of damage or injury sustained, regardless of negligence.”
Source: The Claims Page – USA What Is Social Inflation, And Why Is It Hurting Insurance?

Beat The Waiting Game: Tips For Getting Stalled Claims Moving Again

“Well? We’re waiting!” goes the infamous line groaned by Judge Smails to Ty Webb in “Caddyshack” while he waits to find out how much money his golf bet is going to cost him. Many clients utter this same frustrated groan to professionals handling their stalled loss payouts. For the professionals, we’re waiting, too—for medical records, for a demand, for the claimant to finish treating, for the attorney to return phone calls, for a full moon—we’re always waiting for something in this industry, aren’t we? The good news is that we don’t have to wait anymore, and neither do our clients. There are strategies to get past the blockades that seem to be anchored to circumstances over which we have no control.
Source: The Claims Page – USA Beat The Waiting Game: Tips For Getting Stalled Claims Moving Again

Australian market facing "unrest and uncertainty"

Insurer head says consolidation is leaving brokers and customers frustrated


Source: Business Online Australian market facing “unrest and uncertainty”

Australia fires damage bill could top $600 million

Many homeowners are underinsured or have no at all, says peak industry body


Source: Insurance Business Online Australia fires damage bill could top 0 million

IAG ups catastrophe reinsurance cover to $10 billion

The insurer also provides perils update


Source: Business Online IAG ups catastrophe reinsurance cover to billion

This week’s top insurance jobs – January 06, 2020

Kickstart the year with a new career in Commonwealth Bank, EY, and Westpac Group


Source: Business Online This week’s top insurance jobs – January 06, 2020

AFCA offers dedicated support for bushfire victims

An online support information hub has been established


Source: Business Online AFCA offers dedicated support for bushfire victims

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis Gets Third Degree On Insurance Claims

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who oversees regulation in the state, faced tough questioning Tuesday over the thousands of unpaid still lingering after Hurricane Michael and other storms. The Panhandle Republican spoke before reporters at the Associated Press’ Legislative Planning Session, held before each year’s Legislative Session. After choking up over the damage in his native Bay County, Patronis got into testy exchanges over how much he was actually doing to help push insurers to more speedily get money to policyholders in need, including those whose homes still need repair. That spilled over into an impromptu question-and-answer gaggle with a handful of reporters outside the meeting room, when he was asked what legislative proposals he would put forth to help thousands of Floridians needing help. “At the end of the day, there is no reason why a policyholder should have to deal with seven different adjusters,” he said. “And when you still have 16,000 open, nobody’s doing OK.”
Source: The Claims Page – USA Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis Gets Third Degree On Insurance Claims

Utahn Reports Truck Stolen After Losing It While Drunk

A local man is in jail for allegedly filing a false claim after losing his truck while intoxicated. Joseph Michael Harrington, 41, of Washington City, faces one second-degree felony count of filing a false or fraudulent claim, along with two misdemeanor charges for providing a written false statement and for reporting a fraudulent emergency to police, fire or medical, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest. The incident began on Oct. 5 when St. George Police officers were dispatched to one of the lookouts on Red Hills Parkway near 900 East shortly after 1 a.m. on a report of a carjacking involving a Toyota Tundra. At the time of the incident, the man told police he had been sitting in his pickup when an unknown person hit him over the head with a rock before taking his vehicle. He provided vague details of the incident in the report later filed with police.
Source: The Page – USA Utahn Reports Truck Stolen After Losing It While Drunk