Uber Sensor Designed to Track Driver Behavior

Using smartphone sensors to peek over its drivers’ shoulders, Uber is promising to keep a closer eye on their behavior – while discouraging speeding or slamming on the brakes. The global ride-hailing company on Wednesday announced an extensive test of … …read more

Source:: Claims Journal USA


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Vermont Mansion Destroyed By Fire¸ Lightning Suspected Cause

Lightning is being blamed as the suspected cause of a fire that consumed the lakefront home of a prominent Vermont CEO on Tuesday evening in . The house is owned by Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell and her husband¸ ¸ according to a friend on the scene. The blaze was reported at about 7 p.m. in a home off . The two-story house is on the northwest side of Keeler Bay on Lake Champlain. Strong thunderstorms blew through the area around the time the fire began. fire investigators said Wednesday that the cause is officially undetermined¸ “but lightning is suspected.” …read more

Source:: The Claims Page USA


Toyota Recalling Nearly 1.5M Cars With Defective Airbags, Canisters

Toyota announced Wednesday it is recalling 1.43 million vehicles for defective airbags and another 2.87 million vehicles for faulty fuel emissions controls. . said it has not received any reports of injuries or fatalities related to either recall. … …read more

Source:: Claims Journal USA


2016’s best and worst cities for 4th of July celebrations

Are you and your clients celebrating the Fourth of July at one of the best U.S. cities for revelry? …read more

Source:: Property Casualty 360


Elderly Driver Crashes Through Salon Doors

As a small business owner¸ you worry about making payroll¸ increasing sales¸ satisfying customers¸ you don’t worry about a car crashing through the front door. But that’s exactly what happened at today. It was business as usual until a four-door gray sedan driven by an 83-year-old woman came barreling through the glass front door and into the salon nearly hitting two employees¸ two receptionists¸ by moments and inches and a customer¸ too. The elderly driver reportedly telling the authorities she meant to hit the brake but instead hit the gas. …read more

Source:: The Claims Page USA


Industry welcomes CTP insurance reforms

The insurance has welcomed a batch of reforms designed to help reduce fraud and prices for consumers

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Source:: Insurance Business Online


Aussie insurer Cover-More announces international expansion

An Australian insurer has furthered its international aims with a key new hire in an expansion market

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Source:: Insurance Business Online


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Far Out Friday: Insurance agent sues teen prankster for $50K

A insurance agent is suing his colleague’s son claiming that a slew of pranks left him sleepless and popping pills

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Source:: Insurance Business Online


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The story of compliance in the insurance industry: modern regulation — Part 2

Today’s regulatory oversight of insurance — still the purview of the states — is designed to maintain a competitive balance in the . …read more

Source:: Property Casualty 360


Hackers target smart phones and connected homes

As the demand for new personal technology grows, it will create opportunities for the insurance to offer Cyber coverage to people and their homes, along with challenges. …read more

Source:: Property Casualty 360


5 secrets to making larger sales

Tailor your sales approach using these five strategies to set yourself apart as a top performer. …read more

Source:: Property Casualty 360


Weekly Wrap: $3bn merger in doubt over rates, property market

PLUS: Willis Towers Watson CEO sees upside to Brexit and C-Suite Execs say they won’t pay ransom attacks, until they get hacked, survey

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Source:: Insurance Business Online


New Research Uses Patterns to Predict Terrorist Behavior

Government agencies are having difficulty tracking potential terrorist attacks, since terrorists have developed new ways to communicate besides social media. A new framework developed by researchers at , State University of is able to predict future terrorist … …read more

Source:: Claims Journal USA


Fixing Airport Security With Improved Training

Covering their ears, 192 future airport security officers watched from a grandstand as detonates a plastic-explosives device like the one carried by the underwear bomber in a failed attempt to blow up a plane on 2009. … …read more

Source:: Claims Journal USA


Privatization of Louisiana Self-Insurance Program Saved $10M

Former Gov. ’s privatization of claims processing and loss prevention services for Louisiana’s self-insurance program saved the state money, though less than projected, according to an audit released Monday. The Jindal administration privatized the Office of work … …read more

Source:: Claims Journal USA


Munich Re US, IBHS Launch New App Emphasizing Safer Homes

A new mobile app designed to help homeowners better understand how to strengthen their homes to withstand severe weather events has been released by , , and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). FORTIFIED Home On … …read more

Source:: Claims Journal USA


Use of automation has ‘profound’ impacts for Australia

Australia is the biggest automation user in the world, a leading robotics engineer has argued. But while such automation is having enormous productivity benefits it is also threatening to increase income inequality and “decimate” regional areas.

University of mechatronic engineering Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte spoke to the ALERA conference on Friday (May 27) to point out that automation was already having significant impacts on Australia in resources, maritime and agricultural industries.

“Australia is arguably the biggest user of automation tech in the world,” he said, noting there was more autonomous driving going on in Australia than in , or even the rest of the world put together.

The principle reason for that was Australia’s big industries used big equipment that was highly amenable to automation – “indeed I automated most of them”.

Durrant-Whyte designed and implemented Patricks stevedores’ automation system in Port Brisbane in 2007, a system recently expanded to Port Botany in April and saw 700 jobs cut to 200.

The system meant almost the whole of Brisbane’s container terminal was now “completely run from Sydney”. That allowed for much better safety, maintenance, fuel efficiency, and speed in unloading ships – resulting in an “enormous impact on productivity to the whole supply chain”.

Durrant-Whyte was also responsible for automating mines in – involving hundreds of autonomous trucks and drills. He said Rio Tinto now ran 14 mines in the Pilbara, six in the Hunter Valley, three in Mongolia, and four in the all from “a single room in Brisbane”.

And the technological wave was not stopping – Durrant-Whyte’s next job is automating agriculture. Autonomous weeding robots are already in place, using cameras to identify and spray weeds one by one.

Automation to hollow out middle class, lead to polarisation

Durrant-Whyte, who also chairs the NSW Government’s innovation and productivity council, said this automation was having a “profound” impact on existing jobs and regional workforces.

A now well-reported 2013 study by Durrant-Whyte’s students, Drs Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, estimated automation would impact 40% of jobs over the next 10-15 years.

While Durrant-Whyte stressed automation would give rise to new jobs as well as replace them, he said the “really scary picture” was the impact it would have on the polarisation of the workforce.

The new jobs market arising from automation was seeing big demand for highly qualified people – managers and professionals – and big demand for lower-skilled people – the services sector (“because if there’s one thing we can’t automate it’s a waitress”). But for the workers in the middle – truck drivers, bank analysts etc – “they’re done”.

Durrant-Whyte said the world was already seeing the effects of this polarisation in the form of unemployed graduates qualified for jobs that no longer existed and the rise of new on-demand services, ranging from cyclists delivering food to taking your clothes to the laundry, that were replacing those middle jobs.

“That’s what technology is doing that’s different from previous industrial revolutions,” Durrant-Whyte said. “And I do think that this is very, very concerning because it really does show the type of inequalities on a global scale that are going on.” He said this polarisation hadn’t quite hit Australia yet but warned “it is heading that way without any doubt at all”.

Future jobs concentrating in urban areas

Automation also threatened to radically re-structure the country geographically.

In stark contrast to predictions that telecommunications would allow everyone to work wherever they wanted, Durrant-Whyte said automation was in fact concentrating jobs in “geographically sealed areas” – mostly big cities and central business districts.

Rather than working from the beach, workers were meeting in the same CBD locations or coffees shops to exchange ideas and technology.

“’Future skills’ is about building concentrations where people want to come to,” he said. “You provide a hub – it starts growing.”

On the other hand it was “very hard” to see where the new jobs would be in places like western Sydney which had “no hub to create jobs”.

It also meant regional Australia – “which is already decimated” – was going to be even harder hit since automation was replacing many primary jobs. In particular, Durrant-Whyte singled out Adelaide – the “canary in the coal mine” – as “sub-critical in terms of future jobs”.

With “points of gravity” predominantly found in urban areas, Durrant-Whyte said it was physical infrastructure such as high-speed rail that would drives the skills market and connect regional Australia with the jobs of the future.

Not about tech skills, it’s about creative application of tech

Durrant-Whyte also called out educators’ and politicians’ focus on skills – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – to provide the jobs of the future, saying graduates were not getting jobs in that area.

“We have enough people who can do STEM … we don’t have enough people who can apply STEM in a useful way in the workplace,” he said.

He concluded that automation’s impact on Australia was “very profound…much more than other places”. “If we don’t solve it we’re going to be in dire straits in this country.”

Written by Workforce editor David Marin-Guzman

(This story first ran in Workforce Daily, 6 June, 2016)

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Source:: Workplace Relations


New focus on road safety around construction works

WorkSafe Victoria and VicRoads have begun working on a strategy to improve safety for workers and the public when construction work, pedestrians and road traffic interact.

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Source:: Worksafe News


Famed Watergate office building to be sold for $107 million

The 12-story, 270,000-square-foot office property s part of a six-building complex that also includes co-op apartments and a hotel that has just been renovated. …read more

Source:: Property Casualty 360


Poplar¸ Montana Tribes Assess Wind Damage After Powerful Storm

A cleanup effort and damage assessment is underway in Poplar and Brockton after a severe Friday night storm¸ caused by a possible bow-echo with 85 mph winds¸ hit the area. A bow-echo is a bow-shaped radar signature associated with fast-moving storm systems accompanied by damaging winds. The city of Poplar and the Fort Peck Tribes have declared disaster areas for their communities and met with Region 8 officials in a conference call Monday to request help from the federal agency for cleanup and repair funds. …read more

Source:: The Claims Page USA