Archive for October, 2015

Workers’ Compensation outlook for 2016

October 27, 2015 Leave a comment

workersIncreases in employment growth, wage growth, medical inflation, and interest rates are all expected to have a significant impact on Workers’ Compensation premiums in the upcoming year.

Employment growth will most likely result in a rise in exposure-based premiums, and generate upward pressure on claim frequency. It is already affecting the severity by the indemnity payments that are being made on Workers’ Compensation losses. The industry reaction to the severity spike is that insurance carriers will focus their attention on job training and new employee selection. Read more…

Steps to reduce the risk of nutraceuticals

October 23, 2015 Leave a comment

pills3Dietary supplements, such as amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other complementary nutrition products, send approximately 23,000 people in the U.S. to the emergency room each year. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that there is legitimate risk associated with taking these supplements.

At the hospitals analyzed in the study, researchers connected 3,667 emergency room visits to supplements. Based on these numbers, the study infers that 23,005 adverse events occur each year across the U.S and adults ages 20 to 34 made up 28 percent of hospitalizations. Weight-loss products were attributed to most emergency room visits per year by women, while visits for men were contributed to body building products or sexual enhancement products. Read more…

Safe Harbor exchange between EU and US data deemed invalid

p2pThe European Union’s highest court, the Court of Justice (CJEU), ruled on October 6, 2015 that the EU-US Safe Harbor Agreement is invalid, effective immediately. The agreement was a voluntary self-certification system that permitted over 4,000 eligible U.S. companies to receive the personal data of Europeans if they publicly agreed to treat the data according to the Safe Harbor Principles. After being deemed invalid, however, the agreement no longer provides a basis for transferring personal data from the EU to the U.S.

While data protection advocates praised the court’s decision, industry executives and trade groups claim that it left a lot of uncertainty for companies that rely on access to this data for lucrative businesses such as online advertising. Read more…

Aging transformers are causing high prices and more risk

October 14, 2015 Leave a comment

transformerGenerator step up transformers, while not often mentioned in the renewable energy world, are a vital part of the grid and help to keep green energy moving forward. That being said, the time has come when many transformers are reaching the end of their life and are starting to break down and cause outages. These transformers are critical in energy output to the grid and are essential to all utility scale renewable energy projects. Having a contingency plan in the event the transformer breaks down is rare and is something that investors and owners should begin to explore.  An example might be the AES spare transformer program. Read more…

The new ransom: cyber extortion

October 8, 2015 1 comment

cyber_extortionA cybersecurity issue that many companies fail to prepare for or even consider is cyber extortion, especially distributed denial of service (DDoS) threats involving ransom demands. Such attacks are intended to impede a victim’s capability to conduct business online until the ransom is paid. Hackers have not abandoned traditional data breaches however, these incidents are not as lucrative because the black market for credit card and Social Security data is over saturated. Any company or organization, regardless of size, is at risk and should consider what’s at stake if they are threatened with a cyber extortion claim. Confirmed victims of cyber extortion include everything from police departments to fortune 500 hundred companies. Read more…

New insurance template for Swiss clinical trials

October 2, 2015 Leave a comment

clinicalTrialsThe Swiss Ethics Committees on research involving humans has recently released a new certificate of insurance/policy template that insurers must follow. As part of this new format, the Committee now requires the insured risk be categorized as category A, B, or C as outlined by Ordinance on Clinical Trials in Human Research (Clinical Trials Ordinance; ClinO) of September 20, 2013 (Status as of January 1, 2014). Insurers do not have the descriptions for the classifications, and are prohibited from providing advice regarding categorization of a trial. Sponsors or their CROs must seek advice from the Swiss Ethics Committees on research involving humans to determine the appropriate classification for their trial. Categorization of the trial is required before the certificate of insurance meets the requirements of the Human Research Act (HRA) and the Ordinance on Clinical Trials in Human Research (ClinO) can be issued. Certificates cannot be issued without the categorization of the Insured risk. Read more…