April 2016 New York City Regional Education Day

The topics covered at the Crowell & Moring sponsored Education Day on April 21, 2016 provided substantive presentations and key insights into a diverse range of insurance markets.  Some are fertile ground for future full-length articles.  For instance, we have an article on the Connecticut Sponsored Captive Insurance Vehicle in the works.  Other topics, like Current Issues in Life Reinsurance lend themselves to further reading from sources in addition to the excellent materials provided in the panel discussion.  All of the presentation materials are available to members and attendees via the AIRROC App.

Current Issues in Life Reinsurance

The long-term pricing and administration issues of Life Reinsurance endemic to this business have generated complex solutions, regulations and disputes that impact both the direct market and reinsurers.  The panel members opined that the 10K filings of RGA (Reinsurance Group of America) or Transamerica (as well as listening to earnings calls for those companies) provide excellent background material to supplement the discussion points developed in the panel’s presentation.  For those who want to revert to textbook background reading, they suggested Live Insurance, by Jr. Kenneth Black and Harold D. Skipper, and Life Health & Annuity Reinsurance, by John E. Tiller.

For an overview on how key issues in reserving, pricing and sales will develop in the short term, please see http://www.pfeiferadvisory.com.

Legal Quick Hit Updates

  • Bellefonte – Watch Your Language

The recent case law evolution dealing with variations in Facultative Certificate language and the use of extrinsic evidence of custom and practice and underwriting intent is set out in detail in the outline prepared by Harry Cohen (Crowell & Moring).  

  • Affordable Care Act and Its Implications for Personal Injury Claims

In addition to the presentation materials, Sean Jackson’s NY Law Journal article of November 2015 provides a review of the practical considerations to take into account when a personal injury plaintiff is covered by the Affordable Care Act (as indeed, he or she must be)  [http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202743323070?slreturn=20160410112424]. Early diligence in understanding the impact of ACA on a recovery by a personal injury plaintiff can help educate the Court and the parties so as to have a positive impact on settlements.

  • Garlock Decision/Transparency Issues:

Leslie Davis’ materials provide a thorough review of asbestos backruptcy trust “transparency” issues as well as the Garlock decision itself.  The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act to amend § 524(g) which passed the House is currently pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Sharing Economy: Liability, Insurance, Reinsurance Issues

Auto Sharing (Getaround, Flexdrive, Relayrides) and accommodation sharing (Airbnb, HomeAway) are growing exponentially (the sharing economy was worth an estimated $15B in 2013 and is projected to be worth $335B in 2015). This presents unique challenges and opportunities to existing insurance markets.  The marketing of insurance coverage to Gen Y consumers also presents opportunities for a new generation of insurance market “disrupters” --- entities that utilize technology and “sharing” to service a need for insurance, like “NEXT” insurance or “Lemonade” (aka Friendsurance).  

In addition to the changing marketplace for transportation and accommodation, the workforce is changing.  A 2014 study found that one in three workers was freelancing, and projected that half of American workers will find themselves turned into “so-called independent workers.”  

What does all this mean for the insurance industry and legislation dealing with the market disrupters?  Kelly Superczynski, Head of Strategic Consulting, Aon Benfield, Pete Thomas, Chief Risk Officer, Willis Re, Marco-Leyte-Vidal, Assurant Inc, provided thought-provoking presentations moderated by William Popalisky of Crowell & Moring.  For any antediluvian readers, the materials provide an overview that will get you through a conversation with an entrepreneur in this market space.

Sports and CTE:  A Real Headache for Insurers?

Robin Dusek updated the audience on the most recent developments relating to head injuries arising out of participation in sports.  The recent approval of the NFL’s settlement and what it might mean going forward was discussed.  She also discussed how the science is developing and what we’re learning about the potential magnitude of the CTE problem in the general population arising out of youth participation in sports.  Her materials bring the reader up-to-date on the science and litigation.