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The cyber risk insurance market is experiencing rapid development, with the size of global gross written premiums growing from US$850 million in 2012 to an estimated US$2.5 billion in 2014, according to a new report by London-based business intelligence company, Timetric.
While the cyber risk insurance market is gaining traction due to a growing number of cyber attacks and the increasing reliance of businesses upon technology for operational capabilities and storing data, insurance firms are responding slowly to this rising demand, said the Timetric insight report, titled "The Future of Cyber Risk Insurance."
"Total global losses from cyber crime stood at US$445 billion as of June 2014. With governments becoming increasingly involved in cyber threats, the prospect of compulsory cyber risk insurance could become a reality. It would have a transformative impact upon the market and could create a strong source of future revenues for non-life insurers," commented Jay Patel, insurance analyst at Timetric.European Demand to Grow Substantially
The demand for cyber insurance in Europe is expected to grow substantially, once the new General Data Protection (GDPR) law is finalized by the end of 2015. It is expected to come into force by 2017 in all the EU member states, making data breach notification compulsory. This will likely give more power to the regulators, along with an increase in penalties up to EUR1 million (US$1.3 million), or 2 percent of company's global annual turnover.
However, insurers have already experienced rapid growth in the demand for cyber-risk insurance over the last few years, the report said, noting that interest in cyber insurance has particularly grown among businesses that hold sensitive consumer information such as telecommunication companies, financial organizations and retailers.
The cyber insurance market in Europe is underpenetrated, with an estimated worth of US$150 million in gross written premiums in 2014, the report said.
In comparison, it added, the US leads with approximately 90 percent of the global premiums in the cyber insurance market, which were valued at US$2 billion in gross written premiums in 2014.
"The reason why the European market is less developed than the US is because of a small number cyber insurance products that are offered by insurers and less business awareness of the cyber risk problem. However, insurers are making forays to serve the European markets," says Patel.
- Just How Costly, Fast-Growing Is Cyber Risk?
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The agency has offices throughout the state, including in Columbia and Myrtle Beach.
Weve had several associates whose homes were flooded, and they had to be rescued by boat, said Correll CEO Teresa Yount.
The Spartanburg team took water and food to employees in Columbia.
That office is also handling claims for customers in the devastated areas.
Weve had folks calling with cars that have been submerged in water, homes that have flood damage from rising waters, Yount said.
The agency recommends customers contact their agents as soon as possible to begin the repair process, which would help avoid bigger issues, like mold.
The concern is that many of the victims may not have flood insurance, which isnt included in the average homeowners policy. Theres also a fear that many of the victims in apartments or rental properties might not have renters insurance with added flooding protection.
Your carriers, your folks all look at the 100-year storm, what can happen in 100 years, but this is a tragic event thats a 1,000-year storm. So most people dont purchase the insurance they should, Yount said.
Most mortgages require flood insurance for homes in flood zones, but Yount said homeowners whove already paid off their homes may elect to not add the coverage.
They just think, It wont happen to me, Yount said.
Its sad to think about the people that dont have that coverage.
Many people lost their vehicles to the high flood waters. Yount said that damage wont be covered unless the driver has comprehensive coverage.
We have had many calls here today, said Yount.
The Better Business Bureau said victims should be aware of scam artists right now.
What this brings out a lot of times is you have door-to-door people, storm chasers that come and say, We can give you a great deal, said Tammy Dankovich with the BBB in Greenville.
Being cheap is not the best way to go.
Dankovich said victims should get two to three estimates before going with a repair company. Insurance and license status should be checked, payment should never be made in full up front, and victims asked to sign on the dotted line should know whether theyre signing an estimate or a contract.
You need to be really, really careful, Dankovich said. You need to do your homework. Be careful. Be diligent.
Dankovich also warned of scam artists posing as charities, asking for money for the flooding victims.
She also said anyone buying a car in the near future should do a lot of research to ensure that theyre not buying a vehicle that was involved in the flood.
Look inside to see if theres any mold or water damage, new upholstery, things like that that they might be trying to cover up, Dankovich said.
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The insurance industry has changed a lot over the last 35 years but one constant within the industry has been Bob Korvas. Bob has been able to grow his business and has been successful because he goes above and beyond to help his clients.
Bob is the owner and president of ONECALLUSA, also known as Bob Korvas agency. His office is located in Niles. Bob started in 1980 and has been in business for 35 years. He is always there to help his clients with not only insurance needs, but also for personal needs or other questions they might have for him.
One longtime friend and client of Bob's is Jerry Gaul. Jerry is the owner of The Irving Press and first met Bob at a baseball clinic. The two bonded throughout the years and Jerry started to use Bob for his commercial insurance as well as his personal insurance.
"What makes Bob stand out is not just his ability to point out things his clients don't understand or think of but how he does the little things free of charge that most other agents don't," Gaul said.
Gaul mentioned how Bob doesn't always sell the cheapest insurance but it is always the best insurance and is tailored to his client's individual needs.
"If someone is looking for the cheapest insurance then Bob isn't the person to use," he said. "Bob gets the best insurance for each client, and having better insurance when something happens is much better than the cheapest."
For example, Gaul mentioned how Bob recommended he get an umbrella insurance policy after he became owner of The Irving Press in case employees, former employees, or clients tried to file a lawsuit against him.
Surely enough, within a few months, a former employee filed a lawsuit against Gaul seeking monetary damages but he was protected with the insurance policy.
When Gaul downsized from 49 employees to 14 he had a hard time getting good insurance for his employees since not many needed it, but Bob came through again.
"Only three employees needed insurance as the others were either on their spouse's plan or were covered with Medicare," Gaul said. "But Bob got us into a group policy so the three employees that needed insurance got it and were covered. He's been very adaptable and always willing to help."
Gaul said one of the biggest reasons why Bob has been able to thrive in the insurance industry is that he is always a phone call away, unlike a lot of the big insurance companies where people have to go through a chain of command to speak with an agent.
When Korvas was told of these remarks he was flattered.
"Jerry has been a longtime friend and client. I'm always there to talk to him about both his business and his personal insurance needs. But it's more than that: we traveled to Egypt together for vacation in 2008 and have played baseball for many years-the friendship and relationship is what I really cherish," Korvas said.
With the insurance industry constantly evolving, Bob has been able to stay abreast on the latest trends by actively participating in the Independent Insurance Agents amp; Brokers of America and the National Association of Insurance Agents organizations. He is also a speaker at INVEST, an organization designed to improve insurance literacy and attract new talent to the industry.
In addition, Bob created a program called doughnationstation, where he gives charitable donations to any potential client that gets a free insurance quote. The donation is made to a charity of that client's choice.
For more information on the charitable program please visit www.doughnationstation.com.
To speak with Bob call 847-430-8830 or visit the website www.onecallusa.com.
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A relatively new and promising tool in the fight against breast cancer, 3-D mammograms, also known as tomosynthesis, now will be covered by health insurance, under a policy change by the Wolf administration.
At Mondays meeting of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition in Harrisburg, Frances Wolf, wife of Gov. Tom Wolf, announced that 3-D mammograms are now covered by insurance under existing Pennsylvania law and must be offered to Pennsylvania women. Before the policy change, women were being prescribed the screenings, only to find they had to pay for them.
The 3-D technology was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration in February 2011, and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC began using it in September of that year.
Surgeon Thomas Julian, division director for breast surgical oncology for Allegheny Health Network, said the expanded coverage, referred to as a clarification by a state Insurance Department spokesman, is a positive step.
For women at large who are at breast cancer risk, this is absolutely an advancement and opportunity for them, he said. It will give them access to advanced technology for breast cancer detection. The cancer can be found at an earlier stage and treated in much more effective fashion, possibly with less treatment.
He said among those helped are women with extremely dense breast tissue, who sometimes have follow-up screenings because cancerous tissue may lie hidden in 2-D screenings. Two other groups that would benefit are women who have already had breast cancer treatment (3-D imaging can differentiate between cancer and tissue changed from surgery or radiation) and women at extremely high risk whether from a strong family history or genetic factors.
Were offering it to everybody, said William Poller, director of breast imaging for Allegheny Health Network, who added that even women with fatty or scattered areas of density benefit from the method. The areas largest hospital systems, UPMC and Allegheny Health, offer 3-D screening. Dr. Poller said that by the end of the year Allegheny Health plans to offer tomosynthesis at every screening site.
One of Dr. Pollers patients, Patty Robich, 53, of Franklin Park, had the 3-D mammography earlier this year and saw the difference herself.
She doesnt have breast cancer, but she does have dense breasts, and she and her three sisters have been called back for follow-ups after the standard 2-D method.
Getting the 3-D screen involved a procedure similar to the 2-D, she said. If you didnt know any better, you wouldnt know it.
This year, she had both types of screening and was able to see the images side by side.
Everything was identical, but there was a huge difference in what you could see, she said, adding that the 2-D image was obscured with what she said almost looked like cobwebs.
Dr. Julian said there is slightly more radiation in the 3-D mammogram, so one has to start weighing risk and benefit. Women who have breasts that are totally fat tissue could be candidates for standard 2-D mammography and not be put at risk.
This is the concern of insurance carriers: Who are the best patients who really need this? Who are the patients just as well served with standard mammograms? Those are some of the nuances that will have to be looked at.
The areas largest health care insurers responded to Mondays directive from the governor.
UPMC Health Plans vice president of medical affairs, Stephen E. Perkins, said his company supports this expanded coverage requirement and will continue to support research not only into 3-D tomosynthesis but also into a wide range of services designed to assist women to be as healthy as they can be.
Highmark spokesman Aaron Billger said it will work to comply with the order to cover 3-D mammograms. Were looking at a mid-October effective date where Highmark will cover 3-D tomosynthesis as a screening and diagnostic tool.
He added that providers will be required to educate their patients on treatment options, particularly to understand the higher radiation exposure with the 3-D method. Highmark also supports additional clinical trials on breast cancer screening, he said.
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Apple wanted a piece of the payment plan action and while carriers, and Apple, offer no-interest payment plans, Apple also requires that iPhone buyers purchase the AppleCare+ protection plan and thats where Apple will see a major profit.
I regularly see broken iPhones and understand that people want protection from breaking a very expensive device. However, I also see most people wrap their iPhone in a case and as ZDNets Jason Perlow writes every year, you can provide protection with a rugged case. A case is a less expensive option than AppleCare+.
We all know that insurance is a highly profitable business and most of us pay into insurance without ever requiring reimbursement. AppleCare+ costs $129. If you damage your device, then a service fee of $99, plus tax, is charged for up to two incidents in a two-year period.
Did you know that you can skip the insurance and pay Apple $149 to have your broken iPhone 6s or 6s Plus display replaced? Yep, thats less expensive than buying the AppleCare+ coverage and paying the service fee. Heres a table comparing up to three iPhone 6s/6s Plus screen replacements with the total cumulative figure in parenthesis.