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PFAS: Man-Made Contaminant the “Forever Chemical”

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), once used in everything from dental floss to microwave popcorn bags, are now being recognized as threatening toxic chemicals that pose health risks to populations across the country. PFAS are man-made fluorinated chemical compounds found in a vast array of commercial and consumer products. PFAS contaminants have been found in drinking water nationwide, exposing virtually everyone to some level of exposure. The U.S. government has reported that 98% of the population has detectable levels of PFAS in their blood. Of major concern, a result of one of the chemical properties of PFAS is that they are nearly impervious to biological or chemical degradation and therefore, unless treated, will remain in the soil and groundwater indefinitely, which has led to their nickname “forever chemical”.




From the Field – Natural Cats – Tracking Hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin

Ironshore’s recent executive seminars for broker partners in California and Washington was an overview of the methodology and history of the longest running hurricane seasonal forecast as well as the latest predictions for 2019. Our guest speaker, Dr. Phil Klotzbach, is a Research Scientist at the Tropical Meteorology Project in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. Dr. Klotzbach began as co-author on the Atlantic basin hurricane forecasts with Dr. William (Bill) Gray who began issuing these forecasts in 1984. Dr. Klotzbach became first author on the seasonal hurricane forecasts in 2006. He also developed the two- week forecasts currently being issued during the peak months of the hurricane season between August-October. Ironshore has been a sponsor of the Atlantic basin hurricane forecasts since 2014.



Insurance Risk Management Programs Assist Design-Build Project Contractors

Design-Build is a project delivery contracting method within the construction industry.  An owner enters into a contract with a Contractor or Design-Builder for the complete design and construction of a particular project.  It is prudent for the design-builder to assess the responsibilities and risks they will assume under the design-build agreement and determine how best to manage those risks.  A design-builder will assume certain risks, insure others, and transfer risk to design professionals and trade sub-contractors.



From the Field – AI and the black box – who is liable when no one is at fault?

AI is already on its way to transforming healthcare delivery and improving patient outcomes. However, while AI, Machine Learning, and Robotics are all designed to reduce human error and increase the predictability of patient care, they also create new risks across the healthcare liability landscape. In this post, we will consider what happens when lawsuits get ahead of science, insurance considerations in this new liability landscape, and possible modifications to legal doctrine to address this new science.



From the Field – Are your old strategies and behaviors sinking the new tech you deployed? 

Previous posts covered the Impact of AI and the tremendous amount of data produced by a tech driven, hyper personalized economy and the existential threat to the insurance industry. Here, via Tom’s unique storytelling, we explore how these potential perils can become advantages for a nimble business willing to change how they approach strategy and tactical delivery as well as how their underwriters and analysts approach learning and collaboration with their insureds. 



From the Field – The Digital Self. What is the greatest existential threat to insurance?

Ironshore’s recent executive seminar for broker partners addressed the broad impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its implications on the Insurance industry.  Our guest speaker, Tom Koulopoulos, is Chairman and Founder of Delphi Group, a Boston- based think tank providing advice on leading edge technologies and futures to Global 2000 organizations. In our last post we explored Tom’s perspective on the The Impact of AI. In this second installment, we explore Tom’s question, “What is the existential threat to insurance?” To get to the answer, he first summarizes the new digital ecosystem and the “digital self” that exists for each person and entity in the world today.