Welcome to the 161st edition of the Cavalcade of Risk. We’re in the heart of the summer and the risks are intense: wildfires, trees through roofs, power failures, and melting tarmacs just to name a few. It’s vacation time, too so submissions to the Cav were a little light. Nonetheless the ones we got were good.
We’ll start with a summer themed entry from Workers’ Comp Insider. What would summer be without the exploitation of child labor? And yet violation of youth-related rules such as minimum age, work permits, and prohibited age by cohort can lead to massive damages that insurance won’t pay for. After reading this post you might think twice before sending junior over to work on that band saw!
I have a confession to make. I love robots. Partly it’s because I think the technology is cool. But it’s also that I love how disruptive robots can be to existing markets, such as the market for nursing labor. So I was thrilled that the Father of All Cavalcades, Hank Stern let a robot/insurance piece slip through his tough Cav submission filter, even if he did express his doubts about it. Car Insurance Comparison provides a thorough discussion of how self-driving robot cars, such as those under development by Google, could end the auto insurance industry as we know it. If there are no crashes then there is no need for car insurance. What’s more there’s really no need for seat belts, air bags or other safety features either.
You probably thought you were done reading about workers comp in this Cav, but no. Rucking Insurance thinks ObamaCare may well put the workers compensation insurance business out of business, too. After all, if everyone has health insurance, why the need for a separate workplace scheme? It’s an interesting point, but I don’t think the WC folks should be quaking in their boots. First, ObamaCare is not a universal insurance program; there will be tens of millions still uncovered. And second, who’s going to fight hard to get rid of this industry?
Like many publications these days, Forbes has a penchant for running hyperbolic headlines to draw readers in. But Colorado Health Insurance Insider isn’t going along with the description of minimum medical loss ratio requirements for health plans as a “bomb buried in Obamacare.” Whereas the Forbes piece makes it seem like a huge stretch for health plans to meet the requirements, many were already doing so even before the Affordable Care Act came into effect.
Risk Management Monitor provides a round-up of the state of the cyber insurance market in the US and Europe. Turns out it’s underdeveloped everywhere, although in the US the business is growing somewhere between 10 and 25 percent per year.
That’ll do it for this issue. Van Mayhall over at Insurance Regulatory Law will be our host next time around.July 11, 2012