Chef Thomas Keller sues insurer over coronavirus business interruption claims

Insurance Business America | March 31, 2020

Chef Thomas Keller, whose restaurants collectively hold a total of seven Michelin stars, has filed a suit against his insurer over business interruption claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The suit, filed by attorney John Houghtaling against insurer Hartford Fire Insurance Company, requests that the court make a legally-binding decision on whether Keller’s policy allows him to recover business losses sustained in connection to the outbreak. Restaurant Hospitality reported that the lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of California County of Napa. In a release, Houghtaling explained that Keller’s business interruption claim was turned down because Hartford said that there were no “dangerous conditions” at the restaurants.

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The White Paper on UHI sets out the policy vision for the most radical ever reform of our health system. The major overhaul of the system will see a move away from a two-tier unequal health system to a single-tier system where access is based on need and not on income.


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CORE INSURANCE

The Evolution of Cyber Insurance in 2021 Through the Lens of expert.ai's Artificial Intelligence

expert.ai | December 28, 2021

Expert.ai (EXAI:IM), the premier artificial intelligence (AI) platform for language understanding, today released a new Expert IQ Report, "How Cyber Insurance Has Evolved in 2021." The report provides insurers with insight into unprecedented change and risk being driven by the pandemic, causing costs to soar and confusion to spread across the marketplace. In the first half of 2021 alone, threat research shows global cyber-attacks climbed 29%, ransomware incidents jumped 93% and demands rose an astounding 518%. Report findings are produced using expert.ai's advanced natural language understanding (NLU) capabilities. The technology takes a unique approach to AI by combining symbolic human-like comprehension and machine learning (ML) to create practical applications that deliver real business impact and measurable benefits. With deep understanding of any kind of document (presentations, contracts, emails, claims, reports, posts, social media messages, etc.) it helps organizations turn unstructured language details into structured data at speed and scale. This augments discovery capabilities and streamlines the automation of complex, knowledge-centric processes. The Expert IQ Report is a regular series that provides deep content analysis from massive amounts of language data on a given subject. For "How Cyber Insurance Has Evolved in 2021," expert.ai analyzed a sample of approximately 1,130 articles, published in a range of insurance industry outlets between January 2021 and November 2021. Focused on insurance news, opinions and analysis, the analysis identified the cyber-related issues discussed most online, capturing the main topics, trends and sentiment expressed about them. A few of the cyber insurance findings in the report include: Products and impact: Cybersecurity and cyber risks were common themes with data clearly showing both a need for more suitable insurance products and the potential impact on existing contracts. Insurers struggle with risk: A strong correlation between cyber threats and COVID-19 appears to show that underwriters are struggling to evaluate their exposure to pandemic-generated vulnerabilities. Resilience and relevance: Cyber risks have been testing the ability of organizations to prepare for, respond to and recover from attacks. As a result, resiliency emerged as the main topic across 67% of cyber-related articles in the sample analyzed, proving the insurance sector is still relevant to global improvements in cyber resilience. "What makes policy review and comparison especially complex for cyber is that threats are evolving and growing. Contracts may exceed 100 pages – it's not easy to streamline the review process to avoid unintended risk exposure while ensuring coverage certainty, With NLU, we augment underwriters by making policy reviews faster, more consistent and accurate. We help them overcome new challenges - like those posed by 'silent cyber' - by improving the reading, identification and extractions of critical information around explicit and implicit coverages." -Pamela Negosanti, head of sector strategy for financial services and insurance at expert.ai. "The right AI approach can provide enterprises competitive advantage by automatically generating fast, accurate market understanding from existing business documents. You can identify emerging risks and trends, gain a detailed picture of sentiment, design more effective and profitable products, seize new opportunities and more. It's insight today for decision-making that'll shape your future and provide strategic advantage." -Keith C. Lincoln, expert.ai CMO About expert.ai Expert.ai (EXAI: IM) is the premier artificial intelligence platform for language understanding. Its unique hybrid approach to natural language combines symbolic human-like comprehension and machine learning to extract useful knowledge and insight from unstructured data to improve decision making. With a full range of on-premises, private and public cloud offerings, expert.ai enhances business operations, accelerates and scales natural language data science capabilities while simplifying AI adoption across a vast range of industries, including insurance, banking & finance, publishing & media, defense & intelligence, life science & pharma, and oil, gas & energy. Expert.ai has cemented itself at the forefront of natural language solutions and serves global businesses such as AXA XL, Zurich Insurance Group, Generali, The Associated Press, Bloomberg INDG, BNP Paribas, Rabobank, Gannett and EBSCO.

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CORE INSURANCE

Data-fueled Insurance Platform Accelerant Announces Growth Funding Round in Excess of $190M

ELDRIDGE | January 13, 2022

Accelerant, the insurtech empowering underwriters with superior risk exchange and data analytics coupled with long-term capacity commitments, today announced it has raised in excess of $190 million at a $2 billion pre-money valuation led by Eldridge, with participation from Deer Park, Marshall Wace, MS&AD Ventures, and others. Existing majority investor Altamont Capital Partners also participated in the round. Accelerant will deploy the capital to continue to rebuild the way that underwriters share and exchange risk to improve outcomes for program managers, primary issuing carriers, and ultimate risk-bearers. "Aspects of the insurance industry have been broken for a long time, At Accelerant our approach is pretty simple — which is maybe what makes it a little radical: We're bringing transparency, data, and shared incentives back into the equation, serving MGUs as important partners in the insurance ecosystem, and overall making it easier and more efficient to exchange risk. The approach is clearly resonating and successfully aligning incentives. I'm thrilled by this endorsement of our strategy and to have the opportunity to put this capital to work on behalf of our current and prospective Members in service of the industry at large. We look forward to working with new partners to apply our differentiated approach and technology to lines of insurance beyond SME within which we can have an equally significant impact." -Jeff Radke, CEO and co-founder of Accelerant. Historically, underwriting teams supporting complex or niche lines of business have lacked the modern solutions needed to facilitate their work, which has hindered their ability to get capacity and to properly understand and exchange risk. With a partner-first approach, Accelerant specializes in serving a carefully selected and managed network of managing general underwriters (MGU) and program administrators (PA) that it refers to as its Members. Accelerant's InSightFull™ data platform helps members better understand risk, benefit from insights, and handle operational and regulatory complexity. Together, Accelerant works with its Members to drive market-leading profitable growth, focusing on the small and medium-sized businesses that power our global economy and their niche insurance needs. "The Accelerant team understands the challenges that MGUs and PAs face with conventional carriers, and they've built an offering to address those needs. With cutting-edge data and analytic capabilities, Accelerant's platform eliminates bureaucracy to offer an experience that prioritizes velocity and collaboration, We're excited to support Accelerant as they enter their next phase of growth and create value throughout the insurance ecosystem with their member-centric, collaborative approach." -Todd Boehly, co-founder and CEO of Eldridge. ABOUT ACCELERANT Accelerant is a data-driven, technology-fueled insurance platform that empowers underwriters to more effectively serve their insureds. We're using advanced data intelligence tools to rebuild the way that underwriters share and exchange risk. With a current focus on the small and medium-sized businesses that power our global economy and their niche insurance needs, we align incentives to improve outcomes for everyone. Our full-service risk exchange supports our carefully selected, best-in-class network of underwriting teams. We leverage granular information on each policy to deliver unprecedented insight into insurance pools, and our specialty portfolio is fully diversified with very low catastrophe, aggregation, or systemic risk. We're proud to have been awarded an AM Best A- (Excellent) rating. ABOUT ELDRIDGE Eldridge invests in businesses across the Insurance, Asset Management, Technology, Mobility, Sports & Gaming, Media & Music, Real Estate, and Consumer landscapes. The firm seeks to build and grow businesses led by proven management teams that have demonstrated leadership and experience to scale an enterprise. Eldridge is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, with additional offices in Beverly Hills, New York, and London.

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HEALTH INSURANCE

AXA XL announces new leadership for Specialty Niche insurance business in the Americas

AXA XL | January 10, 2022

AXA XL Insurance has promoted Maria Duhart to lead its Specialty Niche insurance business in the Americas. Ms. Duhart steps into the role of Chief Underwriting Officer for Specialty Niche from her previous role as head of AXA XL's Commercial Bonds business. In her new role, Ms. Duhart reports to Donna Nadeau, Chief Underwriting Officer for the Americas and assumes multi-line underwriting management responsibility of AXA XL's collective Specialty Niche insurance lines in the Americas which includes Political Risk, Trade Credit and Commercial Bonds; War, Terrorism and Political Violence; Fine Art & Specie, Leisure and Entertainment and Structured Risk Solutions. "Since joining us in 2017, Maria has led our Commercial Bond business, impressively growing this business and building a talented underwriting team. With more than 20 years of insurance, business strategy and finance experience, Maria is well prepared for her new responsibilities, already having a strong grasp of our specialty lines businesses and the respect of our brokers, reinsurers, and colleagues." -Ms. Nadeau Before joining AXA XL, Ms. Duhart served as Head of Commercial Surety at Nationwide. She also previously held the roles of Regional Commercial Surety Manager, Assistant Vice President – Surety and Senior Surety Underwriting Specialist at Chubb. She is a graduate from the Catholic University of Argentina and holds a Master's in Business Administration from New York University.

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CORE INSURANCE

Kuvare Insurance Services Launches Third-Party Asset Management Business

Kuvare | February 08, 2022

Kuvare Insurance Services (KIS), a boutique asset manager that oversees approximately $19 billion in assets for various insurance operating companies owned by or affiliated with Kuvare US Holdings (Kuvare), today announced the launch of its third-party asset management business. “Insurance investors continue to be motivated to search for yield against a backdrop that remains challenging. KIS has constructed bespoke private credit solutions in-house to augment Kuvare’s core fixed income assets, originating approximately $5 billion[1] in primarily investment grade private credit at attractive book yields vs. publicly-traded comparables,” -Brian Roelke, President and Chief Investment Officer KIS now plans to extend its experience across private asset-backed and structured credit, private corporates, and commercial mortgage debt to non-affiliated insurance clients. In conjunction with the launch, Roelke has recently added three key members to his executive leadership team. Ana Morales joins KIS as Managing Director, Head of Business Development and Product Strategy. She will be responsible for leading client relationships and advancing the growth of the KIS third-party asset management platform. Morales, who has 17 years of industry experience, joins from Goldman Sachs where she was a Managing Director, Senior Relationship Manager in the firm’s insurance asset management business. Prior to that, Morales built and led BlackRock’s exchange-traded funds insurance distribution team. Joseph Orofino joins as Managing Director, Head of Investment Risk Management. He has over 20 years of industry experience, most recently at Further Global Capital Management where he was part of the executive team for two operating companies. Prior to that, Orofino led Aflac’s investment initiatives in non-core fixed income, alternatives, and public equities. He also held senior investment and risk management roles at Swiss Re. Thomas Pasuit joins as Chief Legal Officer. Prior to joining KIS, Pasuit spent over 16 years at MetLife, most recently as Head of MetLife Investment Management’s Fixed Income and Alternatives legal team. He began his legal career at Connell Foley, LLP, where he specialized in bankruptcy and financial restructuring. “The launch of the third-party asset management platform and these new appointments reflect our commitment to attracting an extraordinary team to support outstanding client service and portfolio performance. Our talent bench positions us to address the unique investment objectives of insurers and capitalize on market opportunities to drive portfolio alpha.” -Dhiren Jhaveri, Kuvare founder and Chief Executive Officer, About Kuvare Insurance Services (KIS) Headquartered in New York City, KIS is a boutique asset management firm that specializes in building tailored solutions for insurance companies with the goal to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns. Led by a seasoned team of insurance industry investment professionals and asset class specialists, KIS oversees all investment activities for Kuvare’s operating companies. This represents approximately $19 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2021, including core fixed income assets, where KIS partners with leading global asset managers. For more information about KIS, please visit https://kuvare.com/insurance-services. About Kuvare Kuvare is a technology-enabled financial services platform that provides insurance, reinsurance, and asset management solutions. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Kuvare focuses on delivering value-oriented solutions to the middle market. Founded in 2015, Kuvare is committed to a sustainable growth strategy, backed by a consortium of long-term capital partners. The family of Kuvare companies includes Lincoln Benefit Life Company, Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company, United Life Insurance Company, Kuvare Life Re, and KIS.

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The White Paper on UHI sets out the policy vision for the most radical ever reform of our health system. The major overhaul of the system will see a move away from a two-tier unequal health system to a single-tier system where access is based on need and not on income.

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