Infographic: The Risk List

Top 6 Risks of U.S. Companies Working Globally

Working overseas poses countless risks for employers and employees. Presented by Travelers.
By: | December 10, 2014 • 2 min read
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The Risk List is presented by:

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The R&I Editorial Team may be reached at riskletters@lrp.com.
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Risk Insider: Jerry Poole

Backing Out of TRIA Harms Us All

By: | December 10, 2014 • 2 min read
Jerry Poole is president and CEO of Acrometis, a PA based company offering claims processing platforms designed specifically for workers’ comp. With more than 20 years in the workers’ comp industry, Jerry is responsible for managing internal operations at the company. He can be reached at jerry.d.poole@acrometis.com.

Insuring risk is a societal and economic necessity.  The goal of insurance is to spread risk across a large enough pool of people or businesses with similar risk profiles as to make the costs and variability manageable.

No one entity can reserve for or pay for catastrophic events such as the loss of a home or business. So we all pay yearly in the form of premiums that go into a pool to protect those struck by catastrophe.

Risk is measured in two major categories 1) the probability of an event and 2) the impact if an event happens.

The nature of terrorism is that single actors or small groups can greatly impact both categories, i.e. Timothy McVeigh and a truck load of fertilizer. There are many of us and many ways other humans can harm life and property.

If the government won’t protect us from terrorism and it won’t help insure the results of terrorism, then we have an unprotected economy.

Terrorism is also something that tends to hurt people who aren’t traditionally in high risk jobs, but just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you think back to 9/11 in New York City, or the Oklahoma City bombing, those both took the lives of many people in otherwise low-risk professional classifications.

It is impossible to predict where in our country the next strike may occur, therefore we need to spread the risk pool to as large a group as possible; which means all of the tax base of the country, which is our government. That is what we do with flood insurance, that is why we need to do it with terrorism insurance.

If the government won’t protect us from terrorism and it won’t help insure the results of terrorism, then we have an unprotected economy.  The risk of a terror event is too big for private insurers to cover and would be too expensive for business to afford the premiums.

Without TRIA and without protection from terrorism we will have a dysfunctional economy.  It is the duty of the government to provide an environment where our economy can flourish.  Until we have responsible government we can expect an impeded economic outcome.

The Federal Government has a responsibility to provide something like TRIA. These terroristic acts aren’t aimed at any one person, company or even a city.

Terrorists are using these heinous, violent acts to attack our nation and our government. Our government was created with the security of our nation as its primary responsibility. TRIA needs to be reinstated so that our government can live up to that responsibility.

Read all of Jerry Poole’s Risk Insider contributions.

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Sponsored: Liberty International Underwriters

From Coast to Coast

Planning the Left Coast Lifter's complex voyage demands a specialized team of professionals.
By: | January 7, 2015 • 5 min read

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The 3,920-ton Left Coast Lifter, originally built by Fluor Construction to help build the new Bay Bridge in San Francisco, will be integral in rebuilding the Tappan Zee Bridge by 2018.

The Lifter and the Statue of Liberty

When he got the news, Scot Burford could see it as clearly as if somebody handed him an 8 by 11 color photograph.

On January 30,  the Left Coast Lifter, a massive crane originally built by Fluor Construction to help build the new Bay Bridge in San Francisco, steamed past the Statue of Liberty. Excited observers, who saw the crane entering New York Harbor, dubbed it the “The Hudson River Hoister,” honoring its new role in rebuilding the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River.

Powered by two stout-hearted tug boats, the Lauren Foss and the Iver Foss, it took more than five weeks for the huge crane to complete the 6,000 mile ocean journey from San Francisco to New York via the Panama Canal.

Scot took a deep breath and reflected on all the work needed to plan every aspect of the crane’s complicated journey.

A risk engineer at Liberty International Underwriters (LIU), Burford worked with a specialized team of marine insurance and risk management professionals which included John Phillips, LIU’s Hull Product Line Leader, Sean Dollahon, an LIU Marine underwriter, and Rick Falcinelli, LIU’s Marine Risk Engineering Manager, to complete a detailed analysis of the crane’s proposed route. Based on a multitude of factors, the LIU team confirmed the safety of the route, produced clear guidelines for the tug captains that included weather restrictions, predetermined ports of refuge in the case of bad weather as well as specifying the ballast conditions and rigging of tow gear on the tugs.

Of equal importance, the deep expertise and extensive experience of the LIU team ensured that the most knowledgeable local surveyors and tugboat captains with the best safety records were selected for the project. After all, the most careful of plans will only be as effective as the people who execute them.

The tremendous size of the Left Coast Lifter presented some unique challenges in preparing for its voyage.

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The original intention was to dry tow the crane by loading and securing it on a semi-submersible vessel. However, the lack of an American-flagged vessel that could accommodate the Left Coast Lifter created many logistical complexities and it was decided that the crane would be towed on its own barge.

At first, the LIU team was concerned since the barge was not intended for ocean travel and therefore lacked towing skegs and other structural components typically found on oceangoing barges.

But a detailed review of the plan with the client and contractors gave the LIU team confidence. In this instance, the sheer weight and size of the crane provided sufficient stability, and with the addition of a second tug on the barge’s stern, the LIU team, with its knowledge of barges and tugs, was confident the configuration was seaworthy and the barge would travel in a straight line. The team approved the plan and the crane began its successful voyage.

As impressive as the crane and its voyage were, it was just one piece in hundreds that needed to be underwritten and put in place for the Tappan Zee Bridge project to come off.

Time-Sensitive Quote

SponsoredContent_LIUThe rebuilding of the Tappan Zee Bridge, due to be completed in 2018, is the largest bridge construction project in the modern history of New York. The bridge is 3.1 miles long and will cost more than $3 billion to construct. The twin-span, cable-stayed bridge will be anchored to four mid-river towers.

When veteran contractors American Bridge, Fluor Corp., Granite Construction Northeast and Traylor Bros. formed a joint venture and won the contract to rebuild the Tappan Zee, one of the first things the consortium needed to do was find an insurance partner with the right coverages and technical expertise.

The Marsh broker, Ali Rizvi, Senior Vice President, working with the consortium, was well known to the LIU underwriting and engineering teams. In addition, Burford and the broker had worked on many projects in the past and had a strong relationship. These existing relationships were vital in facilitating efficient communication and data gathering, particularly given the scope and complexity of a project like the Tappan Zee.

And the scope of the project was indeed immense – more than 200 vessels, coming from all over the United States, would be moving construction equipment up the Hudson River.

An integrated team of LIU underwriters and risk engineers (including Burford, Phillips, Dollahon and Falcinelli) got to work evaluating the risk and the proper controls that the project required. Given the global scope of the project, the team’s ability to tap into their tight-knit global network of fellow LIU marine underwriters and engineers with deep industry relationships and expertise was invaluable.

In addition to the large number of vessels, the underwriting process was further complicated by many aspects of the project still being finalized.

“Because the consortium had just won this account, they were still working on contracts and contractors to finalize the deal and were unsure as to where most of the equipment and materials would be coming from,” Burford said.

Despite the massive size of the project and large number of stakeholders, LIU quickly turned around a quote involving three lines of marine coverage, Marine Liability, Project Cargo and Marine Hull & Machinery.

How could LIU produce such a complicated quote in a short period of time? It comes down to integrating risk engineers into the underwriting process, possessing deep industry experience on a global scale and having strong relationships that facilitate communication and trust.

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Photo Credit: New York State Thruway Authority

When completed in 2018, the Tappan Zee will be eight lanes, with four emergency pullover lanes. Commuters sailing across it in their sedans and SUVs might appreciate the view of the Hudson, but they might never grasp the complexity of insuring three marine lines, covering the movements of hundreds of marine vessels carrying very expensive cargo.

Not to mention ferrying a 3,920-ton crane from coast to coast without a hitch.

But that’s what insurance does, in its quiet profundity.

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This article was produced by the R&I Brand Studio, a unit of the advertising department of Risk & Insurance, in collaboration with Liberty International Underwriters. The editorial staff of Risk & Insurance had no role in its preparation.




LIU is part of the Global Specialty Division of Liberty Mutual Insurance.
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