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N.Y. publishes infectious disease prevention rules for employers

The New York State Department of Labor on Tuesday published its Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan under the recently enacted New York Health and Essential Rights Act, which requires the state to create various industry-specific model plans for the prevention of airborne infectious disease.

Under the law, employers who are not subject to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 prevention — which applies only to the health care industry — can choose to adopt the applicable policy template/plan provided by state DOL or by Aug. 5 establish an alternative plan that “meets or exceeds” the standard’s minimum requirements.

The plan calls for infectious disease exposure controls, such as social distancing, face coverings, disinfection and hand hygiene facilities, to be put into place in the event of “an airborne infectious agent or disease designated by the Commissioner of Health as a highly contagious communicable

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Lemonade’s disturbing Twitter thread reveals how AI-powered insurance can go wrong

Lemonade, the fast-growing, machine learning-powered insurance app, put out a real lemon of a Twitter thread on Monday with a proud declaration that its AI analyzes videos of customers when determining if their claims are fraudulent. The company has been trying to explain itself and its business model — and fend off serious accusations of bias, discrimination, and general creepiness — ever since.

The prospect of being judged by AI for something as important as an insurance claim was alarming to many who saw the thread, and it should be. We’ve seen how AI can discriminate against certain races, genders, economic classes, and disabilities, among other categories, leading to those people being denied housing, jobs, education, or justice. Now we have an insurance company that prides itself on largely replacing human brokers and actuaries with bots and AI, collecting data about customers without them realizing they were giving it away,

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Marsh McLennan reveals April data breach

Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. was hit by a data breach in April involving access to Social Security numbers and other personal information of staff, former staff, clients and a range of other people linked to the brokerage.

The company sent a breach notification dated June 30, which was obtained by Business Insurance, stating that it discovered the breach on April 26 and that an “unauthorized actor had leveraged a vulnerability in a third party’s software since at least April 22.”

The breach involved a “limited set of data,” and Marsh McLennan notified law enforcement authorities and took action that ended the breach on April 30, the notification said. The company said it reset system access rights and imposed additional restrictions.

The information involved included names, Social Security numbers or other federal tax identification numbers.

Marsh McLennan said in the notification it held the data because recipients were current or

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Aon, Marsh trade accusations in poaching dispute

Aon PLC and Marsh LLC are engaged in a bitter legal dispute the hiring of 44 former Aon employees, with the brokerage seeking a temporary restraining order against Marsh.

Aon charges in litigation initially filed in state court in Miami June 24 that Marsh recruited “ringleader” Michael Parrish, formerly managing director for its east region, his chief lieutenant, Robert Lynn, as well as key executives “through promises of lavish raises and financial reward, and induced them to organize a covert, mass resignation” despite “reasonable restrictive covenants,” according to court documents, Aon Risk Services Inc. of Florida et al. v. Marsha USA Inc. et. al.

The lawsuit charges that defendants conspired to solicit Aon clients and prospects across the brokerage’s commercial risk and health care industry sectors and to misappropriate valuable intellectual property, including proprietary and confidential information and trade secrets.

Marsh fired back Tuesday, pointing to the U.S. Department of

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Coverage ‘inadequate’ in Florida condo collapse: Judge

The Surfside, Florida, condominium building that collapsed last week had $48 million in total property and liability coverage, which will be “inadequate” to compensate everyone fully, a Miami-Dade circuit judge has said.

In an online meeting Thursday, Judge Michael Hanzman was told by attorneys for the Champlain Towers South condo association that they were aware of only $30 million in property insurance and $18 million in liability coverage, according to a segment posted online by the Miami Herald.

Great American Insurance Co. is the property insurer for the building.

“It looks like for the property damage claims and the injury and death claims there’s going to be a total of $48 million which will obviously be inadequate to compensate everyone fully to the extent of their harm,” Judge Hanzman said.

“I don’t know if there are any third-party claims. Maybe there are, maybe there aren’t, but we are dealing with

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HHS should improve sharing of cyber threat information: GAO

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services could provide more cybersecurity help to health care organizations by routinely sharing threat information, the U.S. General Accountability Office said Monday in a report.

But HHS said it disagrees with the GAO’s recommendation that this be accomplished by coordinating communication between two HHS entities, although it does agree with six other recommendations the GAO made.

The two HHS entities are the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center, which was established to improve cybersecurity information sharing in the sector, and the Healthcare Threat Operations Center, a federal interagency program co-led by HHS that focuses on, among other things, providing descriptive and actionable cyber data.

Because of a lack of coordination between these two entities, the cybersecurity center does not routinely receive cybersecurity information from the threat operations center that can be passed on, the report says.

“Until HHS formalizes coordination for the two entities,

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BAM! SPLAT! Lawsuit latest strike against villainous projectiles

A hotel chain was served a lawsuit this week that arrived in the form of a comic book depicting the real-life struggles of an iconic Houston comic store that has been dodging projectiles thrown by guests onto its store.

As reported in the Houston Chronicle, the owner of Third Planet is taking on his alleged villains — Crowne Plaza and Pacifica Companies — with a 13-page, full-color lawsuit that attorneys for the store say may be the first of its kind.

The result, as reported in the newspaper, is a “colorful piece of litigation that seeks to attain justice for the plucky shop that has remained famous in Houston and a landmark for sci-fi fans across the country.”

“The irony that this out-of-state corporate entity and corporate owner would actually try to bury, literally bury, Third Planet, is upsetting,” the store’s lawyer, Cris Feldman, told the newspaper.

The attorney for

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Policyholder loses federal appeal of BI ruling

In what may be the first federal appeals court ruling on the issue, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled against an oral surgeon’s practice as to whether a policyholder can recover for COVID-19 losses under its business interruption coverage.

In its ruling in Oral Surgeons, P.C. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., a three-judge panel of the St. Louis-based appeals court agreed with the U.S. District Court in Des Moines, Iowa, that the practice’s policy required “physical loss” or “physical damage” to trigger business interruption and extra expense coverage.

“Oral Surgeons did not allege any physical alteration of property,” the ruling said.  “The complaint pleaded generally that Oral Surgeons suspended non-emergency procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related government-imposed restrictions.

The ruling said Oral Surgeons had alleged no facts showing it had suspended activities due to direct “accidental physical loss or accidental physical damage,” regardless

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Why A Lincoln Nebraska-Based Insurance Company Launched A Podcast Focused On ‘Good Business’

Since writing Better Business: How the B Corp Movement is Remaking Capitalism I have been invited to be a guest on many podcasts to discuss the book and the importance of sustainable and equitable business in the post-Covid world. One of the more interesting invitations came from Assurity, a life insurance company headquartered in Lincoln Nebraska to be a guest on their Good Business podcast. This raised the question for me of why an insurance company hosts and produces a podcast on good business. 

To understand this better, I interviewed Tom Henning, President and CEO, Assurity. He described to me that “at Assurity,

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Can new technologies power insurance penetration in Nigeria? [Business Africa]

Insurance penetration in Nigeria remains at less than 1%. According to official data, the penetration rate of the sector which plunged into deep recession in 2020 stands at 0.5 %.

It’s a low rate compared to 13.4 % in South Africa. But the average for insurance penetration in Africa remains generally low.

Macroeconomics and inefficiencies in the insurance sector has reportedly played a role in the low inclusion and penetration rate on the continent.

For instance, analysts say claims processes are still largely paper-based, and exorbitant, time consuming and ineffective.

Thus calls for a full digitally-driven insurance market in Africa continue to grow. This is viewed as a sure way to create financial inclusion and bring quality financial services to the public.

One of such companies working to bring this into fruition is Curacel. The insurance technology platform says it is leveraging on artificial intelligence to power claims processing and

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