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2012 Innovation Awards: Risk Response

2012 Innovation Awards: Risk Response

CS Stars L.L.C.

Risk Response

CS Stars L.L.C.'s Risk Response automates the process of monitoring and assessing external risks such as weather, fires and earthquakes, allowing risk managers to quickly determine whether an event impacts a specific property or asset.

Stars, a Chicago-based unit of insurance brokerage Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., developed the system over two years and made it available to risk managers in November 2011.

Risk Response, a 2012 Business Insurance Innovation Award winner, is part of Stars' risk and claims management information system and is accessible through a community cloud infrastructure.

The system monitors U.S. weather events as they are published from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United States Geological Survey. Once an event occurs near an organization's property, the system sends a notification to an assigned manager.

“Risk Response is all about capturing external data—something that is not normally captured in (risk management information) systems,” said Jim Carbone, Chicago-based manager of research and development for Stars.

Typical users of Stars' RMIS monitor internal risks such as locations, claims and incidents, Mr. Carbone.

“We started sensing for external risk factors like earthquakes and weather events. We bring that information into the system so they can relate what is going on at a particular location, bringing an external context to their data,” he said.

For example, if a magnitude 5 earthquake occurs within 75 miles of an organization's property, Risk Response automatically will generate a notification to the facility manager, Mr. Carbone said.

“That relation is made and logged in our system. Now we can react to it,” he said.

The system then can automatically generate an audit assessment, which notifies, for example, a structural engineer within the company to assess any potential damage in the event that an earthquake has occurred.

“Risk response is about that reaction,” Mr. Carbone said, noting that a risk manager who oversees multiple locations across the United States can monitor weather-related risks from a single location.

“There are a lot of events that occur on a daily basis,” he said.

Risk Response also allows risk managers to identify context around their internal risk data to better understand how to mitigate risks, Mr. Carbone said. For example, if an organization noticed an unexplained spike in claims over a couple of weeks, its risk managers may be able to use intuition only to identify the anomaly, he said.

“However, when you cross-reference that with weather data, you may be able to see that that spike in claims was related to some icy weather during that time,” he said. “Rather than going off of gut feelings on how to mitigate risk, you're actually bringing data into the equation, and you can make better decisions.”

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