BMS Group Launches Miami hub; Jose Astorqui Named as CEO, BMS Latin America

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the launch of its Miami Hub with the appointment of Jose Astorqui to the newly created role of Chief Executive Officer, BMS Latin America.

The new Miami office is part of BMS’s stated strategy to expand its proposition in selective international markets. BMS sees an attractive opportunity for growth in the region and will use Miami as its base to service business from Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Reporting to Nick Cook, BMS CEO, Jose Astorqui will join BMS from Howden Insurance Brokers later in the year once his contractual obligations to Howden have been fulfilled. Jose has a strong track record of managing a portfolio across the region and has been based in Miami as Howden’s Director of Latin America since 2008.

Nick Cook commented:

“BMS are delighted to have secured a candidate of Jose’s calibre to lead our new Miami office. His experience will help accelerate our presence in the region as we seek to capitalise on Latin America’s rapid economic growth. The opportunities in this region are complementary to our growth strategy and Jose’s appointment is another exciting development for BMS.”

Jose Astorqui added:

“BMS have a compelling vision for growth and I am honoured to have been asked to lead their new venture in the region.”

BMS Powers iVision with Esri’s ArcGIS Platform

Redlands, California—February 10, 2015—Esri announces that BMS, the US reinsurance brokering arm of Minova Insurance Group, has integrated the ArcGIS platform into its award-winning carrier solution, iVision.

iVision is based on specific input from BMS clients on how they want to use a spatial analytics platform in their own workflow. Assisted by Esri partner GeoDecisions, BMS created the solution to provide carriers with a way to reduce claims handling expenses, manage large loss exposures, and understand a policy’s portfolio loss correlation before it is bound.

“As a broker, we aim to deliver exceptional service to clients,” said Julie Serakos, executive vice president, Catastrophe Analytics Department, BMS. “Esri’s ArcGIS platform has helped us achieve this aim: the provision of our analytics software, iVision, positions BMS as a market leader within the insurance industry.”

BMS will share how they are applying Esri solutions to take control of disruptive events at RAA’s Cat Risk Management 2015 in Orlando, Florida, February 10–12, 2015.

“Integrating Geography into Systems, Workflows, and Process”
Dan Madsen, Senior Vice President, BMS
Wednesday, February 11, 2015, at 4:30 p.m.
Breakout Sessions, Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Visit Esri at RAA and learn how you can more accurately predict and prepare for catastrophes, provide the best service to your clients after an event, and understand your risk in the months to come. Learn more at esri.com/insurance.

Northeast snowfalls and insured losses

Over a decade ago, there were several claims that “snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”  Even as recently as February of last year, The New York Times published an article titled “The End of Snow.” These commentaries predicted that snow would soon be a distant memory, and our children and grandchildren would never see it, except in photographs.  These claims may alarm people, but the data suggests otherwise, particularly along the East Coast of the United States.

One of the most common methods to examine the impact of a winter storm is NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center Regional Snowfall Index (RSI), which uses the area of snowfall, the amounts of snowfall and the number of people living in the snowfall area to quantify the societal impact of a snowstorm.  In the Northeast, the RSI is also known as the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS), and the values are both a raw index value and a categorical value from 0 through 5, much like the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale or Fujita Tornado Scale (i.e., the more snow that falls over a large populated area, the greater the impact on a population and the larger the number.)  This data shows that, over the last decade, there has been a trend toward an increase in high-impact snowstorms along the East Coast.

NESIS Events

Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS) Events

The New York City metropolitan area has the largest population in the U.S., and this area has experienced five of the top 10 snowfalls on record dating back to 1869.  However, not all large East Coast snowstorms result in large insured losses.  For example, New York City’s biggest snowfall occurred on February 11 and 12 of 2006, dumping a total of 26.9 inches.  Yet this event was never declared a PCS event (insured losses over $25 million).  Long Island’s biggest snowstorm in history was the result of a Nor’easter on February 8, 2013 that dropped 33.5 inches of snow in Medford, NY, but this storm did not receive a PCS designation either.  Of the 84 documented NESIS events since 1960, 34 have been a Category 3 (Major), 4 (Crippling) or 5 (Extreme), but only 50% have resulted in PCS losses.  The extent of the losses from the latest snowstorms that have impacted the Northeast, which were preliminarily rated between a Category 2 (Significant) and 3 on the NESIS scale, have yet to be determined.  However, we do know that winter losses are a growing area of concern for the insurance industry due to the fact that, typically, the first quarter is a stable period with little catastrophe loss.

There appears to be a continued lack of understanding around winter storm losses, which is why I am speaking on the subject at the RAA Cat Risk Management Conference in Orlando, FL.  In this presentation, I will dive deeper into the topic and provide insight into the trends and hidden issues that often result when winter storm losses fall below the retention of a normal catastrophe program.  Some of these same issues might emerge due to the latest Nor’easter/blizzard of January 26 – 27, which presented cases for business interruption insurance, CBI coverage loss, and insured loss around ingress/egress and civil authority actions due to shutdowns.