Emerging Risk Evaluation Critical to Urban Insurers

October 21, 2004

Insurers doing business in urban areas should adopt a loss prevention program that looks at emerging risks and new risk management techniques, recommends the Chicago-based Urban Insurance
Partners Institute, an urban and emerging markets resource.

Indoor air quality, which includes mold, insulation fibers, tobacco smoke and other contaminants, is a growing issue, according to UIPI.

“The mold litigation educated consumers about air quality,” said Troy E. Johnson, executive director of the Environmental Education Foundation.

“In an effort to protect the public and gain a wider adoption from the insurance and lending communities, the Environmental Protection Agency has contracted with the EEF to build a coalition of the major players in this industry to promulgate new ‘Industry Best Practices’
governing indoor air quality, including the use of the EPA’s I-BEAM software,” Johnson added. “EEF is working with insurers, builders, and lenders to advise the agency.”

“These best practices, if adopted, are likely to raise standards and expectations for residential and commercial buildings,” said UIPI President Suzanne Reade. “Insurers should take a look at
how these proposed rules might affect construction, as well as insurance coverage, for older buildings in urban areas.”

Johnson believes the best practices for loss prevention and mitigation are already developed. “Insurers can readily implement a low cost control plan that helps them cope with this evolving arena,” he said.

Johnson and Jensen will address risk management and loss control issues at the Oct. 27, 2004, Urban Insurance Advantage workshop in Chicago, organized by UIPI. Other speakers include Illinois Acting Director, Deirdre Manna, and Massachusetts Commissioner, Julianne M. Bowler.

The workshop will focus on proven strategies to deliver strong results in emerging urban markets. More information on the one day event can be found on the UIPI Web site at www.uipi.org.

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