New Market, New Opportunities

Peter Eastwood-Photo Credit LinkedIn

A new player is on the block and the P&C industry may never look the same.  Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has added another weapon to its already powering arsenal with the opening of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty (BHS).

The new insurer will be led by Peter Eastwood formerly of American International Group (AIG).  Eastwood spent over 20 years at AIG and was the CEO of the property-casualty division in America.  Eastwood attended Ohio Wesleyan University to earn a degree in economics and continued to NYU’s Stern School of Business for his MBA.  He made the move to AIG from Lexington Insurance out of Boston and was President and CEO at both companies.

According to the Insurance Journal, BHS will have staff in Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta with staff coming primarily from AIG & CAN Financial Corp.  Along with Eastwood, the company brings along:

David Bresnahan – Photo Credit LinkedIn

David Bresnahan was President of Lexington Insurance Company out of Boston, Massachusetts. He completed his undergrad at Boston College in economics and continued on to earn his MBA at Boston University in 1999. David is the Executive Vice President overseeing casualty, health, professional and executive liability.

Sanjay Godhwani attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and studied actuarial science.  He worked with Eastwood at AIG and will be the Executive Vice President of property & programs at BHS.

Sanjay Godhwani

Sanjay Godhwani-Photo Credit LinkedIn

David Fields, also formerly of AIG, headed the global casualty department out of New York City.  After earning a bachelors in physics at Rutgers University in 1977 he continued to become an actuarial assistant at ISO. David worked his way through the ranks at AIG and will assume the Executive Vice President position overseeing underwriting, actuarial finance and reinsurance.

David Crowe leaves Chartis Insurance out of Boston, Massachusetts to become the Sr. VP of Claims with BHS.  He was the head of Commercial Property claims at Chartis for just under two years before making the move in April.

American International Group

American International Group (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although BHS has yet to announce products yet alone release a website, it is believed that they will target larger classes of P&C business similar to that of which Eastwood was familiar with at AIG.  A few of those products include Coastal Condo/Hotel/Motel program, a wide appetite for commercial transportation, a program design for the Firearms Industry, and a program for recycling businesses. These lines of business may transfer over to BHS due to their leadership’s experience for the respected niches.

As a large account P&C carrier, BHS is poised to be the perfect complement to Berkshire Hathaway’s other growing company, United States Liability Insurance (USLI).  Automation, quick turnaround and competitive coverage is what has propelled USLI into the position they are in today.  With a sister company such as BHS, producers could have market access for the risks that do not fit USLI’s “box” qualification.

Larger accounts certainly need more underwriting, but with the technology already in place at USLI and Geico, this new Buffet company could redefine the mid-large size business insurance market.

Will you seek an appointment with Berkshire Hathaway Specialty?

Let us know your thoughts… and by the way, they are hiring!


PRISM & Data Breach Response

The emergence of PRISM has caused a stir in the United States.

What is PRISM?

It is a collaboration between the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the biggest tech companies in the country.  The agreement has provided the U.S. Government access to data including audio communication, videos, photos, emails, documents, call logs and text messages since 2007.

Headquarters of the NSA at Fort Meade, Marylan...

Headquarters of the NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland. 

How has PRISM come to light?

On Wednesday June 5th, a classified order was shared and made public.  The order to Verizon Wireless by the Foreign Surveillance Court directed the company to turn over domestic & foreign call data from the past and in the future.  Such data would be gathered by the millions and would provide sender and receiver of calls, duration, time and location.

PRISM came about through leaked PowerPoint slides that described the collaboration between the government and the tech giants.  When questioned, companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft gave the same canned response, “we do not provide the government with direct access to our servers.”

James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence made statements suggesting that the collaboration existed and that the government was operating within the legal system.  Here’s what Clapper wrote about PRISM.

The whistle-blower

, 29 year old, Edward Snowden was a member of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.  Snowden claims that a “massive surveillance machine” is in the making and that he leaked the information to  “inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.” Snowden is currently in Hong Kong, China while various US diplomats are calling for the country to extradite him.

As if internet security and privacy were not already a hot topic, it can be an effective transition into offering Data Breach Response Coverage.

The Breach Response product is tailored to healthcare, retail, hospitality and higher education operations.  The product is geared to moderate the results of a breach of data.  These mitigation tools will help minimize brand damage and legal liability by offering the following coverage.

Data Breach Response Features

For claim examples for Data Breach Response, click here.

Apple’s WWDC Live Blog

10:00 AM PST

The World Wide Developers Conference is just about to begin.  For those of you who don’t know what the WWDC is… It is the annual presentation from Apple announcing to the world new products, software and company goals.  This is the same stage where Steve Jobs changed the world by presenting the iPhone 1 in January of 2007.

Some have speculated that the 2013 Keynote address from CEO Tim Cook will reveal a new iOS operating system with a “flat look”, an introduction into a new music streaming service & a possible iWatch.  Time will tell.

Follow along on your iOS Device at the following link.

10:09 AM PST

The opening to the conference as flashy as usual.  The fancy graphics featured black and white dots that interacted with some catchy phrases on the screen.

“We can confuse Abundance with Choice”

“Craft around our intentions”

The beginning graphics may have offered some insight into the new iOS 7 design “black, white and flat all over”.

Anki Drive

The first big topic of the day was Anki Drive, which is a “robotics and artificial intelligence company” that introduced their video game featuring driverless cars on a map like rug.  Does this introduce Apple’s interest in driverless cars?

Aniki Drive Presentation during the WWDC

Aniki Drive Presentation during the WWDC

Waze, a driving app that identifies traffic patterns in users was recently purchased by Google for $1.3 Billion.  Waze has been discussed to having groundbreaking potential in the driverless car arena.  Keep an eye out for Anki Drive.

OS X Mavericks

For the last 10 software updates, Apple has used the name of big cats, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion etc.  As they are running out of Big Cats to name, a presenter cracked a joke naming the OS X “Sea Lion”.

After a quick laugh, the real name of the new software was revealed as Mavericks, based on the state of California, where the company originated and continues to innovate in.

–          Smoother & more convenient use of multiple displays was introduce

–          App Nap is introduced to free up unused memory when programs are in use

–          Safari will introduce a cleaner home page and a side bar that links your twitter feeds to links posted by those you follow

The operating system will be available this Fall.

iOS 7

iPhone has been ranked #1 by JD Power for the last 9 years running.

Al Gore loves iOS7

Al Gore loves iOS7

New Features Available – John Ive

–          “Biggest change to iOS since the launch of iPhone”

–          Typography

–          Layers with advanced application hierarchy

–          Depth & recognition capacity

–          “Instantly familiar” with organization

New Features

Control Center

–          Swipe up from bottom to release accessibility preferences

–          Brightness, flashlight, music player


–          Preserves battery life when applications are in use

–          Frequent background activity

–          Patterns when you open apps and updates to your trends “intelligent scheduling”

–          New App navigation (double tap)


–          New full screen look

–          Smart search field with tap on top of bar

–          New tab interface

–          iCloud Keychain accessibility

–          Reading list with links from social sites

–          More than 8 tabs available


–          Share documents, files with friends around your device

–          Accept or decline share

–          “Bump” feature


–          Swipe between video or still

–          Built in filters


–          Photos are separated into moments

–          Time & place where images were taken

–          Organize by collection, year and places

–          Sharing options updates


–          New interface

–          New voice options – Male & Female available

–          Integration with Twitter, Wikipedia & Bing

Auto Makers who will be integrating iOS in their built in monitors by 2014

Auto Makers who will be integrating iOS in their built in monitors by 2014

iOS in the Car

–          Car manufacturers including iOS monitors

New Built in App for iOS7

New Built in App for iOS7

App Store

–          Search apps based on age range

–          Search popular apps by your location

–          Automatic app updates, no more notifications


–          iTunes Radio

–          keeps track of every song you listen to

–          add to wish list

–          1 touch buying

–          Free with ads

 Other features

–          FaceTime Audio only – over wifi

–          Phone, FaceTime & Message blocking

–          Notification sync

–          Do not track option on Safari

Final Release this Fall