The RISC eNews Blast is intended to provide relevant and timely news information from a number of sources to member pool staff. If you see articles in the journals, email and sources you subscribe to that may be of interest to the RISC membership, please feel free to forward them to Erin Rian for inclusion in the eNews Blast. The eNews Blast will be delivered weekly, and the RISC Report newsletter will be delivered every two months.
In this week's edition of the RISC eNews Blast:
DATA SECURITY & CYBER RISK
Top 10 “Shadow IT” Apps Downloaded by Employees—and the Risks Involved (Property Casualty 360, 3/20/2013): “Shadow IT” is the software and applications downloaded by employees, without the knowledge or support of their employer’s IT function, to devices that they use for work. The devices may be personal “BYOD” devices or employer owned technology. Either way, the use of unapproved software may expose the employer’s computer system to malware. Facebook, Dropbox, Gmail, Apple’s iCloud, and Linkedin are the top five.
Loose network security policies invite insider hacking: Insider threat on the rise (USA Today, 3/17/2013): Poor password security is pervasive in many workplaces, according to one survey, setting the stage for insider compromise of systems by current and past employees.
Sexting, bullying prove tougher to track on smartphone sensation (Boston Herald, 3/15/2013): Snapchat claims to permit users to send photos or videos that disappear within a few seconds, supposedly removing the digital footprint. However, experts are warning that it is possible to take a screen shot and then use it as you would any other photo. Pools may want to advise their members, especially those whose employees deal with young people, about this new app.
Both sides agree on tough new fracking standards (The Patriot News, 3/20/3013): A group of environmentalists and oil and gas companies have developed a voluntary program that would enable the companies to obtain a seal of approval if they follow certain practices, which are more stringent than state or federal regulations.
Warming Temperatures Could Multiply Katrina-Like Hurricanes (Property Casualty 360, 3/19/2013): Storm surge is often the driving force of damage in major hurricanes like Katrina and Sandy. This research focused on how rising temperatures could affect surge and found that there could be a significant increase in Atlantic storms similar to Katrina during this century.
Texas Brine to Begin Sinkhole Buyouts (Claims Journal, 3/18/2013): A company that precipitated the collapse of an underground salt cavern in Louisiana, leading to the development of a nine-acre sinkhole, will offer buyouts to property owners.
Docs Say Keep Trained Eye on Possible Concussions (Claims Journal, 3/20/2013): The American Academy of Neurology has issued guidelines that would require immediately removing from play athletes suspected of having a concussion. Those athletes could not return to play until cleared by a physician or a professional with knowledge about concussions. The new guidelines add details to the brief position paper issued in 2010, and pools may want to be sure that its insureds who manage sports teams are aware of them.
Lakeville private eye latest to sue over misues of DVS records (Star Tribune, 3/14/2013): A tenth federal lawsuit has been filed in Minnesota against local governments and state agencies that are alleged to have inappropriately accessed the driving records of a private eye.
The Next Liability Explosion (Claims Journal, 2/18/2013): A new report by Conning & Co., "Liability and Tort Trends: Trouble Around the Corner?", looks at possible sources for a coming liability explosion arising from something in the air, water or food supply that is causing developing and as yet undetected damage in human bodies. Conning's best estimate is that the the next liability explosion will come from something food-related or environmental.
MEDICARE SECONDARY PAYER
SCOTUS rebuffs North Carolina ‘semantics’ in its quest for one-third of girl’s med-mal settlement (ABA Journal, 3/20/2013): The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that federal Medicaid law preempts a North Carolina law that permits the state to recover one-third of a tort recovery where its Medicaid program paid more than one-third of the award. Federal law bars liens on portions of a settlement that do not cover medical costs. In the case under consideration, the award was not apportioned to reflect what part was for medical expenses. A link to the full decision is available in the article.
PROPERTY & CASUALTY
Number of Companies Buying Cyber Insurance up by One-Third in 2012 (Claims Journal, 3/18/2013): Marsh reports that the number of US clients buying cyber insurance to protect against the financial consequences of a data breach or cyber attack increased by 33% in 2012, as compared to 2011. Governmental entities were not among the groups identified as seeing the largest increase.
Police and Firefighters in Early Career at Higher Risk for Mental Disorders Following Traumatic Events (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, 2/26/2013): Police, firefighters and other protective service workers who are exposed to traumatic events and are early in their careers are at increased risk of developing mood, alcohol use and post traumatic stress disorders, according to research by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Later career professionals were not affected, and there is interest in exploring how coping skills and timely intervention may mitigate the effects on new workers. Watch for this research to be used by advocates for mental-mental workers’ compensation coverage for public safety workers. If you are interested in reviewing the full report, contact Claire Reiss.
OTHER TOPICS OF INTEREST
Muni Bonds' Tax Exemption Likely to Stay (Governing, 3/20/2013): Congressional lawmakers spoke in favor of maintaining the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds in a hearing on March 19, while expressing some concern about private activity bonds.
Ore. Legislature considers drone regulation (Seattle Times, 3/20/2013): Oregon lawmakers are considering three laws that would regulate the use of drones. One bill would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a criminal warrant before using drones to surveillance of private property, except in emergencies. Economic development interests are opposed, on the grounds that the legislation could stifle an emerging industry in the state. Other states throughout the U.S. are also struggling to arrive at a balance that will take advantage of the new technology while protecting the rights of citizens.
Current Laws May Offer Little Shield Against Drones, Senators Are Told (New York Times, 3/20/2013): Drones may be useful tools in law enforcement and other safety functions, but they raise potential privacy issues, including fourth amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure, that are not addressed by current law. Pools should encourage any members that are considering the use of drones to first develop policies that consider privacy issues.
Report Makes Chilling Forecast on Northwest Quake (Claims Journal, 3/18/2013): The Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory committee has published a report finding that a major earthquake and resulting tsunami off the Pacific Northwest coast could result in 10,000 deaths and economic damages of $32 billion. Seismic experts say the area is overdue for another earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which last had a mega-quake in the year 1700.
Space-age helmets transform Twin Cities suburban fire departments (Star Tribune, 3/9/2013): A sleeker new "European-designed" helmet is being used by firefighters in Twin Cities fire departments, who have found that it provides better protection, is more comfortable, and is more maneuverable at car accident accident scenes and during self-rescue drills. Read the LMCIT Public Safety Blog on this topic.
Below is a listing of job opportunities in governmental entity risk pools and/or risk management. To post a position contact Erin Rian.
Southeast Loss Control Conference (Annapolis, April 16-19, 2013): The 2013 SELC Spring Conference is scheduled for April 16-19, 2013 in Annapolis, Maryland. The two and one-half day agenda is packed with information you can take back to your pool, and plenty of time to network with loss control colleagues from other pools. Any NLC-RISC member pool is welcome to attend - not just those located in the southeast! View the agenda and registration information here.
NLC-RISC Marketing Communications Workshop (Denver, May 15-16, 2013): In today’s economic climate, pools are frequently viewed as a price-based commodity making brand loyalty an often-elusive goal. However, brand loyalty is of paramount importance in our customer/member-driven economy. This day and a half workshop for pool staff will offer many tools you can use to refresh your marketing strategy, redesign your visual and written message, and reconnect at every touch point with your current and prospective members. View the schedule and register for the workshop here. The deadline to register is April 15, 2013.
NLC-RISC Spring Trustees Conference (Denver, May 16-18, 2013): The NLC-RISC Trustee Conference provides trustees and pool administrators of state municipal league pools the opportunity to learn about industry trends, programs, services and pooling best practices, as well as opportunities to network with peers from across the country. Online conference and hotel registrations, as well as as preliminary agenda are available here. The deadline to register is April 15, 2013.