“Untested and unsupported forecast models should not be used to justify rates that are excessive. Hurricane models have a significant impact on the premiums paid by all Massachusetts homeowners who could have paid millions in excessive rates as a result.”
—Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on her effort to examine forecast models insurers use to set homeowners insurance rates in her state. The Attorney General’s office says it is estimating possible overcharges of half a billion dollars in Massachusetts due to what it calls “untested hurricane models” used in determining homeowners insurance premiums. Insurers say her statements demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding regarding the function and use of catastrophe models.
9/11 First Responders
“Using noninvasive MRI imaging, we were able to see a significant impact of the events of 9/11 on the cardiovascular health of the brave men and women who responded that day.”
—Zahi Fayad, director of the imaging institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, on the school’s latest findings. The study discovered that World Trade Center first responders who had high-level exposures to the initial dust cloud on Sept. 11, 2001, have developed high-risk features of atherosclerosis (plaque in arteries). Findings also show more impaired cardiac relaxation and coronary calcification in responders who worked at Ground Zero, compared with the general population. Mount Sinai runs programs that treat and monitor emergency responders who were affected by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
A Dangerous Combination
“Even one second of distraction can lead to a lifetime of regret.”
—New York State Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore on the dangers of texting while driving. Last month, students in her district got a chance to learn the perils of distracted driving without having to worry about an accident or a traffic ticket. A texting-while-driving simulator resembling an old-fashioned video game was demonstrated at nine Westchester County high schools. The simulator is part of a plan to teach and enforce a state law that went into effect in July. The new law allows police to stop and ticket drivers they see texting while driving. DiFiore said distracted driving poses dangers “not only to the driver and the passenger but to everyone who uses the roads.” The simulator is owned by several agents of the Nationwide Insurance Co.