LAW FIRM LAUNCHES HURRICANE WEBLOGMcGlinchey Stafford PLLC, a law firm based New Orleans, has launched an online resource for companies with business interests in hurricane-affected areas. The blog, found at www.hurricanelawblog.com, features up-to-date information about post-hurricane legal issues, including insurance, real estate, healthcare, environmental, finance and litigation. The Hurricane Law Blog also offers insurance brokers, finance and real estate professionals and attorneys a recovery resource center and legal articles.

HARTFORD CEO CALLS FOR NEW APPROACHES TO RISK

Speaking before hundreds of insurance and financial services executives at the 2005 Global Leadership Forum sponsored by the American Council of Life Insurers, Ramani Ayer, chairman and chief executive officer of The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, Conn., called for new solutions to complex risk. Ayer described his company's enterprise risk management (ERM) methodology, focusing on the linkage of catastrophic terrorism, hurricanes and natural disasters, pending legislation, shifts in the credit and equity markets, and fluctuating interest rates. In his presentation, Ayer also recommended greater private-public partnership in managing uninsurable risks, such as terrorism.

CSC WINS $35 MILLION FEMA FLOOD CONTRACT

Computer Sciences Corp. has been awarded a contract by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, to continue supporting the U.S. federal government's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The El Segundo, Calif.-based software firm estimates the value of the contract to be approximately $35 million if all options are exercised. As the NFIP's bureau and statistical agent, CSC will continue to serve as the liaison between the government and more than 90 independent property and casualty insurance companies that issue federally guaranteed NFIP policies. CSC will provide the government with actuarial, financial and statistical analyses, and deliver flood-related training, consultation, support materials and information clearinghouse services.

PEMCO TEEN DRIVING SITE ENCOURAGED SAFETY

PEMCO Insurance, a Seattle-based provider of auto, home, boat, life, and umbrella insurance to Washington state residents, has launched a teen drivers Web site designed to educate parents, teachers, and teens about the dangers young drivers face. Visitors to the Web site will find articles, quick tips, and brochures on a variety of topics ranging from how to trim costs for teen drivers to how to pick safe cars for teens.

HIGHMARK DONATION SUPPORTS EHEALTH COLLABORATIVE

Pittsburgh-based Highmark Inc. is contributing $26.5 million to The Pittsburgh Foundation, which will use the funds for an electronic prescribing initiative. The foundation has created the Highmark eHealth Collaborative to encourage the adoption of health information technology used in patient care. The foundation will provide funding to physicians to reduce the cost of acquiring ePrescribing and eHealth record technology. The collaborative will pay up to 75% of the cost for a physician's office to acquire, install and implement the technology, up to a maximum of $7,000.

MOST COMPANIES INADEQUATELY PROTECT DATA

A full 54% of the more than 300 companies responding to a recent survey have no documented procedures for protecting stored data, and 70% executives rated their company's data storage security as only fair or poor. These were among the findings in the 2005 Data Storage Security Survey conducted by GlassHouse Technologies Inc., a Framingham, Mass.-based data storage consulting firm. Other findings include:

* 61% respondents believe external threats are more dangerous than internal threats, even though internal users have greater access to sensitive data.

* 85% do not encrypt their backup data, despite highly publicized recent cases of backup tapes being stolen and lost.

* 50% say the company's intellectual property was their greatest concern even though there are greater legal consequences for mishandling customers' personal information.

MAJORITY OF ONLINE CONSUMERS HAVE PROBLEMS WITH TRANSACTIONS

Eighty-nine percent of online customers say they experience problems when conducting transactions on company Web sites. That's according to a consumer survey commissioned by TeaLeaf Technology Inc., a San Francisco-based Web analytics provider, and conducted by Harris Interactive.

The data also reveals that the majority of online consumers (82%) are unwilling to accept a lower level of customer service when comparing online and offline transactions. And more than one in three (34%) would turn to a competitor, either online (27%) or offline (14%), if they experienced a problem when conducting an online transaction

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