Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Could Claims Challenge Current InsurTech Priorities

The insurance industry is witnessing a lot of change, driven by current technological trends, like the Internet of Things, Big Data and Analytics, Blockchain which are dynamically and irrevocably changing the way it functions. Let's look at the top trends impacting the industry and discuss the various challenges which are driving the current InsurTech priorities and see if we can call out the most important of them all.

Every industry has its leaders and its laggards and the insurance industry is not an exception to this. Deep pockets are helping some insurers to take advantage of digital technologies to change the way they function and to:

Offer new models and personalized products to meet changing customer expectations, which are driven by online retail sales models,
Partner with technology players to ensure that they keep up with the emerging trends in technology and to take advantage of the Internet of things to adopt connected sensors or devices to collect data for loss prevention and employ better pricing methods in property & casualty, life as well as health insurance.
Establish a cyber-security strategy to protect the sensitive personal and business data stored by them and comply with privacy regulations.
Adopt cloud computing, AI and automation to improve speed and flexibility and to settle claims faster to offer better customer satisfaction,
Use advanced analytics to derive strategic insights and proactively plan future business offerings and gain competitive advantage.
Consider the use of blockchain technology to add "smart" contracts and secure, decentralized data collection, processing and dissemination to their processes.
Are these strategic initiatives sufficient to enable companies which adopt them to enjoy industry and market leadership, and ultimately, success? What capabilities are needed for insurers to prepare themselves to meet the demands of the industry, in channel expansion or business model development, as it evolves? How can insurers prepare for the demands of tomorrow even as they meet today's expectations from them? The aim of this post is to postulate that many insurers are failing to recognize the importance of claims management to their business, even as they are focusing on many of the other strategic imperatives facing them. Let's explain why we would say so.

It is an open secret that customers are always happy with a good claims settlement experience, but tend to get very upset and start posting strong negative online feedback when their claim is delayed, disputed or rejected. Though claims satisfaction is an extremely critical component of an insurer's overall customer relationship management challenge, it is only a work in progress for most at the current time. Instead, they need to pay attention to the customers and also focus inward, as they delve deep into the reasons for a customer's dissatisfaction:
Insurers need to pay close attention to customer feedback and satisfaction levels with their claims filing process and settlement experience, especially when they are rejected.
Insurers have to capture customer feedback and factor it into the way their processes are functioning and question the clarity of their sales pitch itself, and see if the claim was fairly rejected.
They need to pay close attention to their reputation in this key area of customer satisfaction, which could impact their ability to retain a customer.
It must be remembered that dissatisfied customers never come back for additional coverage or another policy.
Even agents who find too many customers raising their voices against an insurer's claim settlement process tend to move business away from them.
The seamlessness of customer experience needs to extend to claims handling, as claim filling becomes a smooth process.
Insurers can use technology to provide more options for filing a claim, including the uploading photos and videos, with increased speed and accuracy and reduced contact points with humans.
As algorithms detect fraudulent claims more easily, claims handling is improving in efficiency. Data driven claim prevention can help decrease costs and deliver value by predicting actual risk and reducing premiums.
In managing the delicate balancing act between identifying fraudulent claims and paying legitimate ones, insurers could create a negative relationship with a customer by being too strict or overly suspicious. But that doesn't mean they can be trusting and keep approving every claim in a lenient manner. Any unfairness, whether real or assumed, could determine whether a policy gets renewed again, or our online reputation suffers, or the insurer could face a legal dispute in a court. Even as insurers work hard to identify the technologies needed for them to expand their distribution channels and ensure that they create optimized customer journey; they cannot lose sight of the importance of eliminating fraudulent claims from their list of priorities. Which is why, we feel that claims management could challenge InsurTech priorities for the insurance industry. What do you think? Please write in and share your thoughts.
Prime insurance solutions offers comprehensive leading-edge proprietary analytics. Our expertise has proven effective by streamlining legacy business processes such as enrollments, underwriting, claims, and customer services.Our diverse full service portfolio, workflow management software solutions and dedication to acquiring the best employees has transformed us into a trusted partner in the insurance industry.

PhD Scholarship Positions for Developing Countries, PhD Positions Scholarships

ICDD is funded under the programme “exceed - Higher Education Excellence in Development Co-operation” launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Under its Graduate School of Socio-Ecological Research for Development, ICDD invites applications for 20 PhD scholarship positions for students from DAC countries at the following internationally renowned universities:

ICDD's objective is to create and transfer knowledge on how to create and improve work and income opportunities in rural and urban regions of developing countries in light of globalization, climate change and urbanization.

ICDD encompasses various disciplines such as agricultural science, political science, sociology, economics, and has a network of partner universities in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

ICDD closely co-operates with International Labour Organisation and NGOs.

One of ICDD's core structures for the inter-disciplinary generation of knowledge is the Graduate School of Socio-Ecological Research for Development.

PhD projects within this school may be rooted in either the natural or social sciences and should be focused on actor and problem oriented research on sustainable human-environmental relationships and decent livelihoods.

ICDD promotes three research clusters as a common framework for the design of prospective PhD projects:

Sustainable Value Creation for Decent Work. This cluster focuses on strategies to increase value creation by developing technologies for more efficient and sustainable use of resources and by improving human skills, preferably along agricultural commodity chains.
PhD applicants should be interested in analysing spatially and sectorally detailed urban-rural linkages to address the mobility of people, goods, services, money transfers, information, and associated flows of nutrients, energy and water.

Instruments for Promoting Decent WorkThis cluster focuses on the effectiveness of existing instruments in enforcing minimum standards for labour as formulated by the International Labour Organization (ILO) such as public procurement, supply chain governance, and national minimum wages.
PhD applicants should be interested in analysing such instruments and their effective implementation in different state contexts. A special focus should be directed towards their impact on or relevance for informal labour relations and particularly on the working conditions and lives of temporary labour migrants.

Strategies of Empowerment for Decent Work. This cluster focuses on the advocacy of good working conditions within economic and political decision-making processes against the background of eroding capacities of workers to engage in collective action due to the growing informal nature of work.
Thereby special Attention is directed towards particularly vulnerable groups, such as domestic workers.

PhD applicants should be interested in exploring possible sources and forms of organisations to foster empowerment strategies within informal labour relations.


PhD students of the Graduate School will be based either at the University of Kassel or at one of ICDD's international partner universities (see above), and will be enrolled in the respective university's PhD training programmes.

Please indicate in your application at which university you wish to be located.

A joint international workshop programme on subjects of the ICDD, research methods, the linkage between theory and empirical research and for the presentation of the prospective PhD projects will take place every year within the Graduate School.

Scholarships will be awarded for four years under the precondition of a successful extension after one year.

The scholarships will cover a country-specific monthly allowance according to DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) standards.

All scholarships will include travel expenses for south-north and south-south mobility if necessary and funding for field research and the participation in Graduate School and ICDD activities.

Application Requirements

Cover Sheet (cf. attachment)
Above average MA/MSc degree in a disciplines related to the above topics / fields
Proof of English language proficiency
Academic or vocational experience in one of the disciplines related to the thematic field of development and decent work
Letter of recommendation from a professor of the ICDD network

Summary of master thesis (1500 words), if applicable
Preliminary PhD project proposal including topic, research question, short overview of the relevant literature, theoretical approach, research design and methodology (2.000 words)
Please submit your detailed curriculum vitae and scanned copies of the following documents with your application:

Certificate and transcript of records of your recognised bachelor and master degrees in the original language, listing all subjects and grades (If you have not yet completed a Masters program, please include a letter from the person responsible for the program testifying the likelihood of successful completion of the program);
Certificates / proof of English language proficiency;
University entrance examination certificate listing all subjects and grades (in the original language);
Certificates of additional studies and completion of studies listing all subjects and grades (in the original language);
Translations of all of the above-mentioned documents, if the language of the mentioned certificates is not German, English, French, Spanish or Portuguese.
Certificates of previous professional/vocational experience (if applicable).
Officially authenticated photocopies of all documents and translations will have to be presented, if selected for admission.

Countries eligible for Official Development Assistance of the OECD as approved by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
Please assemble all items for your application in one single pdf document with the completed cover sheet as the front page and preferably with a list of contents as the second page.
Applications consisting of multiple files will not be accepted

Friday, August 30, 2019

CKC Urban Farmer Internship

Looking for an internship?

Consider learning a life-changing skill, getting outside, working with your hands, giving back  to your community, meeting new people, and working for a local nonprofit.

The CKC Urban Farmer Internship is designed for high school and college students seeking SSL hours, college credit, or a small stipend. 

Interns are expected to dedicate 4 hours per week for a minimum of 12 weeks. 
  • Spring internship runs Mar 24 - Jun 9, 2019
  • Summer internship runs Jun 9 - Sep 1, 2019
  • Fall internship runs Sep 1 - Nov 10, 2019
At the end of this internship, you will know how to compost using a 3-bin system, start and care for seedlings, operate a drip irrigation system, package and transport produce for market, and so much more. 

Read testimonials from past interns here.

If this sounds like the opportunity that you are looking for, please submit an application

All interns must complete and submit a waiver of liability before starting work on the farm.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


PhD Research Assistantship – Winter Bat Activity and Habitat Relationships – University of Georgia

Location: Athens, Georgia


We are seeking a highly motivated graduate student to investigate landscape-level influences on winter bat activity and habitat relationships on managed forest lands of the southeastern Coastal Plain. The overall goal of the research is to develop widely-applicable predictive models of winter bat community assemblages and generalized habitat associations based on landscape characteristics in managed forest systems. Primary duties will include assessing bat habitat relationships and activity using acoustic sampling, mist netting, and habitat characterization in the field and using GIS. The successful candidate will be encouraged to develop additional research questions related to winter bat ecology.

The Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources ( has >70 faculty working in diverse fields and provides exemplary training of students in the fields of fisheries, forestry, natural resource management, recreation and tourism, wildlife. The School has >23,000 acres in the state for research, teaching, and service activities, including the 700-acre Whitehall Forest near campus.

Applicants must have an M.S. in wildlife biology or closely related field, strong academic credentials, and previous experience working with bats. Desirable skills and experience include acoustic field sampling and call identification; mist netting and bat identification; proficiency using GPS and GIS; and knowledge of statistical modeling. Candidates must have a strong work ethic and the ability to successfully supervise field technicians. Field work will involve traveling away from campus for extended periods.

Stipend: $22,645/year plus full tuition waiver for 4 years

Contact: Steven Castleberry


Part-Time Positions-Patapsco Heritage Greenway

PHG is hiring seasonal event assistants for our Environmental Stewardship Program!
Are you passionate about the environment? Do you love being outside and working with volunteers? The Patapsco Heritage Greenway, Inc. (PHG) is recruiting seasonal part-time program assistants to help manage volunteers and run watershed stewardship activities including stream cleanups, invasive species removals, tree plantings, and educational activities. Each year, PHG manages over 1000 enthusiastic volunteers in activities designed to protect and restore the Patapsco watershed. Seasonal activities are held predominantly during spring and fall weekends and may require occasional weekday or summer engagement. Activities occur at different sites throughout the Patapsco River Valley. Required documentation or correspondence for each activity may be conducted on site, home and/or at the PHG office. Take a look at the job posting below and apply by Friday, September 6th for consideration.

Event Assistant

Part time/Seasonal, Non-Exempt, 5-15 hours per week in season (days per week, specific hours TBD)

Description: With the coordination of the Program Manager and Program Coordinator, staff stream cleanups, invasive plant removals, tree plantings, tree maintenance and other programs. Event Assistants may also be required to assist or lead workshops and education programs. Weekends and some weekdays and/or evenings required. Compensation: $15 per hour commensurate with experience.

Minimum Qualifications: Demonstrated interest and experience with environmental stewardship and/or fieldwork. Motivated, flexible, confident, problem solver with an ability to work on a team.


  • Candidates with environmental stewardship, education, and/or field experience.
  • Bi-lingual candidates.
  • Candidates with experience leading volunteers and a demonstrated ability to interact positively with participants of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Candidates with strong organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Candidates with good judgment, the ability to make timely and sound decisions, and confidence in public speaking and directing volunteers.
  • Candidates with access to email or a phone to receive updates, communicate with the environmental team, and take and share photographs.
  • Candidates with the ability to lift at least 25 pounds.
  • Candidates with a driver’s license to help transport equipment and materials as needed.
  • Candidates with certification in basic first aid and CPR.

*We understand that there will be no single candidate who encompasses all of these skillsets and we encourage applicants who have one or more of these skillsets. *

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist with pre-event work; including supplies preparation and transportation to site.
  • Assist with event work; including registration of volunteers, supervision and leading of volunteers, help volunteers with specific hands-on tasks specific to that event, help staff collect data, photographs, and other documents as needed.
  • Assist with post-event work; including help clean and store equipment, upload photos and other data, complete reports and other paperwork as needed.
  • Represent the organization at educational events.
  • Speak articulately about organization goals.
  • Attend staff meetings as required.
  • Other duties as assigned.

For questions or more information about these positions, please email our Program Manager, Hannah Zinnert, at

To apply, please email a resume and cover letter by September 6th to

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

$300,000 in Grants!-University Sustainability Fund

For faculty, staff and students!

We are excited to inform you that the University Sustainability Fund has approximately $300,000 available this year for projects that promote environmental sustainability and positively impact the student experience at University of Maryland.

Applications are now being accepted for 2019-2020 projects. The priority deadline for applications is October 15 with a final deadline of January 15. Apply now.

More than $2 million has been granted to 137 sustainability projects since 2011 including the Biowall at McKeldin Library, Terp Farm, the Sphagnum Moss Water Treatment System at Eppley Recreation Center, the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS), lighting upgrades, rain gardens, research projects, and many more. Learn more about last year's grant recipients.

The Fund allocates money to projects that increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency of our campus facilities, reduce the amount of waste created and material resources used on campus, encourage sustainable behaviors, and integrate sustainability into teaching, research, and service at the university. We encourage projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or have other measurable environmental benefits. Grants are supported by student fees and administered through the University Sustainability Council.

If you have a sustainability project in mind, or want to discuss potential projects, please call Mark Stewart in the Office of Sustainability at 301-405-4633 or email    



As a grassroots environmental nonprofit, the Maryland Sierra Club offers many internship opportunities for those passionate about advocating for a safer, healthier planet. At our office conveniently located on Route 1, students can take advantage of diverse openings in office management & administration, outdoor education, political environmental advocacy, communications & marketing, web design, community organizing, event planning, and policy research.

Our interns become part of the office team and are essential to accomplishing many of the Chapter’s environmental conservation goals. Working side by side with staff and lead volunteers, interns get the opportunity to see how a grassroots non­profit works, gain valuable real world experience, and become the next generation of activist leaders.

For Fall  2019, we have the following internships available:
  • Administrative Assistant / Event Planning
  • Clean Energy / Beyond Coal
  • Communications / Web Media / Radio
  • Conservation Outings / Invasive Plant Removal / Stewardship Field
For more information, internship descriptions, and how to arrange college credit, please visit:

To apply: 
  1. Send a cover letter, resume, and a two-­page writing sample to Please have your name on each document title. 
  2. Fill out this survey after you send in your materials:  

Apply early for best priority.  

Sierra Club Maryland Chapter
7338 Baltimore Ave, Suite 102
College Park, MD 20740
Office: 301-277-7111  

Assistant Professor in the Earth Sciences- McDaniel College

Summary of Faculty Position Announcement:

Seeking Assistant Professor in the Earth Sciences

The Environmental Studies Department at McDaniel College (ENV) invites applicants for a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the earth sciences beginning August 2020. We seek an individual with interdisciplinary teaching and research interests in earth science and a strong commitment to undergraduate education. A Ph.D. in geology or a related field and previous teaching experience are preferred, but ABD candidates will be considered. The teaching load is 3:3, including introductory courses in environmental science, climatology, geology, and upper-level courses in the candidate's area of expertise. Preferred areas of expertise include geology, soils, environmental chemistry, water resources, and the geosciences.

The Environmental Studies Department at McDaniel College (ENV) invites applicants for a tenure track Assistant Professor in the earth sciences beginning August 2020.
Students are educated in the social and natural sciences and develop a personalized plan of study within one of three thematic tracks: Environmental Biology, Earth System Science, and Environmental Policy and Management. ENV also manages the 58-acre Singleton-Mathews property, a living laboratory used for research, outdoor learning, and community-building.
We seek an individual with interdisciplinary teaching and research interests in earth science and a strong commitment to undergraduate education. 
A Ph.D. in geology or a related field and previous teaching experience are preferred, but ABD candidates will be considered. 
The teaching load is 3:3, including introductory courses in environmental science, climatology, geology, and upper-level courses in the candidate's area of expertise. Preferred areas of expertise include geology, soils, environmental chemistry, water resources, and the geosciences. Candidates with experience and interest in engaging undergraduate students in research and teaching experiential, field-based, and/or lab-based courses are especially encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will be expected to engage in student-faculty research and support the department’s collaborative oversight and use of the Singleton-Mathews property.
Application review will begin on October 1st. To apply for this position, please apply online at and submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, statements of research and teaching philosophy, and three letters of reference.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Vacancies

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is sharing its current list of position vacancy announcements on USAJOBS.  To view and apply for FWS positions, please click the following link (FWS Vacancy Announcements).
If you have a question about a specific position vacancy, please contact the Human Resources point of contact listed at the bottom of the announcement.  For more information about FWS job opportunities and employee benefits, please visit our FWS Human Resources page at  You can also follow us on Facebook ( and on Twitter (@USFWS).
NOTE: If you  would like to be added to our contact list to receive future updates from FWS, please click this link to sign up.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Web Builder Internship- National Parks Service

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