Location Based Insurance Risk Reduction Value Proposition

Insurance Logos

According to the Federal Highway Administration and the AAA, the cost of a single motor vehicle fatality exceeded $6 million in 2011 dollars and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, private auto insurers pay approximately 50% of all vehicle crash costs. Therefore, it is in the best interest of auto insurers to pay a portion of the costs to reduce the financial impact of crashes by entering into a public-private partnership (P3) with cities to fund urban traffic improvements in high risk locations.   This will help reduce the number of each insurer’s claims and lower premiums for their customers.  Each insurer’s contribution would be prorated based on the number of their customers in proximity to the improvement area and correlated with the number of accidents incurred by their insured drivers for that location. As shown in recent case study in Virginia Beach, red light safety cameras have proven to reduce accidents, while increasing the savings to the insurance industry as a whole. If insurance companies helped pay for the capital improvement costs for the installation and operation of red light safety cameras in more cities, it would continue to reduce their year over year payouts if the improvements were not made or delayed due to municipal budget constraints. This approach has never been tried before and could become our Nation’s first public-private partnership transportation infrastructure improvement financing model.

Urban Recreation – A Whole New Game

Urban Rec Golf Canal

City parks and recreation along with economic development departments need to challenge developers and encourage new variations of traditional forms of recreation to fit into our downtowns.

Trends have shown that since the end of World War II, families initially left the central city to search for the “American Dream” in suburbia.  Families wishing to escape the inconveniences and high costs of city life were able to find more spacious living, while the wage earners commuted to support the household.  Some of the factors motivating the move from the city were the ease in which families could find opportunities for recreation and social life.  The backyard, the school’s extracurricular activities, the neighborhood parks, golf and tennis clubs – all of these are the rewards for an extra few hours of travel.

Current trends are much different.  Falling oil prices ease upward pressure on living costs, increasing disposable household income and increasing domestic consumer spending.  Single parent and multigenerational households are prevalent.  The US census reports from 2010 over a 30 year span, the senior age group 65 and over will be larger in size than any of the younger generations.

Cities are making resurgence.  This time, developers have created a more sophisticated lifestyle and mixed of uses to choose from.  Cultural centers, entertainment districts, public markets, waterfront developments, loft living, historic preservation and renovation, quick and convenient mass transportation are contributing factors to the return to city living.  Denver, Portland, Los Angeles and Dallas are experiencing rapid economic downtown growth.  Yet, something is being overlooked…

Is it possible to bring some of the better elements that comprised suburban living back to the city with these families?  Can the best of both worlds be captured in an urban setting?

With this in mind, urban recreation will become increasingly pertinent, as our newly minted, ‘energy and green living’ urban areas are forced to seek their diversions closer to home and leisure time increases.  At present, we spend more on leisure than on defense.  According to Richard Miller, principal researcher for the 2015 Leisure Market Research Handbook, the annual U.S. leisure market is assessed at $2.5 trillion. Fueled predominantly by baby boomer spending, significant growth in the leisure marketplace is expected for the foreseeable future. One analyst forecasts a new age of leisure will dawn when more than half of the nation’s GNP will be generated from the entertainment and leisure industries.

So here’s the dilemma – there is a close relationship between leisure and recreation, whether indoor or outdoor.  As leisure time increases, urban dwellers need new variations of outdoor recreation brought to their doorstep. They are already increasing the demands on existing facilities, such as the YMCA, private health facilities and club sports – so new types of many kinds will need to be accommodated and constructed.

For instance, let’s focus on one of the largest man made recreational landscapes – the golf course.  Golf is extremely popular and people wait as long as 3 to 4 hours to tee off on weekends.  Obviously, most cities feel that the land required for a golf course and the limited number of people that can enjoy the game at once, make this an activity that is not likely to be expanded within urban boundaries.  But therein, lays the challenge.

The National Golf Foundation promotes the sport as “a game for a lifetime’ – meaning that all ages can enjoy it.  The true slogan is really “a game for a lifetime if you live near large areas of available open land and you have time and money.”

Shouldn’t there be a way to extract the important elements of how golf is played, while eliminating other less important facets. Is it possible to maintain the same ambiance and dignity of the sport, but eliminate the walking and thereby reduce the land coverage? I’m not against walking, that’s not the point – it’s simply the need for so much valuable land and requisite maintenance costs that goes along with it. Without it, does this really detract from the essence of the game? I am not talking about a high end fenced driving range or electronic golf from the top of some office building.  Instead, a new and meaningful version of the game of golf played on 12 acres instead of 200, thereby creating a new urban recreational opportunity and reaching a greater segment of the population. For some recreational activities, this has already been accomplished.  Indoor tennis centers, running tracks, swim stadiums, mega athletic clubs and even professional football and soccer practice facilities have become are common features in cities.

By bringing recreational opportunities like golf within urban boundaries, two important results occur.  New urbanites will enjoy the some of the aspects they left from suburbia.  More importantly, lower and fixed income families, elderly, infirmed, disabled, disadvantaged youth and veterans will have a chance to experience newer versions of suburban recreation that are currently out of reach.

Posted by:  Rick Abelson, Founder – Online Land Planning, LLC

Relocating Culture

A growing Problem | Disappearing Islands    

cropped-Relocating-Culture-Image-blog.jpgIn 2005, the Island of Tegua, with inhabitants numbering around 100, became the first population declared as official “climate change refugees”, a designation assigned by the United Nations. 10 years later, it is evident that this phenomenon will be a recurring travesty in the struggle against accelerated climate change and rapid sea level rise. Thousands of islands around the world are in danger of disappearing or becoming uninhabitable due to tidal inundation and sea level rise over the next 100 years. This stark reality will mean a rapid increase in the number of climate change refugees on a global scale and the need for feasible, desirable and effective relocation strategies.

While climate change refugees resulting from sea level rise are not unique to island nations, these populations are distinct in the fact that they typically do not have any domestic evacuation or relocation options. The rising of the sea level quite literally means the complete loss of the nation itself, and quite possibly the culture and customs of the inhabitants. As largescale engineering solutions or immediately effective SLR mitigation measures may be unlikely or impractical in many locations, what alternatives exist to facilitate the intact relocation of entire cultures when island nations fall under immediate and unwavering treat? Who should foot the bill? What parties are ultimately responsible? Where can they go? Where do they want to go? These are not easy questions to answer.

Establishing a template for funding, facilitating, and governing the effective relocation of island nations without sacrificing the unique culture that makes these places so vibrant would be a critical tool in the ongoing struggle of climate change adaptation.  A successful system could potential benefit millions of island inhabitants in danger of displacement.


At-Risk Island Nations | High Vulnerability

  • Island(s):Kiribati Islands (32)| Population: 102,697 | Location: 1,200 miles south of Hawaii
  • Island(s):Maldives (1,100)| Population: 425,000 | Location: SW of India
  • Island(s):Seychelles (115)| Population: 87,122 | Location: Western Indian Ocean
  • Island(s):Torres Strait Islands (274)| Population: 8,000 | Location: Between Australia & New Guinea
  • Island(s):Tegua (1)| Population: 100 | Location: Torres Straits
  • Island(s):Solomon Islands (992)| Population: 584,978 | Location: East of Papua New Guinea
  • Island(s):Marshall islands (1,156)| Population: 52,634 | Location: Micronesia
  • Island(s):Micronesia (607)| Population: 102,624 | Location: East of the Philippines
  • Island(s):Palau (250)| Population: 20,000 | Location: Southeast of the Philippines
  • Island(s):Carteret Islands | Population: 2,500 | Location: Southwest Pacific Ocean

Island(s): Tuvalu (9)| Population: 11,636 | Location: East of Solomon Islands

Photo source is: Flickr/sidsnet

This is the main source article:  http://www.businessinsider.com/islands-threatened-by-climate-change-2012-10