2016 Risk All Star: Carlos Dezayas

Freeing Cargo From Captivity

Kraft and Heinz announced their merger in the spring of 2015, around the time of Heinz’s May 1st renewal. The impending marriage spurred Senior Manager of Corporate Risk Management Carlos Dezayas to rejigger his insurance portfolio ahead of the acquisition’s finalization.

“We were looking for the most efficient structure for the combined program so that everything would be in place on day one of the merger,” Dezayas said.

Carlos Dezayas Senior Manager, Corporate Risk Management, The Kraft Heinz Company

He found that the Kraft Heinz cargo program was sorely in need of an overhaul.

“The cargo program was run through our captive, with a $25,000 retention held at the business unit level and a $225,000 retention at the captive. The problem was that we only had captive licenses in the EU, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

This meant that import/export operations from countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Costa Rica and Brazil were vulnerable. Whenever a claim breached the local deductible but not the captive deductible, it was difficult to get cash into those countries to make claim payments; large cash infusions were subject to a variety of local taxes.

Heinz also could not collect premium from the unlicensed countries.

“Essentially we were overcharging the business units in the licensed countries to make up for the fact that we could not charge any premium from the unlicensed countries,” Dezayas said.

Advertisement




Working with Marsh broker Herman Brito, Dezayas removed the cargo program from the captive structure, retained the local business unit deductibles and established locally admitted policies written by AIG.

The move was atypical — most companies don’t move from a captive to a fully insured plan — but it paid off.

“A year and a half down the road, this seems to be a more stable structure for us,” he said.

“It has allowed the business units to be comfortable knowing we have the coverage in place and that their claims will be paid. It also creates more visibility and transparency across the entire program, which is what senior management expects from their insurance portfolio.”

“[The new program structure] has allowed the business units to be comfortable knowing we have the coverage in place and that their claims will be paid.” — Carlos Dezayas, senior manager, corporate risk management, The Kraft Heinz Co.

In addition to increasing efficiency, the new non-captive structure also means Kraft Heinz can collect premium from every business unit while shifting administrative and claims management expenses away from the captive.

Brito, assistant vice president at Marsh, and a 2016 Power Broker® winner, praised Dezayas for his willingness to tackle a project outside of his area of expertise.

“Carlos came from a strong insurance background, but not particularly in marine. When we were undergoing our renewal strategy, he quickly familiarized himself with marine terminology and set out to learn the latest and greatest in the marine world — not an easy task,” Brito said.

“He took the time to walk through the policy language with me and ask the right questions. He was willing to put his trust in Marsh when we discussed changing the captive structure for cargo and was always extremely responsive.” &

_____________________________________________

AllStars2016v1oRisk All Stars stand out from their peers by overcoming challenges through exceptional problem solving, creativity, perseverance and passion.

See the complete list of 2016 Risk All Stars.

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Robotics Risk

Rise of the Cobots

Collaborative robots, known as cobots, are rapidly expanding in the workforce due to their versatility. But they bring with them liability concerns.
By: | May 2, 2017 • 5 min read

When the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto hired mobile collaborative robots to bolster security patrols, the goal was to improve costs and safety.

Once the autonomous robotic guards took up their beats — bedecked with alarms, motion sensors, live video streaming and forensics capabilities — no one imagined what would happen next.

Advertisement




For some reason,  a cobots’ sensors didn’t pick up the movement of a toddler on the sidewalk who was trying to play with the 5-foot-tall, egg-shaped figure.

The 300-pound robot was programmed to stop for shoppers, but it knocked down the child and then ran over his feet while his parents helplessly watched.

Engaged to help, this cobot instead did harm, yet the use of cobots is growing rapidly.

Cobots are the fastest growing segment of the robotics industry, which is projected to hit $135.4 billion in 2019, according to tech research firm IDC.

“Robots are embedding themselves more and more into our lives every day,” said Morgan Kyte, a senior vice president at Marsh.

“Collaborative robots have taken the robotics industry by storm over the past several years,” said Bob Doyle, director of communications at the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

When traditional robots joined the U.S. workforce in the 1960s, they were often assigned one specific task and put to work safely away from humans in a fenced area.

Today, they are rapidly being deployed in the automotive, plastics, electronics assembly, machine tooling and health care industries due to their ability to function in tandem with human co-workers.

More than 24,000 robots valued at $1.3 billion were ordered from North American companies last year, according to the RIA.

Cobots Rapidly Gain Popularity

Cobots are cheaper, more versatile and lighter, and often have a faster return on investment compared to traditional robots. Some cobots even employ artificial intelligence (AI) so they can adapt to their environment, learn new tasks and improve on their skills.

Bob Doyle, director of communications, Robotic Industry Association

Their software is simple to program, so companies don’t need a computer programmer, called a robotic integrator, to come on site to tweak duties. Most employees can learn how to program them.

While the introduction of cobots into the workplace can bring great productivity gains, it also introduces risk mitigation challenges.

“Where does the problem lie when accidents happen and which insurance covers it?” asked attorney Garry Mathiason, co-chair of the robotics, AI and automation industry group at the law firm Littler Mendelson PC in San Francisco.

“Cobots are still machines and things can go awry in many ways,” Marsh’s Kyte said.

“The robot can fail. A subcomponent can fail. It can draw the wrong conclusions.”

If something goes amiss, exposure may fall to many different parties:  the manufacturer of the cobot, the software developer and/or the purchaser of the cobot, to name a few.

Is it a product defect? Was it an issue in the base code or in the design? Was something done in the cobot’s training? Was it user error?

“Cobots are still machines and things can go awry in many ways.” — Morgan Kyte, senior vice president, Marsh

Is it a workers’ compensation case or a liability issue?

“If you get injured in the workplace, there’s no debate as to liability,” Mathiason said.

But if the employee attributes the injury to a poorly designed or programmed machine and sues the manufacturer of the equipment, that’s not limited by workers’ comp, he added.

Garry Mathiason, co-chair, robotics, AI and automation industry group, Littler Mendelson PC

In the case of a worker killed by a cobot in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2015, the worker’s spouse filed suit against five of the companies responsible for manufacturing the machine.

“It’s going to be unique each time,” Kyte said.

“The issue that keeps me awake at night is that people are so impressed with what a cobot can do, and so they ask it to do a task that it wasn’t meant to perform,” Mathiason said.

Privacy is another consideration.

If the cobot records what is happening around it, takes pictures of its environment and the people in it, an employee or customer might claim a privacy violation.

A public sign disclosing the cobot’s ability to record video or take pictures may be a simple solution. And yet, it is often overlooked, Mathiason said.

Growing Pains in the Industry

There are going to be growing pains as the industry blossoms in advance of any legal and regulatory systems, Mathiason said.

He suggests companies take several mitigation steps before introducing cobots to the workplace.

First, conduct a safety audit that specifically covers robotics. Make sure to properly investigate the use of the technology and consider all options. Run a pilot program to test it out.

Most importantly, he said, assign someone in the organization to get up to speed on the technology and then continuously follow it for updates and new uses.

The Robotics Industry Association has been working with the government to set up safety standards. One employee can join a cobot member association to receive the latest information on regulations.

“I think there’s a lot of confusion about this technology and people see so many things that could go wrong,” Mathiason said.

Advertisement




“But if you handle it properly with the safety audit, the robotics audit, and pay attention to what the standards are, it’s going to be the opposite; there will be fewer problems.

“And you might even see in your experience rating that you are going to [get] a better price to the policy,” he added.

Without forethought, coverage may slip through the cracks. General liability, E&O, business interruption, personal injury, cyber and privacy claims can all be involved.

AIG’s Lexington Insurance introduced an insurance product in 2015 to address the gray areas cobots and robots create. The coverage brings together general and products liability, robotics errors and omissions, and risk management services, all three of which are tailored for the robotics industry. Minimum premium is $25,000.

Insurers are using lessons learned from the creation of cyber liability policies and are applying it to robotics coverage, Kyte said.

“The robotics industry has been very safe for the last 30 years,” RIA’s Doyle said. “It really does have a good track record and we want that to continue.” &

Juliann Walsh is a staff writer at Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]