Starr Companies plans to underwrite an insurance product designed for a particular Canadian visa program. AIR Worldwide released an updated U.S. wildfire model. Church Mutual, meanwhile, is teaming with an insurance agency to market a no-cost program designed to help customers keep their property safe from wildfire devastation.


Starr Companies will underwrite a Super Visa Insurance product sold by Travel Shield, a trade name used by Mars Empire Group Inc.

The product is designed to meet the medical insurance requirements of the Canadian super visa program, which issues a 10-year multi-entry visa giving eligible non-Canadian parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents the ability to visit family in Canada for up to two years at a time.

According to Joyce Segall, senior vice president and head of Starr’s Accident & Health North America, Starr’s plan options allow consumers to select coverages and policy limits for their individual needs.

Starr Companies, or Starr is the worldwide marketing name for the operating insurance and travel assistance companies and subsidiaries of Starr International Company, Inc. and for the investment business of C. V. Starr & Co., Inc. and its subsidiaries.


AIR Worldwide (AIR) released an updated wildfire model for the United States.

The catastrophe modeler’s update is designed to provide a comprehensive view of the risk of wildfire to property within the 13 westernmost conterminous states. The event-based modeling approach accounts for the variability in weather in the current climate regime and its impact on fire behavior, enabling the model to simulate correlated countrywide wildfire activity.

This enhanced wildfire model probabilistically simulates how fires spread into areas based on wind speed and direction, availability of fuels, terrain, and likelihood of suppression. It explicitly accounts for the different ways fires spread, including fire branding and spotting. The model calculates flame length at each time step, which is directly correlated with the intensity of the fire and thus is used to estimate the severity of its damage. As well, the model also accounts for risk characteristics specific to wildfire-defensible space and the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise USA communities.

AIR Worldwide is a Verisk business.


Church Mutual Insurance Company and Church & Casualty Insurance Agency started marketing a no-cost, multifaceted program to keep customers and their property safe from the devastation of wildfires.

The new product, known as CM Wildfire Solutions, is being piloted in California with a limited group of policyholders. Church Mutual expects to expand the program to additional markets in 2019.

Accordiing Rich Poirier, Church Mutual president and CEO, through early detection and preventive measures the program is designed to significantly reduce the risk of wildfire-related losses.

The new program takes a multistep approach designed to protect customers and their property from wildfires:

  • Monitor – All organizations that enroll in CM Wildfire Solutions will receive access to 24/7 wildfire monitoring services through REDZONE. The monitoring system sends an alert to people in the path of a wildfire, giving them time to prepare and evacuate. Customers will receive alerts via email or text message.
  • Prevent – For policyholders who can’t avoid high-hazard areas, a member of Church Mutual’s Risk Control team can schedule a walking tour of their grounds, offering important wildfire prevention recommendations such as removing brush and combustible materials, covering vents, and more.
  • Defend – If wildfire danger is imminent and the situation allows, Church Mutual can send a fire mitigation service to a customer’s location to help protect property in the wildfire’s path. Defense tactics may include removing combustible items such as outdoor furniture and dead or dying tree limbs, deploying temporary sprinklers or using a fire-suppression truck to apply fire-retardant gel to the building and grounds.

Sources: Starr Companies, AIR Worldwide, Church Mutual