Hedging Mother Nature
Harold Mollin denies that he can predict rain. Despite the fact that he's on-line with 50,000 weather stations around the globe, which feed him wind, temperature, and precipitation data by the hour, he's not in the forecasting business. He's in the insurance business -- weather insurance, that is.
Mollin's $9-million company, Worldwide Weather, in Great Neck, N.Y., has been doing for nearly 5 years what leviathan Lloyd's of London has been doing for more than 100. For rates ranging from 1.5% to 25% of the overall insured value, Worldwide Weather indemnifies any event that is weather sensitive -- outdoor concerts, film shoots, sporting events, and so on. With start-up funds of $1 million and an initial two years of losses, Worldwide Weather now boasts profits "better than those of your typical property- or casualty-insurance company," says Mollin.
-- Alessandra Bianchi