The remnants of Florence continue to move through the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, while the number of deaths from the storm has risen to at least 32 amid persistent flooding in the Carolinas and reports of tornadoes. Meanwhile, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said crews have rescued 2,600 people, and Moody's Analytics estimates $17 billion to $22 billion or more of property damage and disruption from the storm.
Flood insurance coverage is in place for only about 400,000 of the 1.5 million Carolinas homes at high risk of flooding, meaning that as Florence affects the region, "there's going to be a real challenge, as we saw last year in Hurricane Harvey in Houston, with an underinsurance problem," said PCI President and CEO David Sampson. People affected by Florence need to contact their insurers or agents, take pictures or video of their losses, and beware of potentially unscrupulous contractors in the storm's aftermath, Sampson said.
A J.D. Power survey found homeowners insurance companies at their highest-ever level of customer satisfaction, with scores of 818 out of 1,000 among homeowners and 839 out of 1,000 among renters. Carriers have benefited from offering policy bundling and enhancing their digital interaction channels, although insurtech companies could pose a challenge in this space, J.D. Power says.
Reinsurers face "lean years" in terms of operating margin as insurance premium increases have been relatively slow, despite 2017 being a record year for catastrophe losses, Aimee Donnellan writes. But with a potential surge in reinsurer mergers and acquisitions, "larger reinsurers can spread risk across a broader range of businesses, and invest more in hot new areas like cyber security," Donnellan writes.
A report from A.M. Best says last year's direct written premiums for surplus lines increased 5.8% to $642.1 million, compared with growth of 2.8% in 2016 and 2.5% in 2015. "Until standard market companies meet their underwriting expectations in their core lines, they will maintain an interest in competing for some surplus lines business, to complement their other operations," the report notes.
"Mega" workers' compensation claims, defined as those reaching $10 million or more, experienced an uptick to a total of 10 in 2016, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. The same number of such claims also occurred in 2006, adjusted for inflation, NCCI says.
Hot, dry conditions have contributed to the expansion of at least three Colorado wildfires, including one that prompted new evacuation orders for 200 homes, which are now only under pre-evacuation notice.
An online quiz from Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts has found 44% of parents have no plan to protect family members should premature death occur. Meanwhile, 20% of respondents have a plan but have not implemented it, with 36% of that group saying they think they cannot afford life insurance.
The American Council of Life Insurers says House legislation to make President Donald Trump's tax cuts permanent falls short regarding retirement security. The bill would add retirement-security aspects but would not go far enough in letting annuities be sold into retirement plans, the group says.
Florence, now a tropical depression, has broken the record for rainfall from a hurricane in North Carolina, with as much as 40 inches of rain falling in some areas of the state since Thursday, while 17 people have died and more than 900 people have been rescued from flooding. Coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program is in place for just 10% to 20% of coastal homes in the heavily affected area of North Carolina, said actuary John Rollins of Milliman.
- Page 1