The IRS has released a draft version of its updated guidance on pension and annuity income to assist taxpayers with the preparation of their 2020 personal income tax returns. The latest update to "Publication 575: Pension and Annuity Income" is available online and addresses coronavirus-related distributions.
Industrial plants in Texas released an estimated 3.5 million pounds of additional air pollution as a winter storm recently hit the state, nearly the same amount that was released during Hurricane Laura last year, three environmental groups say in an analysis of notices to state regulators. Emergency shutdowns, power outages and system failures contributed to the heightened emissions, companies have told Texas regulators.
The 60-day legislative session underway in Florida includes a bill aimed at limiting attorneys' fees in property insurance litigation and allowing insurers to use a reimbursement schedule for roof damage claims, while another measure would eliminate the state's no-fault auto insurance system. Other legislation would provide coronavirus-related liability protections for businesses, schools and certain other entities and create a state Office of Resiliency to address sea-level rise.
Data from the California Workers' Compensation Institute, Safety National and Sedgwick shows that non-coronavirus workers' compensation and liability claims have decreased amid employer shutdowns and operating-capacity reductions during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the virus' long-term effects on claims remains uncertain, as COVID-19 patients have experienced persistent side effects including pneumonia, fatigue and brain fog, experts say.
The Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, which Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law on Tuesday, will allow consumers to opt out of the collection and sale of their personal data and to have such data corrected or deleted. The measure, which is the second state law of its type, is set to take effect in 2023 and does not include a private right of action regarding violations.
Allianz and Munich Re have worked with Google to develop a cyberinsurance product for the tech company's cloud users. The partnership is designed to help Allianz and Munich Re price the coverage by providing them with data on Google Cloud clients' security controls.
The insurance industry appears likely to see another vigorous year of mergers and acquisitions in 2021, as earnings show strength amid increases in commercial insurance pricing, experts say. Last year brought 407 insurance M&A deals globally, compared with 419 in 2019, Clyde & Co. says in a report.
A New Jersey appeals court decision favoring reimbursement for medical marijuana under workers' compensation has been cited in at least two other recent state court decisions. In the past week, the New Hampshire Supreme Court and a New York appeals court have issued decisions allowing injured workers to receive insurance reimbursement for medical marijuana.
The Environmental Protection Agency says the total of criminal cases it pursued in fiscal 2020 was up 45% compared with fiscal 2019. Violations frequently targeted for prosecution include compromising of pollution control devices and harming human health or wildlife, lawyer Michael Dawkins writes.
Ninety 2021 vehicles earned an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety "Top Safety Pick," with 49 of them earning the "Pick+" designation, up from 23 vehicles last year. Headlight improvement was a major reason for the additional Top Safety Pick+ numbers, with IIHS President David Harkey noting, "We saw dramatic improvements in automakers who have figured out how to create better-performing headlights [and] reduce the glare for oncoming drivers."
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