The death toll from the Camp Fire has risen to 56 and 130 remain missing, as more than 450 people search for bodies and, with the fire at 35% containment, it's destroyed nearly 8,800 homes. Another body has been found in connection to the Woolsey Fire, which has burned 98,000 acres, destroyed 480 structures and is 52% contained.
Experts say the solution to California's wildfires is to stop building homes in fire-prone areas and make those already at risk more indestructible, as anything less won't make a difference. Sara Yerkes of the International Code Council says the state's stringent building codes preventing fire are a baseline and don't include larger government decisions, such as not allowing homes in high-risk areas.
Vehicles that contain electronic driver assist systems may not keep vehicles from swerving out of lanes or avoid a crash with a stationary object, according to AAA, which warns drivers to not consider driving assist features as self-driving and says that naming a system "pilot" can make drivers think the vehicle can drive itself. These findings come from tests performed by AAA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released similar findings this summer after its tests.
A survey by Cummins Home Standby Generators found that, after a hurricane, 75% of respondents wished they had been better prepared, and natural disaster preparedness expert Cheryl Nelson stresses creating disaster prep kits and having enough food for 72 hours. "People need to plan ahead, from getting flood insurance 30 days out if you are in a flood zone to considering backup power," writes Nelson.
Insurance fintech startup Hippo used artificial intelligence to contact all of its customers in active fire zones in California to offer help with booking hotel rooms or covering temporary living expenses, as well as preemptively filing claims for more than 80% of its customers. The company, which uses advanced data to underwrite homeowners insurance, announced Wednesday it raised $70 million in growth funding.
Winter Storm Avery brought heavy rain to the Southeast and snow and ice from the Midwest into the Ohio Valley Wednesday night, and as the storm moves up to the mid-Atlantic, rain will transition to snow and ice today. Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in effect in states from Arkansas to New England for today into Friday.
The Camp and Woolsey fires in California have destroyed 10,800 structures, and as the number of structures burned rises, so does the cost for insurers and reinsurers. Credit Suisse predicts the highest insured loss from the fires at up to $10 billion, and A.M. Best predicts 2018 will be a record year for wildfire losses.
The insurance market should make cyber insurance as simple as possible in order for customers to understand and purchase policies, says Graeme Newman of CFC Underwriting. "It's not just businesses that store sensitive data records like personal information and healthcare information. It's relevant to any business that uses technology to operate," said Newman.
The Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau sent midyear workers' compensation loss cost filings of 5.24% and 10.02% effective Jan. 1 to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. This is the first filing after Gov. Tom Wolf reinstated impairment ratings for injured workers after the state Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional in 2017.
Annuity sales totaled $59.5 billion in the second quarter, according to the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, hitting a level not seen since early 2015, right before the Labor Department's fiduciary rule was put in place. In addition to the fiduciary rule being vacated, rising interest rates boost sales, LIMRA spokeswoman Catherine Theroux said.
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