The new Congress in 2021 is likely to bring a bipartisan willingness to consider measures such as the APCIA-supported Business Continuity Protection Program, through which businesses could obtain insurance protections against future pandemics. An overhaul and reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program is another key insurance issue that the incoming Congress could consider.
The collection of telematic data can help auto insurers more accurately assess drivers' risk and likelihood of claims, but insurers could face tougher competition as an expanding field of companies looks to harness such data, Rochelle Toplensky writes. "Auto insurers need to work with startups and data providers to keep abreast of new developments and improve their digital offers," or "they may eventually find themselves outmaneuvered," Toplensky writes.
The federal Pedestrian Safety Action Plan outlines steps, some of which will be taken by year-end, to curtail pedestrian deaths and injuries. The plan, introduced by the US Transportation Department, calls for actions such as making crosswalks safer, improving street lighting and making effective use of automated driving technologies.
A common sign that a commercial property could pose a higher-than-expected risk is a discrepancy in occupation between what is listed on an insurance application and what a field representative observes, write Deb Connaway and Dave Ibarra of ISO Survey Services. Other warning signs include fire risk in kitchens; electrical problems; water damage; and hazards that could result in slips, trips and falls, Connaway and Ibarra write.
Legislation introduced in Texas would mandate that landlords inform potential renters of whether a property is in a floodplain and whether it has experienced flooding. Texas currently requires flood disclosures for the benefit of home buyers, and state lawmakers heightened those requirements in 2019.
Low-income homes' risk of coastal flooding will increase more than threefold by 2050, when flooding could affect more than 25,000 affordable housing units at least once per year, according to researchers with Climate Central and National Housing Trust. "These impacts may increase maintenance costs, threaten public health, and cause profound disruptions to families already struggling to make ends meet," the researchers write.
Baltimore County schools in Maryland will reopen today after a three-day closure necessitated by a severe ransomware attack. If the district's backup files haven't been affected, it still could take months to recover from the cyberinvasion, and the ransom request may be as much as $1 million, Doug Levin of K12 Cybersecurity Resource Center says.
Indexed universal life insurance sales rose 3% in the third quarter, according to LIMRA, the first positive quarterly performance of the year. Eight of the top 10 IUL carriers saw higher sales in the quarter, which is a sign that agents have become more comfortable with remote selling, said Elaine Tumicki, corporate vice president of LIMRA Insurance Research.
An estimated 47.8 million Thanksgiving weekend travelers were expected to drive -- accounting for 95% of all travel during the holiday weekend -- while data from the Farmers Signal app shows drivers' cellphone use for functions other than talking is up 50% since the coronavirus pandemic began. To help fight distracted driving through its "Unfinished Stories" campaign, Travelers recently commissioned a comic book telling a superhero story focused on Zaadii Tso, who was 3 years old when he was fatally struck by a distracted driver.
A survey of US voters found just 9% of respondents saying litigation is a better response to the coronavirus pandemic than government relief is, indicating that "Americans ... recognize the tremendous dangers that widespread [business interruption] litigation brings," writes Sherman Joyce of the American Tort Reform Association. Trial lawyers' efforts to force insurers to cover coronavirus-related business interruption losses "would simply bankrupt insurance companies" and leave policyholders without coverage, Joyce writes.
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