A payout at death is just one of the benefits life insurance offers, writes Ralph Dittrich of Crump Insurance Services. Other selling points of various policies include cash value accumulation, tax-free withdrawals and loans, and protection from market volatility.
The death toll from the coronavirus will not be high enough to significantly influence the earnings of publicly traded companies in the US that sell life insurance and annuities, according to securities analyst Ryan Krueger. He expects the current pandemic to play out like the Asian flu pandemic of 1957, rather than the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.
Technology such as videoconferencing and teleconferencing is helping insurers and brokers tackle April 1 renewals as their employees and clients work remotely and practice social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. Site visits have been widely suspended, prompting underwriters to use sources such as drone imagery and Google Earth for information to guide the renewal process.
New York's budget is unlikely to address the legalization of recreational marijuana for adult use as the coronavirus pandemic causes fiscal worries for the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. In Missouri, the outbreak means that petitions for a ballot measure on legalizing recreational marijuana are unlikely to garner enough signatures by May 3, organizers of the campaign said.
The National Weather Service has confirmed at least three tornadoes in Alabama and Mississippi after severe weather hit the Southeast on Tuesday. About a dozen homes were damaged in Eufaula, Ala., and property damage also was reported in parts of Mississippi and Georgia.
Damage caused by 2019's spring flooding has left many levees on the Missouri and Kansas rivers at risk during this year's flood season, the Army Corps of Engineers said. Currently, flood risk is above average in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and the eastern part of the Dakotas, according to the National Weather Service.
The US Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 6.5 earthquake on Tuesday and at least 20 aftershocks that have affected Idaho's Treasure Valley. Local officials have reported no damage from the earthquake, which could be Idaho's second-strongest, after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that left two people dead in 1983.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has directed a review of workers' compensation claims by state employees who contract COVID-19 while doing their jobs. The expanded eligibility for benefits applies to law-enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, correctional officers, health care workers, child safety investigators and Florida National Guard members.
Law-enforcement officers in Massachusetts can issue fines for violations of the state's distracted-driving law starting today, now that a grace period has concluded. Drivers can touch, tap or swipe their cellphones only to put the devices in hands-free mode or to call 911 in an emergency, state police said.
Litigation filed on behalf of environmental and community groups is aimed at stopping Defense Department contracts for the incineration of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. The groups are worried about air pollution from the substances, which have been dubbed "forever chemicals" and have been linked to cancer and other health conditions.
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