Insurance
Top stories summarized by our editors
2/20/2020

Legislation that would prohibit most handheld cellphone use while driving has passed in the South Dakota House and now advances to the Senate. Exemptions would include cellphone use during an emergency and when navigating via GPS app.

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South Dakota House, Senate
2/20/2020

US District Judge William Alsup said Pacific Gas and Electric has failed to adhere to the terms of its probation stemming from the deadly 2010 explosion of a natural-gas pipeline. Alsup is considering ordering the California utility to hire more tree trimmers as a wildfire-mitigation measure, and he also might make PG&E's executive bonuses dependent on safety metrics.

2/20/2020

Judge Loren Smith of the US Court of Federal Claims has thrown out a case in which property owners accused the Army Corps of Engineers of being responsible for Houston-area flood damage after Hurricane Harvey. Flooding affected homes upstream and downstream of two federally owned reservoirs after the hurricane, which Smith said was "an Act of God, which the government neither caused nor committed."

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The Associated Press
2/20/2020

Colorado Department of Revenue data shows $1.75 billion in medical and recreational marijuana sales in 2019, the highest total in the six years since recreational marijuana became legal in the state. Taxes collected on marijuana sales in Colorado were $302 million last year, also setting a record.

2/20/2020

Storms are bringing more rain to the South, with flood watches in effect for areas including Jackson, Miss., which has experienced major river flooding recently. In addition, parts of North Carolina and Virginia are under a winter storm warning.

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The Weather Channel
2/20/2020

A bill filed in the Pennsylvania House is the latest seeking to legalize recreational marijuana in the commonwealth. The measure also would allow for cannabis-related offenses to be expunged from criminal records.

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WPMT-TV (York, Pa.)
2/20/2020

More developers are constructing floating buildings, including hotels, apartments and office spaces. Many of these structures are temporary, but experts say they could become a long-term solution for coastal cities threatened by sea-level rise.

2/19/2020

Trading in US stock options hit a record of nearly 24 million call options last week, while selling of calls declined almost 30% from the amount two weeks ago, says Jason Goepfert of Sundial Capital. "We're seeing a level of leveraged speculation" that "only has the early 2000s as a precedent," Goepfert says.

2/19/2020

US annuity sales rose 3% in 2019 to $241.7 billion, the highest number in 11 years, according to a report from LIMRA's Secure Retirement Institute. Fixed annuity sales, which accounted for 58% of the total annuity market last year, have been a catalyst for growth in the industry over the past four years, says Todd Giesing, SRI director of annuity research.

2/19/2020

Advisors and insurance agents are getting ready for the implementation of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation Best Interest in numerous ways, including training and risk assessments. They are also asking questions of regulators, including how Reg BI applies to a registered representative's recommendation to purchase a fixed annuity that will be funded by liquidating securities.