A new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute says collision claims frequency has risen up to 6% in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington -- which have legalized the recreational use of marijuana -- compared with neighboring states where it remains illegal. The report also includes a study indicating that police-reported accidents in three of the states have risen 5.2% compared with states where recreational marijuana is still illegal.
The US property/casualty insurance sector's average composite rate rose 2.5% in the third quarter, MarketScout said. Commercial property, general liability and employment practices liability insurance experienced Q3 increases of 3%, while commercial auto saw the highest increase at 6%.
Google is now a minority stakeholder in Applied Systems, whose products are insurance technology and cloud-based software focused on independent agents. Applied Systems said it now can tap into Google's resources on artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital marketing, and the company said Google would not use the partnership to access insurance data.
The first half of 2018 brought as much as $18 billion in insured losses, according to Swiss Re estimates, while the second half could bring $30 billion of additional losses and put 2018's total around the 10-year average. Peel Hunt says 2018 is not a benign catastrophe year, as catastrophe budgets were largely depleted in the third quarter and Q4 losses could hurt earnings.
The market for representations and warranties, tax, litigation and bespoke contingent insurance has grown to 20 companies from just six in 2014, Aon reports. In North America, more than 34% of the mergers-and-acquisitions market harnessed representations and warranties coverage in 2017, compared with 20% the year before, according to Aon.
More rainfall is forecast to hit Texas' central and Hill Country regions, with totals potentially reaching 14 inches for the past week, according to AccuWeather. The possible opening of eight floodgates on the Mansfield Dam above Lake Austin would be "an unprecedented action," the Lower Colorado River Authority said.
Certain homes with low-cost reinforcements including window shutters, metal connectors and strategically placed nails remained mostly unscathed after Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle. The cost to retrofit an average-size roof is about $1,000, while new-home construction can cost just 3% to 5% more to include additional strengthening, said Roy Wright of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.
Officials have confirmed more deaths from Hurricane Michael, bringing the death toll to at least 33, as residents are returning to Mexico Beach, Fla., one of the areas that the storm affected most severely. Task forces in Florida said they have identified 4,240 single residences destroyed by Michael and 15,876 damaged by the storm.
The frequency of tornadoes is increasing in states along the Mississippi River and declining in the central and southern Great Plains, although Texas still leads the US in tornadic activity, says a study in the journal Climate and Atmospheric Science. Researchers are unsure of the reason behind the eastward shift, which poses a threat to more populous areas with higher numbers of people living in mobile homes.
First-half net income for the US property/casualty insurance industry was $34 billion, more than double the level for the same period last year, while catastrophe-related losses declined to $14.6 billion from $18 billion, reported PCI and ISO. "The industry is in good health with a strong balance sheet to serve consumer needs and is enjoying record-high J.D. Power customer service ratings," PCI's Robert Gordon said.
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