The coronavirus outbreak has brought an epidemic of phishing emails -- they're up more than 600% since the end of February, reports Barracuda Networks. The security firm says it has detected more than 9,000 attacks in March, compared with 1,188 in February and 137 in January.
Retirement income expert Tom Hegna presented 12 ideas to help advisors thrive despite the coronavirus pandemic during an online town hall meeting hosted by NAIFA. Among his tips are to hold virtual appointments every day, deliver books or movies to clients' doorsteps and let clients know you sell life insurance.
The insurance industry needs to prepare for a rise in fraudulent claims in auto, property, business interruption, workers' compensation and other lines amid the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic, writes Matthew Smith of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. Effective use of analytics and greater collaboration among the industry and regulators will be beneficial, while vendors and claims investigations could face challenges, Smith writes.
QBE North America is making donations of 95,000 ear-loop face masks to US hospitals facing shortages during the coronavirus pandemic. "This donation serves as a sincere thank you to our health care workers, who are working tirelessly on the front lines of this battle," CEO Todd Jones said.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he is looking at possibly requiring a 60-day grace period for insurance policyholders in the state to pay premiums. State Insurance Commissioner Andrew Mais has formally asked insurers, including property casualty carriers, to provide such a grace period.
Pacific Gas and Electric said it intends to take $4 million from a $13.5 billion wildfire victims fund to cover its fine for 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter stemming from the 2018 Camp Fire. Two people have stepped down from the 11-member wildfire victims committee taking part in the California utility's bankruptcy case because they say the victims fund is an insufficient settlement.
A New Jersey appeals court decision allows a workers' compensation judge to award medical marijuana expenses to an injured worker who has been prescribed such treatment by a doctor. The court held that allowing the worker to recoup the costs would not put the employer in violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act because the company would not be distributing, possessing or manufacturing the drug.
The huge increase in telecommuting over the past couple of weeks creates a perfect storm of cybersecurity risks, writes Patrick Hopkins, noting that most corporations aren't using zero-trust approaches or well-implemented policies on data access. On the employee side, even those who have been trained in security practices are likely to be frazzled while working long hours in a home environment with multiple distractions, and the VPN servers they're depending on could be vulnerable to hacking.
Weather data from commercial aircraft typically exceeds 700,000 observations per day, placing it among meteorologists' top data sources, but that has declined as many planes are grounded during the coronavirus pandemic, coinciding with the spring flooding season. Weather models also experienced a drop in aircraft data after the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks, but the current decrease in flights hasn't reached that magnitude.
The Senate has voted 96-0 to pass a $2.2 trillion stimulus package to aid industries, small businesses and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The House is scheduled to act on the bill Friday.
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