The FBI has not determined whether the bombing that damaged at least 45 businesses in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 25 was a terrorist act, but that possibility has given some property owners concern that their commercial property insurance policies might not cover damage from the incident, write Lalita Mohabir of Burns & Wilcox and Carolyn Reiter of Global Excess Partners. Brokers should inform business owners of options for terrorism coverage and make sure clients don't overlook such risk, even those in "peaceful" locations such as small towns, write Mohabir and Reiter.
The coronavirus is accelerating insurers' use of technology such as drones for property damage inspections and phone apps for initial underwriting, APCIA's Karen Collins said. Technologies that increase efficiency and create cost savings for insurers and policyholders "are certainly technologies that the industry's going to be very receptive to and not just turn off ... when the pandemic finally concludes," she said.
The insurance industry is focusing more on diversity and inclusion because of its accountability to employees, investors and customers, and it faces an urgent need to tap into more diverse talent as many in the industry will retire in the next few years, Nina Boone of Korn Ferry said during a panel discussion. Tyler Whipple of American Family Insurance said insurers are recognizing how the bottom line can suffer in the absence of diversity, adding, "My question is how quickly will we as an industry accelerate the pace of change in order to get ahead of the curve?"
The solicitation of roofing claims is contributing to higher property insurance rates in Florida, state Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier told lawmakers this week. The practice seems to be incentivized in some areas, "and I certainly would advocate that we spend some time addressing that," Altmaier said.
A Workers Compensation Research Institute study of 27 states found "tremendous variation" in the coronavirus pandemic's effects on workers' compensation claims in various industries. Meanwhile, a National Council on Compensation Insurance report says net written premium for private workers' compensation was $38.6 billion last year, a decrease of 8.1% compared with 2019.
Authorities ordered evacuations for a community in California's Riverside County this morning as a wildfire grew to 600 acres and was 0% contained. On Thursday, a wildfire near Thousand Oaks, Calif., was approaching homes and structures, but crews had halted the fire's spread by 9 p.m.
Insured losses from the SolarWinds cyberattack are likely to reach $90 million, while economic losses are estimated at more than $200 million, according to an analysis by BitSight and Kovrr. "While the SolarWinds breach is proving to be a devastating cyberattack from a national security perspective, the attack did not evolve into a cybercatastrophe for the insurance market," BitSight's Samit Shah said.
Florida lawmakers are considering separate bills that would provide coronavirus-related liability safeguards, with one bill addressing businesses and the other addressing health care. A House subcommittee advanced the business liability bill this week, drawing praise from APCIA and other groups.
Last year was a strong year for life insurance application activity, which was up 4%, according to MIB Group, marking the largest increase since 2011. The pandemic highlighted the need for life insurance and many companies streamlined the application process, MIB Group said.
The US experienced insured catastrophe losses of $66 billion last year, "significantly higher" than the prior 10-year average of $46 billion, Aon said in a report. Hurricanes and wildfires were among the disasters that drove US losses higher, while insured catastrophe losses worldwide were "near average levels," at $86 billion, Aon said.
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