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Top stories summarized by our editors
10/16/2020

The Trump administration has denied California's request to issue a major disaster declaration providing aid for the recovery from six wildfires that have burned more than 1.8 million acres since September. The state plans to appeal the decision; meanwhile, Trump has allowed the federal government to cover expenses for debris removal and emergency protective measures stemming from August wildfires in California.

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Trump administration, Trump
10/16/2020

A survey from Global Atlantic found that 37% of people believe they need more life insurance. That includes 18% of people who have no life insurance but need it and 19% who have some insurance but believe it's not enough.

10/16/2020

Insurers need to avoid a selective approach to addressing systemic risks, although they shouldn't be required to tackle all of the risk from pandemics and other events for which public-private partnerships can be beneficial, said Will Farmer of AXA XL. Meanwhile, the government should take "a longer nonpartisan-type view" on how public-private partnerships address systemic risks, said Emma Karhan of Aon.

10/16/2020

APCIA President and CEO David Sampson said the property casualty insurance sector likely will see efforts in 29 states to prohibit the use of "well-established, actuarially sound" factors for evaluating risk in setting premiums. An APCIA working group is addressing issues of racial equity and inclusion as the industry seeks to educate lawmakers and the public about the industry's use of such factors, Sampson said.

10/16/2020

Empathy is especially crucial in diversity and inclusion strategies this year, said Lauren Young of Zurich North America, which observed Juneteenth as a holiday on June 19 so that employees could "educate themselves on some of the struggles many were facing as a result of COVID and systemic racism." A key gauge of success in diversity and inclusion strategies is the retention and advancement of diverse talent, Young said.

10/16/2020

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has updated its policy on assessing flood mitigation projects to allow environmental benefits to be considered along with flood protections. The change provides more support for nature-based mitigation projects as opposed to "hard" or "gray" infrastructure, such as levees and sea walls.

10/16/2020

The cyberinsurance market's data is often siloed, but providing an industrywide picture would benefit underwriters and reinsurers and drive more capital into the sector, writes Thomas Johansmeyer of Verisk's Property Claim Services. Having a "consistent, reliable, and robust" retrocession market would also help bolster capacity in the cyberinsurance space, Johansmeyer writes.

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World Economic Forum
10/16/2020

Cyberinsurers and their legal counsel are taking Office of Foreign Assets Control rules regarding ransomware attacks "quite seriously" in light of recent Treasury Department advisories on ransomware payments, said Nick Economidis of Crum & Forster. The advisories "will likely result in some small changes to how legal counsel working with insured's approach the issue and, maybe, some double-checks for OFAC compliance from the carrier side," Economidis said.

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Insurance Journal
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Treasury Department
10/16/2020

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has signed legislation establishing a state Office of Resilience, which will lead flood mitigation efforts and oversee federal disaster aid within the state. The state also is creating a fund through which local governments can conduct voluntary buyouts of repeatedly flooded properties.

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The Associated Press
10/15/2020

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a spike in life insurance sales. Firms are seeing an especially pronounced interest in term life insurance policies and from younger consumers.

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CNBC