The Santa Ana winds have emerged for the first time in 2018, heightening Southern California's wildfire risk as wind gusts could reach 75 mph in mountainous areas. Low humidity and warm temperatures are also factors that increase the region's wildfire threat.
The deadline to approve or deny a rate increase sought by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association has been postponed from Oct. 15 to June 16, 2019, by Gov. Greg Abbott. Such an increase would be unfair to people in coastal areas still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, Abbott said in a letter to state Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan.
Uninsured flood losses are a major public policy crisis that to be a national priority, after roughly 85% of communities affected by Hurricane Florence didn't have flood insurance and 80% of those hit by Hurricane Harvey didn't, says Jessica Hanna, PCI senior vice president. "A 2018 University of London study found that nearly 70% of global losses in the last 10 years from natural catastrophes were uninsured," writes PCI executive Nat Wienecke.
The strong growth in insurance mergers and acquisitions in 2018 will likely carry over to 2019, according to a report from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Driving M&A going forward will be auto-related deals, due to the uncertainty of driverless and ride-share technology.
The insurance industry should be able to offset Hurricane Michael and other catastrophe losses from 2018 with earnings, analysis from S&P Global reveals. Ratings among reinsurers likely won't see a negative impact related to Hurricane Michael, the report adds.
Small and medium-sized insurance companies in Florida, backed by reinsurers, will have to cover most of the losses related to Hurricane Michael. About 80% of the homeowners insurance market in Florida is covered by companies other than the national carriers, says S&P Global.
September's catastrophe losses were the costliest of 2018, highlighting the fact that natural disaster risk is on the rise while the market remains underinsured, according to Aon. Much of the losses from major events last month, including Hurricane Florence, were likely uninsured, the firm says.
The Lake Superior-related storm that hit Duluth, Minn., causing flooding, has shut down various parts of the Canal Park district as cleanup starts. Damage estimates are expected to be released next week.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given approval for self-dimming headlights, which have been in use in Europe and Japan, to be used in the US. These lights "reduce the risk of crashes by increasing visibility without increasing glare," the agency said.