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October 2, 2012
News for property casualty insurers

  Top Story 
  • Driverless vehicles raise insurance questions, expert says
    Drivers would need insurance coverage for automated cars because the risk of collision remains as long as manually driven vehicles are on the roads, said PCI's Robert Passmore. "The major concern that we had was that somebody, for the purposes of liability, for the purposes of traffic law enforcement, is considered the operator of that vehicle, whether they are sitting behind the wheel or sitting in a control room somewhere," Passmore said. Developments in auto technology "are something that most insurers will be watching closely," he said. PropertyCasualty360 (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry News 
  • Report: Domestic surplus-lines insurers boost premiums written
    Direct premiums written by domestic surplus-lines insurers rose in 2011 after four years of falling, climbing 3.2% mainly because of dwindling competition from standard-market firms, according to a report from A.M. Best. Overall surplus-lines premiums have continued to drop, but domestic written premiums also rose 7% in the first quarter of this year, the report says. "The industry's improved financial results through the first quarter of 2012 portend that operating results could be better than those in 2010 and 2011," A.M. Best says. PropertyCasualty360 (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Execs: Insurers are not seeing a hard market, despite rate increases
    Increases in insurance rates are likely to continue, but insurers are not experiencing a hard market, according to a panel of executives. Rate increases vary widely across insurance lines, and the rating environment next year is uncertain given the industry's adequate capacity, the executives said. "There's still some good competition going on for some [directors and officers], financial liability lines of business for good, strong companies that have strong management in place, but try and place some general liability insurance for a contractor in New York City. It's a hard market down there; it's very, very tough," said Starr Indemnity & Liability President and CEO Charles Dangelo. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Public cloud services offer benefits for insurers, expert says
    The insurance industry can use public cloud services for such less-sensitive issues as running actuarial models that contain no confidential information, Novarica's Chad Hersh said. In using a cloud service, "you have access to services that ... aren't available internally and can be run inexpensively. You can set up a server today, use it and turn it off today, and you only pay for a few hours of server time. It's a remarkable concept," Hersh said. PropertyCasualty360 (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report cites higher fatality rate for teens in auto crashes
    The rate of deadly crashes for teenage drivers is nearly triple that for motorists 20 and older, and almost 18,000 teenagers died in crashes between 2006 and 2010, according to a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Erie Insurance. Wyoming, Montana and Mississippi were among the states with the highest rates of crash fatalities while teens are driving, while the District of Columbia, New York and Rhode Island were among those with the lowest rates. "Inexperience combined with a never-ending list of distractions can add up to a deadly combination for teen drivers," Erie Insurance's Karen Kraus Phillips said. Insurance Networking News (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Catastrophic Risk 
  • Experts: Wildfire risk remains high for Calif., Northwest
    Continuing dry conditions in California and the Pacific Northwest this month provide a large amount of dry fuels, putting communities at greater risk of wildfires, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. "Normally at this time of the year, all the indices we use to measure the condition of fuels are rapidly declining. This year, we're seeing a much slower decline in the indices. The declines we're seeing are mostly in response to longer and colder nights, and not the usual fall precipitation," the center's Jeremy Sullens said. KIVI-TV (Boise, Idaho) (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 59,000 La. homes incurred damage from Hurricane Isaac, officials say
    Nearly 59,000 homes in Louisiana were damaged when Hurricane Isaac hit the state, with properties in St. John the Baptist and Plaquemines parishes receiving some of the worst damage, according to the latest estimates by the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. After completing the majority of housing inspections, "[w]e'll continue to support parish leaders in their efforts to help communities recover from this devastating storm and will continue to advocate for residents who find themselves without homes as a result of Isaac," Kevin Davis, the state's homeland security director, said in a statement. Insurance Journal/The Associated Press (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy and Law 
  • FSOC continues work on systemic-risk designation for non-bank firms
    The Financial Stability Oversight Council on Friday moved into a "third stage" in the process of identifying non-banking companies that may pose a systemic risk to the country's financial system, according to a Treasury Department spokesman. "While FSOC did not disclose which companies were considered in [the] meeting, we expect the list to be short," likely involving five to seven institutions, according Ryan Schoen and other analysts. The designations are expected to be finalized either in December or the first quarter of next year, Schoen wrote. PropertyCasualty360 (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
--Will Rogers,
American performer, humorist and critic

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