July 30, 2021
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Lawyers representing the plaintiffs in lawsuits related to the partial collapse of a condominium building in Surfside, Fla., said $1 billion will be necessary to resolve claims, but only $50 million is available through insurance policies. The $1 billion includes the value of the property, lost earnings, trauma and possible punitive damages, attorneys said.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (7/29) 
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Industry News
Research by the Workers Compensation Research Institute found a 12% decrease in the amount of opioids prescribed during the first year of state prescription drug monitoring programs being in effect. Meanwhile, regulations restricting opioid prescriptions' duration were associated with a 19% decline in opioid use in workers' compensation claims, the study found.
Full Story: Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (7/29),  PropertyCasualty360 (free registration) (7/30) 
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Eighty-four percent of National Flood Insurance Program policyholders in Texas could see rates increase under a revised risk-rating procedure from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The updated methodology is expected at the beginning of October.
Full Story: Insurance Business America (7/28) 
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Willis Towers Watson said in a quarterly report that funding for insurtech ventures reached $7.4 billion during the first half of 2021, higher than the full-year tally for any other year. The second quarter saw more than $4.8 billion in insurtech deals, and Willis Re's Andrew Johnston said "society will demand an insurance community that reflects and supports our changing, digitally empowered behaviors."
Full Story: Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (7/29) 
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Pandemic-related workers' compensation claims in California are expected to exceed $1 billion for accident years 2020 and 2021, pushing the estimated combined loss and expense ratio above 100%, according to the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California. There were 150,000 COVID-19 claims in 2020 and the first six months of this year, while noncoronavirus claims declined.
Full Story: Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (7/28) 
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Catastrophic Risk
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's subways face a high risk of flooding in the next half-century, according to research from MIT and Tulane University. The study calls for "a general framework of engineering resilience for infrastructure systems in the context of climate change" amid the threat of sea-level rise.
Full Story: Newsweek (tiered subscription model) (7/27) 
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Weather, climate and water hazards were responsible for half of all disasters, 45% of all reported deaths and nearly three-quarters of economic losses in the past 50 years, a report from the World Meteorological Organization says. The top 10 disasters of the last five decades include droughts, which killed approximately 650,000 people; storms, which claimed 577,000 lives; and floods and temperature extremes, which killed 59,000 and 56,000 people, respectively.
Full Story: The Brussels Times online (Belgium) (7/23) 
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The National Weather Service has confirmed at least four tornadoes hit southeastern Wisconsin on Thursday. One of the tornadoes was an EF1, with speeds that can range from 86 to 110 mph, and it caused widespread damage in Jefferson County.
Full Story: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (tiered subscription model) (7/30) 
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Cyberwatch
Rate increases in the cyberinsurance sector are not fully addressing the damage that could result from a far-reaching attack, according to Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg. "Like pandemic, cyber has a catastrophe profile to it," Greenberg said.
Full Story: Reuters (7/28) 
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It is a time in which we will redefine what it means to be human, for this is not just the start of a revolution, it is the start of an evolution.
David A. Sinclair,
biologist, professor of genetics
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