A Milliman report prepared for APCIA shows allocated loss adjustment expenses for nine commercial auto insurers increased 5.1% from 2015 to 2019, while the percentage of closed claims with attorney involvement rose to 29.9%. APCIA's James Whittle says "attorney involvement is simply increasing in all matters," and the association is working to curtail so-called phantom damages and medical buildup and is seeking greater transparency in litigation finance.
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Population growth and migration to certain parts of the country are heightening risk posed by secondary perils, such as wildfires, an A.M. Best report notes. "As we have seen with population growth in wildfire-exposed areas in California and other Western states -- including the recent fires in Colorado -- higher economic and insured losses are occurring, despite natural catastrophes of lesser intensity," says David Blades, associate director of industry research and analytics at A.M. Best.
Property and casualty insurance results were affected by catastrophe losses, inflation and other factors in 2021, says James Auden of Fitch Ratings' North American insurance rating group. "In 2021, we are expecting a combined ratio of approximately 99%, which is the same as we've seen in the prior three years," Auden says.
General Motors' OnStar subsidiary and American Family Insurance are seeking Arizona, Illinois and Michigan regulators' approval for an auto insurance product that uses driver behavior as a factor in setting rates. GM hopes to have approval in the first quarter of this year and expand the product to at least a dozen additional states.
Last year had 37 deaths caused by avalanches, the highest tally in at least 70 years. Avalanche prediction methods and risk communication have improved tremendously in recent decades, but one key challenge is that humans are the cause of the vast majority of avalanches.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is exploring expansion of cybersecurity rules to include third-party service providers, such as market makers and brokerages not registered with the SEC, Chair Gary Gensler said. Heightened supervision in these areas "could help ensure important investor protections are not lost and key services are not disrupted as financial-sector registrants increasingly rely on outsourced services," Gensler said.
Schools face a growing risk of cyberthreats, yet many are not proactively thwarting them, says Eileen Belastock, the director of technology and information for the Nauset public schools in Massachusetts. School leaders must become well-versed in common cyberattacks, such as phishing scams and ransomware, and then educate teachers and staff on such threats, experts say.
APCIA, the Travelers Institute, and The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers will present "Thrive: How Insurance Agents & Brokers Will Succeed in 2022" from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. Ken Crerar, president and CEO of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, will share his insights from The CIAB's member companies, which collectively place 80% of worldwide commercial insurance. Travelers' Pete Heard, executive vice president for enterprise distribution, also joins the conversation to discuss the red-hot mergers-and-acquisitions market, the changing distribution landscape, technology initiatives, attracting and retaining talent, and other key drivers for success at today's top-performing agencies and firms. Register.