January 15, 2021
PCI SmartBrief
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The coronavirus is accelerating insurers' use of technology such as drones for property damage inspections and phone apps for initial underwriting, APCIA's Karen Collins said. Technologies that increase efficiency and create cost savings for insurers and policyholders "are certainly technologies that the industry's going to be very receptive to and not just turn off ... when the pandemic finally concludes," she said.
Full Story: Roll Call (free content) (1/14) 
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Optimizing Your Remote Business Processes
The global pandemic has shifted much of the world's workforce into a remote setting, but the need to collaborate within - and between - teams remains. Cloud content tools have become a significant solution, but which features and benefits are most needed at this time? This infographic provides insight into what makes a strong collaboration tool
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Industry News
The insurance industry is focusing more on diversity and inclusion because of its accountability to employees, investors and customers, and it faces an urgent need to tap into more diverse talent as many in the industry will retire in the next few years, Nina Boone of Korn Ferry said during a panel discussion. Tyler Whipple of American Family Insurance said insurers are recognizing how the bottom line can suffer in the absence of diversity, adding, "My question is how quickly will we as an industry accelerate the pace of change in order to get ahead of the curve?"
Full Story: Insurance Journal (1/15) 
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The solicitation of roofing claims is contributing to higher property insurance rates in Florida, state Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier told lawmakers this week. The practice seems to be incentivized in some areas, "and I certainly would advocate that we spend some time addressing that," Altmaier said.
Full Story: WJCT-TV/WJCT-FM (Jacksonville, Fla.) (1/13) 
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Insurance concerns emerge over Tenn. bombing
(Alex Kent/Getty Images)
The FBI has not determined whether the bombing that damaged at least 45 businesses in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 25 was a terrorist act, but that possibility has given some property owners concern that their commercial property insurance policies might not cover damage from the incident, write Lalita Mohabir of Burns & Wilcox and Carolyn Reiter of Global Excess Partners. Brokers should inform business owners of options for terrorism coverage and make sure clients don't overlook such risk, even those in "peaceful" locations such as small towns, write Mohabir and Reiter.
Full Story: PropertyCasualty360 (free registration)/Burns & Wilcox (1/14) 
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A Workers Compensation Research Institute study of 27 states found "tremendous variation" in the coronavirus pandemic's effects on workers' compensation claims in various industries. Meanwhile, a National Council on Compensation Insurance report says net written premium for private workers' compensation was $38.6 billion last year, a decrease of 8.1% compared with 2019.
Full Story: Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (1/14),  Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (1/14) 
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Self-driving carmakers will be allowed to skirt certain requirements when it comes to making cars, such as including pedals or steering wheels, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the NHTSA, the rules are meant to improve vehicle safety and promote innovation.
Full Story: The Detroit News (free content) (1/14) 
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Catastrophic Risk
Authorities ordered evacuations for a community in California's Riverside County this morning as a wildfire grew to 600 acres and was 0% contained. On Thursday, a wildfire near Thousand Oaks, Calif., was approaching homes and structures, but crews had halted the fire's spread by 9 p.m.
Full Story: KNBC-TV (Los Angeles)/City News Service (1/15),  Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (1/14),  Los Angeles Daily News (1/14) 
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Cyberwatch
Insured losses from the SolarWinds cyberattack are likely to reach $90 million, while economic losses are estimated at more than $200 million, according to an analysis by BitSight and Kovrr. "While the SolarWinds breach is proving to be a devastating cyberattack from a national security perspective, the attack did not evolve into a cybercatastrophe for the insurance market," BitSight's Samit Shah said.
Full Story: CRN (US) (1/14) 
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Policy and Law
Florida lawmakers are considering separate bills that would provide coronavirus-related liability safeguards, with one bill addressing businesses and the other addressing health care. A House subcommittee advanced the business liability bill this week, drawing praise from APCIA and other groups.
Full Story: Florida Politics (1/14) 
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President-elect Joe Biden says he will ask Congress to act swiftly to provide $1.9 trillion in immediate relief to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes aid to states and cities, additional unemployment benefits, larger direct payments to Americans and a minimum wage increase.
Full Story: Bloomberg (1/14),  CNBC (1/14),  The New York Times (1/15),  Reuters (1/15) 
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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