April 23, 2021
PCI SmartBrief
Top Story
Senate Republicans have released an infrastructure plan that would cost an estimated $568 billion, compared with the $2.3 trillion package proposed by the Biden administration. The proposal focuses on traditional infrastructure projects and broadband access. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said his party's plan "has the potential to be a reasonable and bipartisan alternative, and we're hoping that Democrats are interested in doing something along those lines."
Full Story: Reuters (4/22),  Politico (4/22),  CNBC (4/22),  The Hill (4/22) 
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Industry News
The Thurston County, Wash., Superior Court today is scheduled to hear a lawsuit filed by APCIA, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Washington and the Professional Insurance Agents of Washington against state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's ban on the use of credit-based scoring in setting premiums for certain types of coverage. Kreidler "has taken an extreme action that exceeds his authority, bypasses the legislature and robs consumers of the benefits of a highly competitive private market," APCIA's Claire Howard said.
Full Story: Insurance Journal (4/22) 
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US property casualty insurance policyholders received about $12.9 billion in premium returns last year because of a decrease in driving, reduced exposure in general liability and workers' compensation, and other pandemic-related factors, according to A.M. Best. Most of the returns were around 15%, while some were as much as 35%, and some insurers provided additional leeway for paying premiums, A.M. Best says.
Full Story: Reinsurance News (4/21) 
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Survey: Insurance employees' satisfaction with pay is up
An Insurance Journal survey of agency employees found overall salary and total income declined for all categories except for producers in 2020, but respondents reported an overall increase in satisfaction with their compensation. The survey's index of satisfaction with compensation increased to its highest level in more than five years.
Full Story: Insurance Journal (4/22) 
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Small drones operating in the US can legally fly over people at night under Federal Aviation Administration rules that took effect Wednesday. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says the rules "are an important first step in safely and securely managing the growing use of drones in our airspace, though more work remains on the journey to full integration."
Full Story: Reuters (4/21) 
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Global reinsurance capital rose by 4% to $650 billion last year, a record high, amid a strong showing for traditional capital, according to Aon. A recovery in capital markets, new equity issuance and depreciation of the dollar were the main factors behind the increase, Aon says.
Full Story: Reinsurance News (4/21) 
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Many companies say they lack adequate risk-management and technological tools to deal proactively with cyberrisks, according to an Aon report. Among respondents, 17% reported having sufficient application security measures, while 21% said they apply baseline security measures to their critical suppliers and vendors, the report says.
Full Story: Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (4/19) 
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Cybersecurity spending is expected to top $200 billion a year by 2024, compared with $132 billion last year, Bloomberg Intelligence reports. Cloud-based solutions are accelerating the growth, says Mandeep Singh, a senior industry analyst for BI.
Full Story: Information Age (4/22) 
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Policy and Law
The White House is developing a proposal to raise the capital gains tax to 39.6% for individuals with annual income above $1 million, nearly double the current rate, sources say. The increase would put the effective top rate at 43.4% when including a 3.8% surtax imposed under the Affordable Care Act. The Biden administration is expected to include the proposal in the American Families Plan, to be presented next week before Congress.
Full Story: The Hill (4/22),  Bloomberg (4/23),  CNBC (4/22),  Reuters (4/22) 
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The Florida Supreme Court has held that a proposed constitutional amendment seeking to allow legal recreational marijuana use in the state includes "language that is affirmatively misleading." The ballot initiative for the proposed amendment could confuse voters by not specifying that marijuana possession and distribution remain illegal at the federal level, the court said.
Full Story: The Associated Press (4/22) 
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You cannot improvise unless you know exactly what you're doing.
Christopher Walken,
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