Property Underwriting

A guide to key risks in Washington state: fire, wildfire and earthquakes.

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May 21, 2020 Edition


Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said regulators are united in their opposition toward retroactively forcing insurers to cover business interruption claims that were excluded in their policies.
There have been at least 296 wildfires in Washington so far this year, with 25% burning west of the Cascade mountains. Finding water while fighting wildfires isn't always easy, but the DNR hopes its new pumpkin tanks will come in handy.


Already grappling with a shaky run due to several years of massive natural catastrophes, the excess and surplus market is facing even larger hurdles thanks to COVID-19.
Year over year, all lines of property and casualty insurance business experienced an increase in average premium renewal rate, except workers' compensation. 
Cities and counties across the country may have handed plaintiff’s attorneys an argument to use in lawsuits against insurers.
Lloyd's of London is likely to pay out $3.0 to $4.3 billion in insurance claims related to the coronavirus pandemic, similar to losses from the 9/11 attacks, it said on Thursday.
After reviewing 70% of the North American insurers it rates for the effects of the coronavirus and economic downturn, Fitch Ratings has downgraded only 4%. 


State governments play an oft-overlooked role in paying for natural disasters. As disasters become more expensive, frequent and severe, states are under increasing pressure from federal policymakers to invest more in emergency management capabilities.
In an ever-changing world, insurance and risk management professionals may need to hit the books just to keep up. Insurance designations offer a potential solution.  
Workplace infections have been soaring, while protective gear has been in chronically short supply. Some workers have kept quiet, fearing retribution. But a growing number have resorted to protests, walkouts and even strikes.


So far this year, Washington state has seen nearly 300 fires. In a typical season, around 100 burn. As we enter the summer months, warmer and drier than average conditions could also increase wildfire risk. 
A U.S. group put together broad guidelines to consider when sending crews to blazes, with agencies and firefighting groups in different parts of the country able to tailor them to fit their needs. 
Washington state leaders are predicting an extremely challenging wildfire season this year with drier conditions and limited help from the feds and other states because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Wildfire is the new normal in Washington state. Find out how insurance agents can help their customers understand their property risk and mitigate it.

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