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August 27, 2020 Edition

Headlines


 
Ongoing California wildfires are likely to result in billions of dollars in insured losses following damage to commercial and residential properties, Moody’s Investors Service Inc. said.
 
 
Losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic began to hit insurers’ books in the second quarter but will remain “manageable” for the industry, according to analysts.
 

Business


 
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to reduce global macroeconomic resilience by about 20% in 2020 from 2019 levels as stimulus packages deplete countries’ fiscal and monetary buffers around the world. At the same time, the combined global protection gap for key perils is reaching a new high.
 
 
U.S. property-and-casualty insurers reported a 21.6% decline in net income to $25 billion in the first half of this year, as realized capital gains fell $5.5 billion amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said A.M. Best Inc.
 
 
Reinsurers have taken a larger proportion of the COVID pandemic-related claims than earlier anticipated, said the managing director of analytics at an insurtech firm.
 
 
Insurers are making a bundle on personal auto because claims have plummeted, but the long-term outlook for the line isn't so rosy, analysts say.
 
 
Average commercial insurance rate increases hit double digits in the second quarter, with large accounts seeing the biggest rise, according to a new survey.
 

Education


Independent agencies, like every other business, are living in a data-driven world. As the value of data continues to grow, agents are seeking to answer a critical question: just who owns their agency’s data?
The percentage of positive marijuana drug tests among workers rose by 11% across nearly all employee testing categories in 2019, according to an analysis released Tuesday by Quest Diagnostics Inc.
Gen Z employees — those born starting in 1995 — were three times more likely than all other employees since the pandemic started to have sought professional help for stress, burnout or other mental health reasons, according to a new report.

Environment


 
COVID-19-related claims were not the biggest driver of the North American property-and-casualty insurance industry’s overall combined ratio during the first six months of 2020. Natural catastrophes cost insurers more, Fitch Ratings concluded in its latest report.
 
 
At the CZU Lightning Complex fire in the mountains south of San Francisco, authorities said their efforts have been hindered by people who refused to heed evacuation orders and those who were using the chaos to steal.
 
 
Some adjustments to COVID-19 are proving more effective than others, but as more fires erupt, responders are bracing for a long battle that will force them to revamp time-tested strategies on the fly.
 

Technology & Innovation


 
Although insurers have invested heavily in fraud-fighting technology, the percentage of referrals from automated systems accepted by special investigation units has declined to 15% from 22% in the past two years.
 
 
The percentage of global consumer buyers interacting with their insurers through digitized mechanisms has doubled since 2015, according to a study from ACORD, the global standards-setting body for the insurance industry.
 

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