Newer Contractors, Laborers Account for Most WC Claims
Building and construction firms that have been in business for four years or less account for three-quarters of workers' comp claims in the contractor sector, according to AmTrust Financial.
Flood Risk Drivers: Rising Sea Levels, Extreme Weather & The Moon
By the mid-2030s, every U.S. coastal region will experience rapidly increasing high-tide floods, or so-called sunny day floods, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which explains a lunar cycle will exacerbate rising tides and usher in a decade of increasing flood risks in the U.S.
The Rise of Insurtech Does Not Mean The Fall Of Insurance Agents
Agents must rethink their relationship to technology and leverage it to do their job better while staying focused on the more human elements of insurance — relaying industry know-how and network connections to get customers the best value and service.
Hurricane Ida: Estimated Insured Losses Revealed
Insured losses from Hurricane Ida will likely be close to $18 billion, with $40 million in the Caribbean and the balance from wind and storm-surge damage in the US, according to catastrophe modeling firm Karen Clark & Company (KCC).
What Actions Can Employers Take if Staff Avoid Covid-19 Vaccines?
They can require vaccination and fire employees who don't comply, or take other actions such as withholding company perks or charging extra for health insurance. Employers have to offer exemptions or accommodations from vaccine requirements for some who don't get the shots for medical or religious reasons.
Civilian Space Tourism: There's Coverage for That
To give future interplanetary travelers peace of mind as they sojourn beyond the stars, battleface Travel Insurance is launching a line for civilian space tourism. The policies will be custom-built for each individual and trip, so limits and exclusions will differ and be dependent on specific flights and customers.
U.S. Excess & Surplus Insurers Set for Strong Rebound After Poor 2020
U.S. property & casualty (P/C) insurers that specialize in the E&S market are seeing better growth and profit opportunities as premium rates rise in many segments. Growth did not bring profitability in 2020, however, as E&S materially underperformed the broader P/C industry in 2020 with a 107% direct combined ratio.
Overlapping Disasters Expose Harsh Climate Reality: The U.S. is Not Ready
Disasters cascading across the country this summer have exposed a harsh reality: The United States is not ready for the extreme weather that is now becoming frequent as a result of a warming planet.
Biden Administration Seeks Views on Climate Risks in Insurance, Financial Markets
In a season of daunting wildfires and flooding, the Biden administration is taking an initial step to assess how climate change could harm financial markets with the launch of a 75-day comment period on how the impacts could reshape the insurance sector.
'Mission: Impossible 7' Studio Sues Chubb Over Covid-19 Claims
Paramount Pictures, the studio behind countless blockbusters, is taking Federal Insurance Co., part of Chubb Ltd., to court over the denial of insurance coverage for losses Paramount claims it suffered due to delays and other interruptions during the filming of “Mission: Impossible 7″ amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Retail And Hospitality Sectors Face Rising Terrorist Threats
The retail and hospitality sector has been a major target for terrorist actors for several years. As the COVID-19 vaccination process progresses, more businesses will reopen fully, which means a busy retail and hospitality sector.
Pandemic Staffing Crunch Creates Commercial Insurance Hurdles
According to former U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Erica Groshen, the current environment is less a labor shortage than a structural change in our economy. The pandemic has accelerated key sectors and simultaneously shifted the labor market. E-commerce and telemedicine, for example, took giant leaps forward, while other segments rapidly receded.
Things to Consider When Placing Coverage Through a Risk Retention Group
The US medical professional liability (MPL) marketplace is in a tough spot. With rates on the rise, many insureds are no longer willing or able to pay the increased price for their MPL insurance, so they're turning to alternative risk transfer mechanisms like self-insurance or risk retention groups (RRG).
Biden to Tie Vaccines for Nursing Home Staff to Medicare and Medicaid Funding
President Biden announced that he is ordering the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to require nursing homes to have vaccinated staff for them to be able to participate in Medicare and Medicaid and receive funding from the federal programs.
Insured Losses for First-Half 2021 Natural Disasters Total $42B
Natural catastrophes during the first six months of 2021, including a deep winter freeze, hailstorms, and wildfires, contributed to insured losses totaling $42 billion globally, says Swiss Re Institute's preliminary sigma estimates. Man-made disasters triggered approximately another $2 billion of insured losses.
Finance Sector Still a Prime Target For Cybercriminals
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted financial organizations to go digital, focusing on securing cloud environments and using solutions like SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service). Unfortunately, cybercriminals are taking advantage of these digital trends.
With Federal Legalization Expected, Cannabis Insurers Quietly Get Ready to Roll
Insurers are quietly gearing up for a potential ten-fold increase in sales to the booming $17.6 billion-a-year cannabis industry as Congress inches closer to legalizing pot at the federal level.
Digital Auto Insurer Root Will Add Independent Agents to Its Distribution
Digital auto insurer Root saw its loss ratio spike in the 2021 second quarter as higher costs for repairs, used vehicles and miles driven rose above pre-pandemic levels. Looking ahead, the online-focused seller announced that it plans to add independent insurance agents to its distribution team.
State, Federal Regulatory Enforcement a Focus as Cyber Crime Grows
As ransomware attacks are on the rise and cyber risks continue to mount, experts say there has been “a paradigm shift in cybersecurity enforcement." New York led the charge as the first state to apply GDPR-like cybersecurity regulations for its financial services industry with DFS' cyber rules – often referred to as Part 500 – implemented under a phased two-year timeline beginning in March 2017.
Talent Crisis Will Drive Change in Insurance
Some carriers are evolving to meet today's myriad challenges with a workforce that's shifted to online, a talent market that favors “cool" factors and startup culture, and new sources of competition.
All private employers in New York State must activate the airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans they adopted over the last two months. The action is required under the New York State HERO Act, which became law last spring. All insurance agencies should activate their plans immediately.
The HERO Act required all private employers in the state to adopt prevention plans that equaled or exceeded the standards in model prevention plans provided by the state Department of Labor. The law required employers to adopt plans by August 5. The plans must be designed to prevent exposure to airborne infectious diseases by employees and the public. They also must forbid retaliating against employees who raise concerns.
While the law required employers to adopt plans, it did not require them to activate the plans unless the state Department of Health designated an "infectious viral, bacterial or fungal disease that is transmissible through the air in the form of aerosol particles or droplets" to be "a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health." New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced yesterday that the Health Department has made that designation with regard to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that broke out in China in late 2019.
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. That declaration remains in effect. While new cases of COVID-19 declined earlier this year following widespread administration of vaccines, the so-called delta variant of the virus has sent new case numbers soaring countrywide, particularly among unvaccinated members of the population. The Health Department's action appears to be a response to the growth in new cases.
If your agency adopted a prevention plan over the summer, you must implement it now. If you have not yet adopted a plan, do so now and put it into effect. Big I New York offers the following resources for members (log in to this website is required):
The Labor Department has a HERO Act resource page that includes links to their model prevention plans. Your agency must adopt and implement either the model or one that equals or exceeds it. The model prevention plan largely reflects the precautionary measures that most businesses implemented in 2020, so much of it may be familiar to you.
We will provide updates to this situation in this space and in our newsletters as they occur.
As we're sure you know, horrible flooding hit the New York City metro area yesterday as the remnants of Hurricane Ida arrived, dumping a shocking amount of rain, stranding commuters, and costing lives. The loss of life is tragic and immeasurable, and the disruption to the lives of survivors is immense.
And property was damaged. The Big I NY and Big I CT research departments have received questions from members about how personal and commercial property insurance may apply. Unfortunately, the news isn't good.
Many commercial property insurance policies contain exclusions similar to this one from the ISO Causes of Loss - Special Form, CP 10 30 09 17:
1. We will not pay for loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by any of the following. Such loss or damage is excluded regardless of any other cause or event that contributes concurrently or in any sequence to the loss. ...
(1) Flood, surface water, waves (including tidal wave and tsunami), tides, tidal water, overflow of any body of water, or spray from any of these, all whether or not driven by wind (including storm surge);
(2) Mudslide or mudflow;
(3) Water that backs up or overflows or is otherwise discharged from a sewer, drain, sump, sump pump or related equipment;
(4) Water under the ground surface pressing on, or flowing or seeping through:
(a) Foundations, walls, floors or paved surfaces;
(b) Basements, whether paved or not; or
(c) Doors, windows or other openings; or
(5) Waterborne material carried or otherwise moved by any of the water referred to in Paragraph (1), (3) or (4), or material carried or otherwise moved by mudslide or mudflow.
This exclusion applies regardless of whether any of the above, in Paragraphs (1) through (5), is caused by an act of nature or is otherwise caused. An example of a situation to which this exclusion applies is the situation where a dam, levee, seawall or other boundary or containment system fails in whole or in part, for any reason, to contain the water.
But if any of the above, in Paragraphs (1) through (5), results in fire, explosion or sprinkler leakage, we will pay for the loss or damage caused by that fire, explosion or sprinkler leakage (if sprinkler leakage is a Covered Cause of Loss).
A very similar exclusion is found in the ISO Homeowners 3 - Special Form, HO 00 03 05 11, though that one does not mention mudslide or mudflow and some of the other wording is slightly different. The upshot, however, is that neither policy will cover damage caused by water during a storm unless the water entered through a hole the storm punched in a roof or a window the storm broke. If it flowed off the street and into a building, it is by definition "surface water." The forms clearly state that the insurer will not pay for damage caused by that.
You may be getting calls from distraught clients about flood damage. They should submit claims to their insurers and let the insurers make the coverage decision. However, if their policies contain this type of language, the odds for coverage will not be good.
There is another post in this Newsfeed describing how your agencies can apply for assistance from Trusted Choice if you've suffered damage from this terrible storm. We encourage you to take advantage of that resource. As always, we at Big I New York and Big I Connecticut are ready to help you in any way we can. Don't be afraid to call or email for help.
Making Return-to-Work Plans Amid the Latest Pandemic Surge
Recent spikes in COVID-19 and lagging vaccination rates in some areas have raised concerns about how to proceed as many companies work to transition employees back to the office or hybrid arrangements this fall.
Brokers, Agents Break All-Time Growth Records, Commercial Lines Driving their Success
Independent agents and brokers posted their highest organic growth rate in the 13-year history of Reagan Consulting's Growth & Profitability Survey (GPS) in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021. Buoyed by the hard market and rebounding economy, they grew by 7.1%, surpassing their previous high of 6.9% organic growth in Q2 2013.
OSHA Updates Guidance for Unvaccinated & Other At-Risk Workers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated guidance for COIVD-19 safety measures for higher-risk industries with workplaces that have mixed vaccination-status employees.
Is There 'Economic Racism' In Insurance?
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) will be launching an extensive investigation into the underlying causes of racial discrimination in the insurance industry – but consumer advocates and activists believe that the nongovernmental body could do more to address the issue.
Tesla Hit by Probe After Autonomous Car Crashes
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced an investigation into Tesla's Autopilot autonomous vehicle technology after a number of Tesla cars were involved in crashes.
Rules of the Road: Insurance & the Future Sharing Economy
For at least a decade now, the so-called peer-to-peer (p2p) or sharing economy has evolved ingenious ways of connecting people who have stuff they want to monetize with people who could use that stuff — from pools and parking spaces to replacement relatives (really) and pets.
FEMA Overhauls the NFIP, Accounts for Climate Change
Starting on Oct. 1, NFIP will undergo a complete overhaul to make insurance pricing more accurately reflect each property's unique flood risk. Finally, climate change will be factored in.
Ratings Changes for P/C Insurers Up Moderately, Says AM Best
The number of credit rating upgrades and downgrades in the U.S. property/casualty (P/C) insurance industry increased in the first half of 2021 moderately over the same prior-year period, according to an AM Best special report.
Connecticut Insurance Department Releases National Survey on Climate Risk
Connecticut is continuing to engage with the insurance industry on climate change and its implications with its latest release of a national survey on climate risk in the insurance industry.
Legalized Cannabis: Should Professionals Still Beware?
The conflict between state and federal laws regarding marijuana remains a persistent source of confusion, not only for the marijuana industry but also for the professionals upon which the industry relies for everything from legal and accounting support to insurance/risk management and security needs.
Extreme Weather Buffets Catastrophe Insurance Losses
Global catastrophe losses hit an estimated $42 billion in the first half of 2021, according to a new report from Swiss Re Institute. Natural catastrophe losses hit $40 billion in the first half, driven by a deep winter freeze, hailstorms and wildfires.
Today's Insurance Talent Want These 4 Employee Benefits
As the COVID-19 pandemic carries on, American workers are caring a whole heck of a lot more about work-life balance, and an increasing number are switching jobs as a result.
Amazon Loses Bid to Halt New York Warehouse COVID Safety Probe
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan in Brooklyn rejected Amazon's claim that Attorney General Letitia James acted in bad faith by trying to police its pandemic response, and stop its alleged retaliation against workers who were unhappy the company wasn't doing more.
Insurers Expect COVID-19 Liability Claims Against Employers as Employees Return
Liability insurers on both sides of the Atlantic are scaling back the cover they offer companies ahead of an expected wave of discrimination claims as employers call staff back to their desks after 18 months of pandemic-induced home working.
The New Realities of Business Travel During a Pandemic
Many employees are eager to go on business trips eventually. While they may be ready to travel again, 88% of survey respondents worry that fellow travelers could put them at risk by not responsibly following COVID protocols.
Sompo International Unit Creates Pandemic Coverage
Sompo International division Sompo Global Risk Solutions (Sompo GRS) will be providing insurance, coverage from which will be triggered by civil authority restriction as a result of international public health emergencies declared by the World Health Organization.
Healthcare Costs, Premiums Likely to Rise for Years Due to COVID-19
Health implications related to COVID-19 will continue to drive elevated health system utilization long after the acute phase of the pandemic has concluded, likely leading to increasing costs and higher insurance premiums for decades, according to a report by Fitch Ratings.
Pandemic Staffing Crunch Creates Commercial Insurance Hurdles
The COVID-19 pandemic labor crisis continues to be one of the top stories of 2021. While the bulk of attention has focused on retail, restaurant and service sectors, the shortage is impacting industries across the board, from Wall Street banks to construction or trucking; this staffing crunch appears to be more than a short-term blip.
Making Return-To-Work Plans Amid the Latest Pandemic Surge
Recent spikes in COVID-19 and lagging vaccination rates in some areas have raised concerns about how to proceed as many companies work to transition employees back to the office or hybrid arrangements this fall. The findings from the perspective of employees indicate that employers should keep the following recommendations in mind when determining work arrangements for their employees in the coming months...
Preparing Workers' Comp for Future Pandemics
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is proposing that any event exceeding $50 million in losses be excluded from the data used to set rates, including future pandemics.
A law signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this month authorizes the sale of a new type of insurance and permits licensed excess line brokers to obtain it. The coverage, called "Excess Business Disability Insurance," was authorized immediately upon the law's enactment on Aug. 2. You may want to discuss with your clients whether they need this coverage.
Senate Bill 5760A amended New York Insurance Law Section 1113(a), which lists all the types of insurance that can be sold in the state. It defines Excess Business Disability Insurance as "insurance against financial loss experienced by a corporate entity or a partnership where an individual integral to (its) successful operation ... becomes disabled due to sickness, ailment or bodily injury. " It can include:
- Reimbursement for all overhead costs and expenses and all capital outlays of a corporate entity or partnership which it incurs in the ordinary course of business during the period of disability
- Buy/sell arrangements in an amount sufficient to purchase the disabled individual's interest share in the corporate entity or partnership
The law does not limit the coverage to those costs.
The coverage can be obtained in excess of a primary business-related disability policy or when a primary policy is unavailable from an admitted carrier. The law also changed the licensing law for excess line brokers to permit them to obtain the coverage from non-admitted carriers.
This coverage would compliment key person life insurance that many organizations carry. Clients who carry that coverage may be good prospects for this new one.
Marsh Brokers New Amazon Insurance Network Offering Coverage to Online Sellers
Insurance broker Marsh said it has collaborated with Amazon to build a new digital insurance network, Amazon Insurance Accelerator, where small businesses selling on Amazon can purchase product liability coverage.
AM Best Downgrades Credit Ratings for Kingstone Insurance Company
AM Best has downgraded the financial strength rating to B+ from B++ and the long-term issuer credit rating to “bbb-" from “bbb" for Kingstone Insurance Company (KICO) of Kingston, New York.
Companies Are Scrapping Plans for Fall as Delta Variant Spreads
Up until a few weeks ago, corporate leaders felt confident about what to expect this fall. Offices would reopen after Labor Day. Business travel would resume more broadly. Long-delayed work gatherings, conventions and off-site meetings would finally take place. The pandemic has, once again, upended many of those plans. The swift, startling resurgence of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations across the U.S. is causing corporate leaders to rip up playbooks for the next few months.
U.S. Examining What Authority Businesses Have to Mandate Vaccines
The Biden administration is examining what authority businesses have to mandate vaccines, a top U.S. official told Reuters on Friday, as it considers what more steps can be done to halt the spread of COVID-19. While the shots are widely available in the country, some Americans have opted not to get them. Meanwhile, the fast-spreading Delta variant has threatened to undo the country's economic and public health gains.
5 Key Considerations When Implementing Mandatory Vaccination Policies
As more and more employees return to the workplace, employers are faced with the challenge of keeping their workforce and clients safe and healthy. To ensure that they comply with applicable laws, employers should weigh the following five considerations before instituting such policies.
'As Strong As Ever': How COVID Has Affected Construction Clients
A casual observer might think the U.S. construction market during a global pandemic would be in a state of disrepair. This is far from the case. The past 18 months have certainly presented challenges — from COVID-19 restrictions to mass housing uncertainty — and it hasn't been smooth sailing. But when assessing the emerging opportunities and risks arising from the transformation in consumer demand, it's clear the construction market is not stagnating but is as strong as ever.
Tech Tools That Increase Your Bottom Line
Technology continues to change the way insurance agencies conduct business, so it is vital to stay updated on evolving trends. If your agency has struggled with implementing and embracing technology, now is the time to catch up. One of the most significant benefits of utilizing technology is the positive impact it can have on your agency's bottom line.
Which Segments of The Transportation Industry Were Hit Hardest By The Pandemic?
With supply and demand fluctuating, several segments of the transportation industry have shifted gears over the last year – with brokers and carriers needing to move quickly to accommodate their clients' needs.
Ally Financial to Offer Home Insurance in Partnership with Hippo
U.S. online bank Ally Financial has agreed to backstop home insurance policies provided by Hippo Holdings Inc., providing capital for the latter to generate more business, the companies told Reuters.
Amazon Loses Bid to Halt New York Warehouse COVID Safety Probe
A federal dismissed Amazon.com Inc's lawsuit to block New York's attorney general from investigating the online retailer's ability to protect warehouse workers from COVID-19.
Insurance Won't be Enough After Miami Condo Collapse
Preservation of evidence is critical to understanding why a Florida oceanfront condominium collapsed and to protect the legal rights of victims and others, a judge said Wednesday. Miami-Dade County is expected later this month to hand over control of the Champlain Towers South site to a court-appointed receiver.
Cryptocurrency: D&O and E&O Insurance Issues
As of May 26, 2021, the estimated market capitalization of the cryptocurrency market exceeded $1.7 trillion despite recent market fluctuations. There is growing interest by a wide range of publicly-traded companies in incorporating crypto into their business models given the ongoing market development.
Self-Service Apps are Disrupting the Home Insurance Market
A vast majority of insurance carriers, 93%, report that self-service apps are having a major impact on how business is done today as consumers can now lead inspections and take measurements on their mobile devices, according to a study by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
As Delta Variant Spreads, Officials and Firms Push Vaccines, Masks Over Lockdowns
New York City will become the first major U.S. city to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination at restaurants, gyms and other businesses, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday, as the nation grapples with the rapidly spreading Delta variant.
How Can You Meet Your Clients' Needs During A Hard Market?
The hardening market has forced the industry to think proactively, shifting attention to education on market conditions and customizing coverage to fit individual needs. It's vital for agents to have a clear understanding of what is driving market conditions so clients can receive a well-rounded explanation to the rationale for increases. Then they can carefully examine the options available to them.
HIPPO Debuts on NYSE
Home insurance company Hippo has announced its listing as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange. Hippo, founded in 2015, uses real-time data, smart-home technology and a suite of home services to create what it calls the first vertically integrated, end-to-end home protection and insurance platform.
Does CGL Insurance Cover Cyberattack Damages?
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently ruled that the policyholder is entitled to defense coverage under a commercial general liability (CGL) policy for a $20 million lawsuit after a cyberattack grabbed payment card information from its computer systems. The decision is significant because it underscores how insurance coverage for cyber claims can come under different insurance products.
Chubb CEO Makes Case for Pandemic Insurance Program
Chubb chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg has been a voice for the (re)insurance industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As leader of the world's largest publicly traded property and casualty (P&C) insurer, Greenberg has used his platform to speak out about the “impossible" task laid at the feet of the insurance industry - to cover the cost of the global pandemic alone.
Travelers Companies to Delay Return to Office Due to COVID Delta Variant
Travelers Companies has announced that it will delay its planned return of thousands of its workers to its offices in downtown Hartford, CT by a month. Travelers has decided to delay its return in recognition of the dangers of the COVID-19 delta variant.
Preparing Workers' Comp for Future Pandemics
Intending to recognize additional catastrophic exposures on workers' comp systems that can impact ratemaking, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is proposing that any event exceeding $50 million in losses be excluded from the data used to set rates, including future pandemics.
Coalition Releases Free Automated Scanning, Monitoring
Coalition has released the Big “I" Markets co-branded Coalition Control, a free software-as-a-service platform for businesses of all sizes to scan and monitor their online infrastructure for cyber risks. A free limited version of Coalition Control is available to any organization with an internet domain.
Bill to Eliminate FIO Introduced in the House
Reps. Ben Cline (R-Virginia) and Tom Tiffany (R-Wisconsin) recently introduced H.R. 4866 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation, which the Big “I" supports, would eliminate the Federal Insurance Office (FIO). Earlier this year, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and three other Republicans introduced S. 524 in the U.S. Senate. The legislation, which the Big “I" also supports, would eliminate the FIO, as well. No Democrats have cosponsored the legislation in either the House or the Senate. With Democrats controlling both chambers, the legislation faces an uphill climb to become law this congress.
FEMA Sends out Update as NFIP's Risk Rating 2.0 Implementation Nears
Last week, FEMA sent out a notice to Write-Your-Own (WYO) insurance companies stating that they anticipate that quoting and policy issuance for Phase 1 of Risk Rating 2.0 policies—policies effective Oct. 1, 2021, or later—will be available starting on Monday, Aug. 16. This is a slight delay as FEMA had previously said WYO insurers would be able to begin quoting for policies beginning on Aug. 1.
Elevate Trilogy Session Available to Members On Demand
It's been just over a week since Agency Nation's Elevate Trilogy Part Two: Data blasted off into cyberspace to rave reviews, and the tech knowledge the experts dropped on the crowd is too good not to share. That's why the Big “I" is making the popular lunch session, Journey to Becoming a Data-Driven Agency, available for free to all members for a limited time.