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April 22, 2021 Edition

Headlines
 
 
 
California is in such an urgent race with another devastating wildfire season that officials began soliciting local project ideas even before they had money to pay for them. It faces such a threat of drought that the governor said he has executive orders drafted and ready to sign as needed.
 
 
The number of cars on US roadways is returning to normal as states ease COVID-19 restrictions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean claims frequency and severity will return to historic patterns. Even after pandemic restrictions are completely lifted, some Americans may drive fewer miles, especially as remote work options become more common. 
 
 

 

Business
 
 
 
Auto insurers returned premium in the greatest numbers, though general liability, workers’ compensation, event cancellation and inland marine sectors all reported returns of premium due to pandemic-related reductions in risk exposure.
 
Many companies lack cyber risk management practices and technologies, even as more employees work remotely, ransomware becomes a greater threat and cyber regulations become more widespread and more stringent.
 
 

 

Education
 
 
 
Agents: educate your customers about how they can work together with others in their community to more substantially reduce the risk of wildfire property damage. Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is May 1.
 
 
Companies are successfully and safely bringing workers back into the office by drafting infectious disease safety protocols with an emphasis on engineering controls to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
 
 

 

Environment
 
 
 
More than one-third of the claims payments last year were for properties located outside areas at the highest risk of flooding. That continues a trend of flood damage occurring in supposedly low-risk areas and raises concerns about both the accuracy of FEMA’s flood maps and climate change making flooding more widespread and less predictable.
 
A brush fire that broke out in Pierce County signals what could be the start to yet another devastating wildfire season in the Pacific Northwest. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources issued a temporary burn ban spanning the 13 million acres it protects. The ban will last as long as the dry and hot conditions are in place.
 
 

 

Innovation
 
 
 
The industry needs high-quality data sources that can scientifically measure the threat and complement existing data elements, such as building codes and probabilistic modeling. Three such data sources have emerged in recent years — each able to arm insurers with mitigation strategies their policyholders can put into practice.
 
Companies are increasingly using captive insurance to self-insure their risks, as rate hardening and COVID-19 disruption affect commercial insurance. Captive insurer use is expanding to mid-sized companies, for which new business models for captives open up options to self-insure more flexibly and efficiently.
 
 

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