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September 23, 2021 Edition


Headlines
 
 
 
Auto loss costs climbed rapidly this year as vehicle traffic returned nearly to pre-pandemic levels and motorists adopted more risky behaviors. An increase in claim frequency and severity comes as supply-chain disruptions leave replacement parts in short supply, and the number of auto thefts reached the highest level in a decade. 
 
 
Officials lifted the ban ahead of schedule, and state leaders are expressing hope that the fire season may be drawing to a close.
 
 

 

Business
 
 
 
Home insurers have struggled to develop products and services designed to maximize customer lifetime value for the growing population of baby boomers migrating from home ownership to renting.
 
 
A provision in State Farm auto policies that limits payouts for uninsured motorist claims to the maximum amount allowed by a single policy cannot be enforced because it does not comply with state law, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled.
 
Property-and-casualty insurers in the U.S. will see profits slow in the second half of 2021 as Hurricane Ida-related losses and other natural catastrophes dent results. Still, the industry is positioned for full-year results that exceed 2020 earnings. 
 
 
Insurance mergers and acquisitions continue to accelerate for most sectors in 2021. The number of deals increased 18% year-to-date. However, property-and-casualty deals slowed, with 18 deals year-to-date versus 24 in the same period of 2020, primarily due to the current rate-hardening environment. 
 
The chair of W.R. Berkley Corp., who has observed excess and surplus markets for more than 50 years, says economic conditions have created an especially strong environment for the growth of business volumes, emphasizing the opportunity for surplus lines carriers to get great returns.
 
 

 

Education
 
 
 
Cyber risks, extreme weather and even sustainability efforts can all create risk related to professional lines policies. 
 
 
Auto body repairs to late-model electric vehicles after minor collisions require less time but cost more. Customers are also less likely to be satisfied with electric vehicle repairs. 
 
 
Conflicts about water have long existed, but illegal marijuana farms — which proliferate despite legalization in many Western states — are adding strain during a severe drought.
 
 

 

Environment
 
 
 
California is famous for its beach weather, but it’s also growing increasingly infamous for its “fire weather,” which is when high temperatures, strong wind and low humidity combine to prime the landscape to burn.
 
After a hot, dry growing season, heat-related crop insurance claims will spike this fall. Economists are now studying how weather risk exposure affects federal programs that serve as risk management tools for farmers.
 
 

 

Innovation
 
 
 
The material that can withstand intensive heat for short periods resembles tin foil from the kitchen drawer but is modeled after the tent-like shelters that wildland firefighters use as a last resort to protect themselves when trapped by flames.
 
 

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