The property/casualty insurance industry has made great progress with telematics programs and efforts to clarify insurance requirements for transportation-network companies, while autonomous vehicles are emerging as a key issue, PCI President and CEO David Sampson writes. "We live in an era of unparalleled innovation, disruption and promise," and PCI's role is to "pave the regulatory and legislative way forward," Sampson writes.
A measure that gained the House Financial Services Committee's approval Wednesday would require entities representing the US in international negotiations to consult with state insurance commissioners before entering any agreements. "This important legislation recognizes that our state-based system for insurance regulation has protected consumers and fostered competitive insurance markets for over 150 years and ensures that international insurance agreements recognize our standards as they evolve to meet new challenges," PCI's Nat Wienecke said.
The New York State Department of Financial Services said Wednesday that it will not allow insurers to take education or occupation into account when determining auto insurance premiums. Some insurers have reached agreements to be in compliance with the new rules, while others are working toward compliance within 180 days.
An estimate based on Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps indicates that 13 million people are in the 1-in-100-year flood plain in the US, according to a group of researchers. But an assessment including additional river-systems data finds that the flood plain might really have about 40 million people living within it.
Crews battling the 238,000-acre Thomas fire in Southern California's Ventura County had the wildfire 30% contained Wednesday night. A shift in the wind's direction is forecast for this weekend, however, which could carry the fire into an area with 62,000 structures worth $46 billion.
A package that includes relief funding for states hit by hurricanes this year might not gain approval before the Dec. 22 deadline. Lawmakers briefed on the negotiations said a key sticking point is how much money should go to Texas, which has been the source of $61 billion in aid requests.
Research by Climate Central's scientist coalition, World Weather Attribution, suggests that human-caused climate change made the amount of rainfall from Hurricane Harvey 15% more intense and three times as likely. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Harvey is likely a $100 billion catastrophe, with one city east of Houston alone receiving a record 51.89 inches of rain.
Asset location is as important as asset allocation when it comes to reducing taxes, financial professionals say. Investors should keep the most tax-efficient assets, such as index funds, in taxable accounts and the most tax-inefficient assets, such as bonds, in tax-deferred accounts, says Ben Westerman of HM Capital Management.
A Wells Fargo and Gallup poll found that 46% of respondents said they would save less in their 401(k) plans or stop contributing altogether if the plans' tax-deferred status goes away. The poll also found that one-third of respondents cited tax deferral as the element they value most in 401(k) plans.
Benefits are valuable to millennials, and surveys show they will take a different job just to improve their benefits situation, writes Christy DeFrain of Purchasing Power. Employers can make their benefits packages more attractive to millennials by giving them multiple options, addressing student loan debt, offering financial wellness incentives and demonstrating the value of benefits, DeFrain writes.
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