From January through September, 15 natural disasters had caused at least $1 billion in damage apiece, according to a report from the National Centers for Environmental Information. That tally does not include the recent wildfires in California, and the current record of billion-dollar disasters is the 16 that occurred in 2011.
ACIC's Mark Sektnan recently told California homeowners that certain assistance from insurers can arrive within days after a home is destroyed by wildfires. PCI's Nicole Mahrt Ganley said insurers, homeowners and local officials all have roles in affecting the pace of rebuilding after a wildfire.
More than $9 billion in National Flood Insurance Program claims between 2000 and 2015 were filed over damage to homes in areas at risk of flooding, a Reuters analysis found. The Federal Emergency Management Agency strives to keep communities in the NFIP and uses suspension or probation from the program as a last resort, FEMA's Rachel Sears said.
Wells Fargo Securities says insured losses from this year's natural catastrophes could total $130 billion, a record figure that would include the currently unknown cost of the wildfires in Southern California. "My sense is most records are going to be broken" for insured losses related to 2017 natural disasters, Cathy Seifert of CFRA Research said.
A Los Angeles task force will examine the issue of when to evacuate homeless encampments after officials said a wildfire that destroyed and damaged some Bel Air homes began with a cooking fire at an encampment in a ravine. Meanwhile, crews' containment lines surround about 25% of the 370-square-mile Thomas fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, where thousands of homes are at risk.
A wildfire burning across more than 6.25 square miles in South Dakota's Custer State Park was just 7% contained Tuesday, with wind gusts and heavy smoke posing a challenge to firefighters. Crews have focused on guarding lodges and other nearby structures, and park employee Kobee Stalder said he is "very confident to say that we are not going to lose any of these buildings."
A snowstorm is bringing locally heavy accumulations to parts of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states around the Great Lakes. Officials say a 21-year-old man died in Indiana when his car skidded on snow and was involved in a collision with a semitrailer.
Tractor-trailers would have to be fitted with front and side guards under a bill that Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., filed this week. Federal data show more than 200 people die annually from so-called side underride crashes, and Gillibrand said that "a massive safety design flaw ... makes collisions between cars and trucks much deadlier than they need to be."
Sexual-harassment allegations continue to emerge across many professional spheres, and financial planner Carolyn McClanahan writes that the wealth-management industry also must address the issue. Firms need more women on their boards as well as policies and cultures that allow for zero tolerance of sexual harassment, McClanahan writes.
People are likely to hit a roadblock in applying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act if they have frozen their credit reports in the wake of the Equifax data breach, experts say. That's because HealthCare.gov requires identity verification that involves credit history, and while workarounds exist, they can create delays that might leave last-minute applicants unable to enroll.