A Governors Highway Safety Association report says 3,142 deaths in crashes involving distracted driving occurred in the US in 2019, an increase of more than 10% compared with 2018. "Driver distraction is likely underreported as a cause in crashes; therefore, fatalities caused by distracted driving may be much greater," the report says.
Lawsuits filed in Nevada that accuse 10 auto insurers of charging excessive rates amid the coronavirus pandemic amount to litigation abuse and "a direct threat to long-term economic recovery," APCIA's Stef Zielezienski said. "Driver behavior is deteriorating at a rapid pace," which affects the auto insurance market along with a rise in litigation, repair and medical costs, Zielezienski said.
Reports of catalytic converter thefts are rising during the coronavirus pandemic as the sale of precious metals within the part can fetch hundreds of dollars, while vehicle owners have to pay more than $1,000 for a replacement. Denver experienced a 1,600% increase in reports of such thefts last year, and North Dakota lawmakers have introduced a bill that would add limits on selling and buying catalytic converters.
Insurance companies have added 19,700 jobs since March, increasing their employment levels by 1.2% in the past three quarters, a study of Bureau of Labor Statistics data found. The industry's overall employment rate was 2.2% in January, while the overall US rate was 6.3%, according to the study, which was conducted by The Jacobson Group and Aon's Ward Group.
US property casualty insurers' net written premium is forecast to increase 4.6% this year, compared with 1.8% last year and 3.4% in 2019, A.M. Best says in a report. "We expect the commercial lines pricing environment to remain firm, with even workers' compensation seeing some minor increases," the rating firm said.
About two dozen former executives and board members of Pacific Gas and Electric are accused of neglect regarding the utility's equipment in a lawsuit filed by a trust representing California wildfire victims. The lawsuit targets PG&E's liability insurance coverage of $200 million to $400 million for the former executives and board members, according to the plaintiffs' lawyer.
The North Dakota House has approved a measure that would legalize recreational marijuana for people age 21 and older. The bill now advances to the Senate, along with legislation that would establish marijuana tax policy.
Legislation approved by the South Carolina Senate would provide coronavirus-related liability safeguards for employers who adhere to state agencies' safety guidance. Whether the bill will gain House approval is unclear.
The Department of Labor's investment advice rule went into effect last week, but enforcement will not begin until Dec. 20, provided "impartial conduct standards" are met. However, attorneys Fred Reish and Brad Campbell say firms should start working on putting policies and procedures in place now, noting that compliance with the new rules is likely to be "a heavy lift."
The potential for political violence could drive higher demand for political risk insurance among companies based in or operating in the US, industry executives say. In addition, one area where risk of governmental actions could emerge is in the use of natural resources in high-profile technology sectors, says Laura Burns of Willis Towers Watson.
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