The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has shut down its Insure U consumer website as part of a rebranding effort. NAIC officials said regulators are seeking to replicate portions of the life insurance buyer's guide online.
A bill that would end Florida's no-fault auto insurance system has gained the state House Commerce Committee's approval, advancing the measure to the full House. The bill would set a requirement for drivers to carry bodily injury coverage instead of the current mandatory personal-injury-protection coverage, with the goal being to reduce accident-related litigation.
The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that pedestrian fatalities in the US last year rose to 6,590, a 5% increase over 2018 and the highest total in more than three decades. A need to address "chronic driver violations" is important as the number of pedestrian deaths has risen by more than 50% in the past decade, said Jonathan Adkins, the group's executive director.
An administrative law judge and the California Public Utilities Commission have increased a fine over wildfire damage blamed on Pacific Gas and Electric to $2.1 billion. PG&E, which previously had reached a $1.7 billion settlement over the deadly fires, will be prohibited from recouping $1.82 billion from its customers.
Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, McKesson and other drugmakers and distributors subject to thousands of lawsuits related to the opioid crisis say a 7% fee sought by plaintiffs' lawyers would jeopardize settlement negotiations. The companies filed a brief Wednesday urging a judge to reject the request, arguing that the lawyers would receive more settlement money than some of the states they represent if the request is granted.
Drought is affecting more areas of California, leaving the state at risk of an earlier and more severe wildfire season as the end of winter approaches. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has responded to 280 small wildfires so far this year, compared with the 85 reported by this time last year, a department spokesman said.
A measure filed in the New York Senate would mandate that stenographic records of state Workers' Compensation Board hearings and decisions be provided in an injured worker's native language and at no cost.
The coronavirus outbreak is little more than a nuisance for US life insurance companies, with low interest rates and investment risk more pressing issues, according to Neil Stein, a director at S&P Global Ratings. He says that even a severe outbreak on the level of the 1918 flu pandemic "would be manageable, considering insurers' overall financial strength."
Experts recommended at a Wednesday event that businesses examine their insurance coverage amid the coronavirus outbreak, as various claims might be addressed via workers' compensation, property, business interruption, professional liability and pollution legal liability policies. In addition, directors-and-officers insurance could provide coverage in situations such as shareholder litigation alleging "a lack of preparedness" for the outbreak's impact on earnings, said Christopher Lang of Marsh.
The Vermont House has passed legislation that would create a legal market for recreational cannabis sales, which would be taxed at 20%. The House and Senate must compromise on a final version of the measure before it advances to Gov. Phil Scott, who has expressed opposition if law-enforcement officers are required to have warrants to conduct roadside saliva tests for marijuana impairment in drivers.
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