Media Highlights

Looking for the latest news on COVID-19 impact on the industry? You’ll find information from Texas and national sources as well as state and local news alerts here. Read this week’s top stories here – we’re updating and adding to this site daily.

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State of the Workers’ Compensation Market and COVID-19.

COVID-19 — Top Stories

Report: COVID Claims Cost Three Times City’s Average Comp Budget
The Texas city of Amarillo incurred three times more in costs for COVID-19 claims in the most recent fiscal year than it typically budgets for all workers’ compensation claims in a year, according to a report by Assistant City Manager Laura Storrs said during a City Council meeting that a 2021 bill SB 22 creating a presumption that COVID-19 is a work injury for first responders was at least partly responsible. Read more here.

Insurers Expect COVID-19 Liability Claims Against Employers as Employees Return

Liability insurers on both sides of the Atlantic are scaling back the cover they offer companies ahead of an expected wave of discrimination claims as employers call staff back to their desks after 18 months of pandemic-induced home working. Read more here.

MAY 21
Pandemic Has Had ‘Profound Impact’ on Women in Insurance: Accenture

COVID-19 has had a “profound impact on the productivity and well-being” of women working at U.S. insurance companies, according to new research from Accenture. Read more here.

MAY 10
Insurers Seek to Find Ways to Make Pandemics Insurable

When much of the global economy locked down last year, insurers, facing estimated losses of more than $100 billion globally, reached straight for their red pens to strike pandemic cover from all new business policies. Read more here.

U.S. P/C Insurers Report 2020 Underwriting Profits Despite Costs of COVID-19: Fitch

Despite considerable operating challenges in 2020 from the global COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. property/casualty (P/C) insurers saw a statutory underwriting profit for the third consecutive year, with an average 99% combined ratio, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report. Read more here.

Drivers May Soon Get More Money Back From Car Insurance Companies

If you welcomed last year’s givebacks on your car insurance, you’ll be happy to know the breaks on those costs may not be over. Read more here.

What Helped Save Some Sports From Financial Ruin May Not Happen Again

Event cancellation insurance is a specialized realm. But during the coronavirus pandemic, it has shored up the balance sheets of sporting events around the world. Read more here.

Re/insurers’ Q4 results to show effects from COVID: Barclays

Analysts at Barclays predict the Q4 2020 results season will show continuing effects surrounding COVID-19 losses, pricing and dividends. Read more here.

Social inflation threatens to bounce back stronger than ever
Social inflation continues to impact insurance, particularly in professional lines, and the trend shows no signs of abating in 2021, especially as many experts predict that the coronavirus pandemic will only make substantial liability claims more common. Read more here.

COVID-19, buyer preference push US passenger car sales to record low in 2020
Passenger car sales in the U.S. hit a historic low in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hit auto demand and consumers continued to favor trucks and SUVs. Read more here.

U.S. traffic deaths skyrocket after coronavirus lockdowns expire
U.S. traffic deaths jumped dramatically after coronavirus lockdowns ended in 2020, rising 13.1% in the three months ending Sept. 30 to the highest rate since 2005 despite a decline in driving, auto safety regulators said on Wednesday. Read more here.

Pandemic Driving Is Still Down, but Will Insurers Grant More Relief?

Many gave drivers a break in the spring. With accident claims remaining below normal, consumer advocates are calling for another one. Read more here.

MLB and all 30 teams sue insurance providers, citing billions in losses due to Covid-19

Major League Baseball is suing its insurance providers, claiming insurers are refusing to cover the billions of dollars in losses the sport has suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a lawsuit filed in October. Read more here.

‘Mere Threat’ Of Virus Not Enough To Cause Property Damage

A California federal judge Monday axed a suit from 12 Hawaiian souvenir stores seeking COVID-19 loss coverage from Allianz insurance units, ruling that the “mere threat of coronavirus” does not cause a direct physical loss of or damage to covered properties. Read more here.

U.S. P/C Insurance Industry Net Income Plunges 26 Percent in H1

U.S. P/C insurance industry net income plunged 26 percent in the 2020 first half, as underwriting results and investment gains took a hit from COVID-19, catastrophes and other instabilities, according to a new report from data analytics company Verisk and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. Read more here.

5 crucial insurance questions for the post-COVID ‘new normal’

We are now several months into the coronavirus pandemic and it is clear that the crisis has rewritten the rules for customer engagement, business processes and technology. Insurers understand that the customer experience is critical during the claims process otherwise they risk customer attrition. Read more here.

Traffic Deaths Fell But Fatality Rate Spiked During Coronavirus Lockdowns

U.S. traffic deaths fell during the coronavirus lockdowns but drivers engaged in riskier behavior as the fatality rate spiked to its highest level in 15 years, according to preliminary data released Thursday. Read more here.

Auto insurance carriers have offered $10 billion in rebates during the pandemic, but customers still aren’t happy — and they’re looking to switch
During the coronavirus pandemic, the auto insurance industry has offered over $10 billion in rebates on premiums for policyholders. But after all the rebates and discounts offered, customer satisfaction with car insurance providers has fallen, according to a study by J.D. Power Insurance Intelligence. Read more here.

Coronavirus fast-tracked insurance’s digital response to Hurricane Laura
Before Hurricane Laura made landfall or wildfires engulfed the Pacific Coast, insurers were well aware that the raging COVID-19 pandemic would decidedly alter catastrophe claims experiences and processes. Read more here.

Ratings agencies see reinsurance rate increases amid pandemic

Ratings agencies Moody’s and S&P Global said on Tuesday they expected global reinsurance premium rates to rise at the key January renewal season as companies seek to recoup some of their COVID-19-related losses. Read more here.

Why Some Organizations Are Managing Coronavirus Risk Better Than Others

While few, if any, organizations saw the coronavirus pandemic and all of its death and disruption coming, some were better positioned to deal with it than others. Read more here.

Coronavirus raises fears of increase in insurance fraud

As if the insurance industry didn’t have enough to worry about amid the coronavirus pandemic, from how business interruption coverage lawsuits will be decided to how longer term remote working arrangements will impact insurers’ services, they also have to keep an eye out for an uptick in insurance fraud. Read more here.

Will Agency E&O Claims Be The ‘Next Wave’ of COVID-19?
As many states keep watch for the “next wave” of COVID-19 infections, the insurance industry is keeping watch for the “next wave” of potential claims that could be directed at independent agents. Read more here.

About 61 Million Americans Have Stopped Commuting Due to COVID-19

The coronavirus has upended nearly every aspect of life in the United States, and Americans’ driving behavior and commutes are no exception. ValuePenguin surveyed drivers to see how their habits have changed. We found a large number of drivers are no longer commuting to the office, whether because they are working from home or have lost employment due to COVID-19. Read more here.

Recession, Pandemic to Affect P/C Underwriting Results, New Triple-I / Milliman Report Shows

The COVID-19 pandemic and the recession it started will result in no premium growth for 2020 and a deteriorated combined ratio for the property/casualty industry, according to the new report, Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I)/ Milliman P/C Underwriting Projections: 2020-2022. Read more here.

Public policy post-COVID-19: TRIA or NFIP for a pandemic?

Following terrorist events and viral outbreaks in the past 30 years, the insurance industry has laid the groundwork for what may evolve into a federally-backed “pandemic insurance” program. Read more here.

Updated: GEICO, Gen Re Are Bright Spots in Otherwise Tough Q2 for Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. had a tough second quarter with the pandemic taking a toll on most of its operating businesses including Precision Castparts aircraft parts, the BNSF railroad, Occidental Petroleum Corp., Kraft Heinz Co. and retailers including See’s Candies that temporarily closed stores. Read more here.

P&C insurance industry suffers largest-ever drop in surplus in Q1 2020

The surplus for the private United States property & casualty insurance industry dropped by $75.9 billion in the first quarter of 2020 Read more here.

Swiss Re $973M COVID Business Interruption Estimate Won’t Remain Outlier, CEO Says
While Swiss Re’s $2.5 billion estimate of COVID-related insurance and reinsurance losses stands above most others around the industry, the situation is destined to change, according to the group CEO. Read more here.