Welcome to 2019! Every week The Friday Five will bring you interesting news and information from around the insurance industry. This week: CES 2019, NFIP open for business, home insurance in wildfire country.
CES 2019: Connected car technology a hot topic
Excerpted from Ronan Glon’s Digital Trends article, Driving autonomy is years away, but CES confirmed 2019 as year of connectivity: The automotive industry made very little noise during the 2018 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It was much louder in 2019. Important car-related announcements were made by century-old automakers, tech giants, and game-changing startups no one has heard of before. Connectivity, autonomy, and electrification reigned supreme once again, with varying degrees of realism and feasibility. While full driving autonomy remains years away, CES confirmed 2019 will be the year of in-car connectivity.
CES 2019: Connected home technology puts on a show
Amazon’s Alexa. Apple’s Siri. Google’s Assistant. Microsoft’s Cortana. Samsung’s Bixby. All the big guns were on hand at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, battling to become the brand that consumers think of first when it comes to connected services. In their Financial Times article, Battle for connected home seizes the stage at CES 2019, Tim Bradshaw and Chris Nuttall write that with the declining sales numbers for smartphones, and self-driving cars still a ways off, retail attendees at CES zeroed in on virtual assistants as an immediate way to kick-start gadget sales.
Flood Program Back Up and Running, Despite Gov’t Shutdown
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will resume the normal sale of new insurance policies and the renewal of expiring policies, reversing an earlier decision that halted sales operations by the NFIP because of the current government shutdown and lapse in appropriations. FEMA said all NFIP insurers have been directed to resume normal operations immediately and advised that the program will be considered operational since Dec. 21, 2018 without interruption. Read more in In Reversal, Flood Insurance Program Resumes Normal Operations During Shutdown on InsuranceJournal.com.
Improving Commercial Auto Insurance Profitability
Excerpted from Improving Profitability in Commercial Auto Insurance by Nicolas Durant on BrinkNews.com: One of the major factors affecting property/casualty industry profitability in the United States in recent years has been the poor performance of the commercial auto liability (CAL) line. On both a calendar and an accident year basis, industry CAL underwriting results have been deteriorating for the past decade Related lines of business such as umbrella insurance have also felt the adverse effects of challenging loss trends driven by CAL. In this environment, it has been an open question: Which will arrive first, autonomous cars and trucks or underwriting profits for CAL writers?
Home Insurance in Wildfire Areas Disappearing
Excerpted from Up In Smoke: Home Insurance Is Getting Too Hard To Find In Wildfire Country by Sophie Quinton on HuffingtonPost.com: As more and deadlier fires sweep through Western states, it’s becoming harder to get home insurance on a property surrounded by forest, reachable only by backroads, or on slopes where a wildfire is likely to run. While most homeowners in fire-prone places can still get a policy, insurers often make coverage conditional on homeowners managing trees and undergrowth. And some might get denied by several insurers before finding one willing to take on the risk. States and counties are beginning to step up their efforts to help homeowners make their properties as safe as possible.