The Friday Five

August 3, 2018

Every week The Friday Five will bring you interesting news and information from around the insurance industry.

Wildfire Losses in California Predicted to Be High

Excerpted from Gloria Gonzalez’s Business Insurance article, Another Year of High California Woldfire Losses Likely: The Carr wildfire in California has likely caused an estimated $1.5 billion in insured losses to date, foreshadowing another major wildfire loss event for insurers in the state, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service Inc. Some commercial property insurers are also likely to pay business interruption claims, according to the report. California property/casualty insurers may also be hit by wildfire losses from properties insured by the California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan, which insures a disproportionate share of property in remote locations and regions with high wildfire exposure, according to the report.

Drone Usage Gaining Ground

There’s been a lot of excitement over the potential of drones in the future before us: as package delivery vehicles, as eyes in the sky for farmers, and even as flying taxis that can carry one or two humans. But insurance is ahead of the pack when it comes to drone deployments. Drones can provide better risk management via improved data collection, analysis and actionable insights. They can also reduce operational costs and improve efficiency during the claims process. Read Joe McKendrick’s opinion article, 7 Ways Drones Improve Insurance Operations at Digital Insurance.

Safety More Important Than Autonomous Vehicles to Drivers

There has been a lot of noise around self-driving cars recently. But are autonomous cars what drivers really want? In her Driving.ca article, Survey Finds Consumers Want Safety Features More than Self-Driving Cars, Lorraine Sommerfeld shares a few findings from a recent Consumer Reports survey that says it’s not the autonomous features that are important to drivers, but safety features. “The top two innovations that consumers want on their new or used purchases are those cameras – 51 per cent – and blind spot warning indicators – 45 per cent.”

Making Home Insurance Millennial Friendly

Excerpted from Julie Verhage’s and Katherine Chiglinsky’s Bloomberg article, Selling Millennials Home Insurance is Lemonade’s Novel Pitch: Home insurance may not seem like a natural business for a financial technology startup. It’s heavily regulated and dominated by established players. Where’s the potential for Silicon Valley-style growth? Yet Lemonade Inc. co-founders Daniel Schreiber and Shai Wininger are trying to use updated tech and millennial-friendly marketing to bring some buzz to a boring industry. The insurer has drawn big tech-oriented investors such as Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., which led a $120 million funding round in December. They started with a focus on young urban renters. Lemonade offers homeowners coverage, too, but renters are a relatively untapped market. Only 41 percent of them have insurance, the Insurance Information Institute says.

Quieter Isn’t Always Better During Hurricane Season

Hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University say the approaching peak of the 2018 hurricane season will be relatively quiet in the Atlantic Basin. But a report released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pointed out a troubling trend that could have implications for future hurricane forecasting: Warming in the Arctic could drive future Atlantic hurricane tracks farther west and thus make a U.S. landfall more likely. Read Willie Drye’s article Why a Quiet Hurricane Season Isn’t Necessarily a Good Thing on NationalGeographic.com.