Written by: The Friday Five

Every week The Friday Five will bring you interesting news and information from around the insurance industry. This week: Carriers can help reduce distracted driving, California expands last-resort fire insurance plan.

Carriers can help reduce distracted driving

Excerpted from 5 ways insurers can help reduce distracted driving, by Marc Gordan and Tim Grant for Property Casualty 360: Distracted driving is a nationwide epidemic that not only threatens the driver but everyone else on the road. Roughly nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured every day in the U.S. due to distracted driving accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Beyond the human tragedies, it is driving up insurance rates as carriers struggle to manage the growing risks. For carriers to correctly underwrite and help their customers avoid risk, they must know — and communicate — the facts.

Last-resort coverage expands

Excerpted from Emily Deruy’s Mercury News article, California to expand last-resort fire insurance plan for homeowners: As more companies refuse to provide fire insurance to homeowners in a state plagued by increasingly destructive blazes, California’s insurance commissioner said Thursday that a plan once meant to be a last resort will be expanded. Funded by insurance companies, the FAIR Plan was created to provide bare-bones fire insurance to those turned down by traditional providers. Right now, the plan covers up to $1.5 million in losses related to fire damage. By next spring, the plan will cover up to $3 million and include water damage and personal liability coverage, as well.

What’s up in commercial for 2020?

Excerpted from the Insurance Journal article, What to Expect in Commercial Insurance Market Conditions Heading into 2020: Ongoing rate increases and reductions in capacity are taking shape in most property/casualty commercial lines in the fourth—and for some, will continue into the new year, according to a recent report from broker USI Insurance Services. Only one line—loss sensitive workers’ compensation accounts—showed lower rate forecasts for the fourth quarter vs. midyear, while seven others stayed the same.

The view from the top

Digital natives – mostly millennials – are stepping into the workforce, commuting, and starting businesses and because technology is a pervasive part of everything they do, they expect technology to play a key role in how the insurance industry functions, both as consumers and employees. Today’s leaders need to ensure that their organizations are evolving with the marketplace and not getting left behind. So how does the industry evolve for both consumers and the workers who run it — especially when their needs may be in opposition? Dave Armstrong, in his Property Casualty 360 article, Executives must lead in the changing insurance marketplace, lays out three steps to usher in disruption.

It’s a gym…in a truck

Is it a gym, or a vehicle? According to the Court of Appeals of Florida, fourth district, “a mobile gym operating out of the back of a truck was not an uninsured auto for the purposes of the automobile insurance policy of a woman who was allegedly injured while training in the mobile gym.” The suit arose from injuries sustained by a woman who was working out in a mobile gym parked on her property. While the plaintiff sued the gym owner, she also sued her own auto insurer under the premise that the mobile gym was an uninsured auto according to her policy. Read more in Hannah Smith’s Property Casualty 360 article, Is a mobile gym a vehicle or premise?

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