This year's wildfire outbreak in California could lead to insured losses as high as $10.5 billion, up significantly from an initial $3 billion estimate, according to AIR Worldwide. The catastrophe-risk modeler revised its estimate based on completed surveys of the damage as well as data on insurance policy terms.
People driving without insurance in Oklahoma could be caught and fined automatically via a roadside-camera system that the state plans to install through a contract with Massachusetts-based Gatso USA. Oklahoma has 26% uninsured-driver rate, according to a 2015 Pew Charitable Trusts survey.
Agents can ask clients a series of questions to help sort through the expanding options in the flood insurance market and make sure that coverage meets the level of risk, writes John Dickson of Aon National Flood Services' NFS Edge Insurance Agency. Dickson outlines seven factors to consider, including whether a client's property value is more than $250,000 and whether a property has a finished basement or pool.
Some employers are now providing "climate leave" for employees affected by extreme weather events and natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. Elite employees, however, are the ones most likely to benefit, although employers are updating leave policies to cover a greater variety of circumstances, said Julie Norville of Aon Hewitt.
A storm is hitting the West Coast with heavy rain and snow and wind gusts as high as 70 mph, causing flooding and contributing to vehicular collisions. The system is expected to be a threat to the Midwest and East Coast over the weekend.
About 210,000 gallons of oil spilled from the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota on Thursday, prompting an emergency cleanup. The incident occurred as Nebraska regulators are scheduled on Monday to announce their permitting decision for the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
An area near the San Andreas fault has experienced a series of earthquakes in recent days, with the first one a magnitude 4.6 temblor that occurred on Monday. No injuries or deaths have been reported, and a seismologist described the earthquakes as typical activity near the fault.
The tax bill that the House approved on Thursday and the current version of the Senate legislation contain no changes to the tax treatment of 401(k) contributions. NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux said in a letter to members that "the situation is fluid and negotiations are ongoing" and that "we remain focused on educating key members of Congress to ensure that the final tax law is as strong as it possibly can be."
Health savings accounts are growing rapidly, and the financial-advisory sector is increasingly focused on managing them, Peter Stahl of Bedrock Business Results said at the Schwab IMPACT conference. Health expenses are the biggest concern regarding retirement, and HSAs offer "a great opportunity to help clients deal with this problem," Stahl said.
About half of both baby boomers and Generation X members are making the repayment of debt a priority over retirement savings, according to a survey from North American Co. for Life and Health Insurance. Having too much debt and making too little money are among the top issues for both groups, the survey found.
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