Insurance
Top stories summarized by our editors
12/13/2017

Many startups and established companies are developing technology products for the insurance industry. The offerings increasingly include direct-to-consumer platforms and digital marketing services, as well as tools that help advisors evaluate products' suitability and clients' risk tolerance.

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insurance industry
12/13/2017

A push to reduce US environmental regulation is underway in the current political climate, but the "perceived mandate" to curb such rules "may prove to be ephemeral" because of judicial, political and other factors, environmental lawyer Joseph Guida writes. Insurers require companies to show compliance with environmental regulations as part of their business practices to curtail personal-injury and property-damage liability, Guida writes.

12/12/2017

Wind gusts and dry conditions in Southern California continue to pose difficulties for crews battling wildfires, one of which has destroyed about 800 structures and remains the fifth-largest in the state's modern history. Red-flag warnings had been set to end Monday but will now continue through the week, and smoke is worsening air quality throughout broad swaths of the state.

12/12/2017

Drivers in Washington need to prevent distractions, The Seattle Times editorial board writes, noting that the state's number of traffic deaths is rising despite fines and advancements in vehicle-safety technology. PCI says fatalities are rising particularly in places where traffic congestion is increasingly a problem.

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PCI
12/12/2017

Commercial insurance rates in 2017's third quarter were nearly consistent with those from the same quarter in 2016, a Willis Towers Watson survey found. For policies written in Q3 2017, pricing either rose or declined an average of less than 1% for the ninth quarter in a row, although commercial auto experienced "meaningful price increases," Willis Towers Watson said.

12/12/2017

The snowstorm that hit Georgia late last week is likely to lead to thousands of insurance claims being filed, according to the state insurance commissioner's office. Reported damage occurred as a result of vehicular crashes, falling tree limbs and power outages, among other factors.

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WSB-TV (Atlanta)
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insurance claims
12/12/2017

A 2,500-acre wildfire in South Dakota's Custer State Park has been spreading largely because of windy conditions that are expected to persist in the days ahead. Crews are working to protect nearby buildings, while officials are seeking the cause -- likely a human, they say.

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Custer State Park
12/12/2017

The House and Senate's ever-evolving tax legislation would eliminate a tax deduction that's now allowed for people who experience natural-disaster-related casualty losses worth more than 10% of their adjusted gross income as long as the excess amount is not covered by insurance. The Senate offers an exception for federally declared disasters, and damage from 2017 would still be eligible if the deduction is eliminated for 2018 and beyond.

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Senate, the House
12/12/2017

Texas workers within the Hurricane Harvey disaster declaration zone will be subject to a worker's compensation deadline extension that gives insurers longer to process and pay claims. Workers Compensation Commissioner Ryan Brannan said it was "in the best interests of the workers compensation system to resume normal claims processing," with the extension lasting until Jan. 10.

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Hurricane Harvey, Harvey
12/12/2017

Annuity sales in the US posted a 15% year-over-year decline in the third quarter, falling to $44 billion, according to the Insured Retirement Institute. Among the various types of annuities, sales of variable annuities fell 17.5% during that period, while sales of indexed annuities dropped 9.5%.