A shooting Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Fla., left 17 people dead and 16 injured. Nikolas Cruz, who had been expelled from the school, is accused of using an assault rifle in the shooting and faces 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Figures from the National Safety Council show an estimated 40,100 traffic deaths on US roads last year, falling less than 1% compared with 2016, when traffic fatalities rose 7% for the second year in a row. The council cites high speeds, impaired driving and the failure to use seat belts as key factors behind the high number of deaths, while automakers point to distracted driving as one cause.
Property insurance rates are likely to rise by as much as 20% in 2018, thanks in large part to the frequency and severity of natural disasters that occurred last year, the 2018 USI Insurance Market Outlook says. Cyberinsurance rates are likely to drop by 5% to 10% in what has become a competitive market, the report says.
Lawsuits against employers for harassment and discrimination are on the rise, with a Hiscox study estimating that businesses already had at least an 11.7% chance three years ago of facing an employment charge. Median awards for these cases also are rising, so companies should address their employment policies and procedures to mitigate the risks these suits present.
Thirteen automakers who used Takata air-bag inflators in their vehicles will provide about $80 million to $130 million toward a settlement for injured plaintiffs, allowing Takata to exit bankruptcy proceedings. Honda will establish a trust separately to fully compensate their customers with injuries caused by the faulty inflators.
More than $130 million for home repairs after Hurricane Maria is on hold after a Puerto Rico Housing Department review board found problems with the awarding of the contract, which is subsidized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A 2011 investigation determined that one of the contractor's executives falsified travel and timekeeping records while at FEMA, and he withdrew from consideration for the second-highest position at FEMA under the Trump administration.
The new tax law has effects on estate planning that clients and their financial advisors might not yet fully understand, including that life insurance might serve chiefly as a "useful backstop that will become more common in the new trust planning," writes Martin Shenkman of Shenkman Law. Other changes include more income tax benefits for nongrantor trusts and different factors affecting asset location, Shenkman writes.
The New York State Department of Financial Services will conduct an inquiry into reports that gay men have been rejected for life, disability and long-term-care insurance coverage because of their use of a drug cocktail to prevent HIV infection. Penalties could result if regulators confirm that insurers have engaged in such unlawful discrimination, said Maria Vullo, New York's superintendent of financial services.
Commercial real estate sales in Manhattan in NYC have slowed to a crawl in the aftermath of the tax overhaul as buyers and sellers disagree on where pricing is headed. Buyers believe the tax bill's effect will be to lower pricing.
In a survey of advisors conducted by Jefferson National, 83% said their clients were anxious about the recent return of volatility to the stock market, but 87% said they have adjusted their clients' portfolios to mitigate the impact of a downturn. Increased cash holdings, purchases of international stocks and investment in more liquid alternatives were cited as popular strategies for reducing risk.