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Insurance
Top stories summarized by our editors
4/15/2021

There are at least four breaches to a levee system that could result in floods in Hidalgo County, Texas, during hurricane season, said county Judge Richard Cortez. The breaches formed during construction of a wall on the border with Mexico and were never repaired when construction stopped, Cortez said.

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The Associated Press
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Cortez
4/15/2021

The Senate voted 53-45 to confirm Gary Gensler as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs partner, led the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under the Obama administration.

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Senate, SEC
4/15/2021

Persistent low interest rates, along with tax and regulatory policy changes, are squeezing life insurance companies' fixed-rate products and making them rethink their lineups, according to Timothy Pfeifer of Pfeifer Advisory. This could lead to more variable-rate products hitting the market, Pfeifer says.

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Pfeifer
4/15/2021

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Long-Term Care Insurance Task Force has posted a draft of a proposed rate review framework. The framework could help establish a more consistent national approach for reviewing insurers' requests for LTCI premium increases.

4/15/2021

John Hancock is working to make life insurance more fun by pairing it with a wellness program that rewards policyholders for following healthy habits. The Vitality program uses gamification and incentives to encourage users to make healthy lifestyle changes, and John Hancock has partnered with Amazon to offer users a Halo band to monitor their activity.

4/15/2021

The Business Roundtable is undertaking an advertising campaign that opposes President Joe Biden's proposal to fund his infrastructure plan by increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. A survey of 178 Business Roundtable members shows three-fourths of respondents saying their research-and-development investments would suffer if the tax-rate increase takes effect.

4/15/2021

The Florida Senate has approved a bill that would supplant the state's current no-fault auto insurance system with mandatory limits for bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, a change that APCIA says would cause rate increases of $165 to $876 for drivers with the current minimum coverage. APCIA's Logan McFaddin writes that the proposal could have the biggest impact on low-income drivers, "and any attempt to fix or repeal the current no-fault auto insurance system should contain reforms, specifically to Florida's bad faith laws," that would curtail fraud and lawsuit abuse and benefit policyholders.

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McFaddin, Senate
4/15/2021

Homeowners insurance claims in Florida represented about 8% of homeowners claims nationwide in 2019, but litigation over such claims in Florida amounted to 76% of overall US litigation against insurers, according to the Florida insurance regulator's analysis of National Association of Insurance Commissioners data. Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier is calling for changes to the state's one-way attorneys' fee statute and other measures to reduce the amount of property insurance litigation.

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Insurance Journal
4/15/2021

A revamped bankruptcy plan proposed by the Boy Scouts of America would raise the amount that the organization's local councils would contribute to a trust fund for child sexual abuse victims while maintaining the national organization's originally proposed contribution. The revised proposal also provides an option for excluding local councils from the bankruptcy plan and providing them no safeguards against abuse litigation.

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The Associated Press
4/15/2021

Much of the Western US is experiencing drought that is creating high wildfire risk in the region, experts say. "This one threatens to catch people by surprise who are exhausted by the events of the past year," says climate scientist Daniel Swain of the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Vox
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University of California