Latest Studies - November 2014

Each month the Insurance Information Institute compiles recent studies from industry, government, academic and other sources. Topics include consumer issues, industry trends, climate and environment, and studies covering individual lines of business like automobile liability and workers compensation.

1. HOW WILL WE CARE? FINDING SUSTAINABLE LONG-TERM CARE SOLUTIONS FOR AN AGEING WORLD
Swiss Re sigma 5/2014; 40 Pages
October 1, 2014

The number of people aged 65 years and above will grow by around 80 percent to nearly 1 billion over the next 15 years. Meeting the care needs of the elderly will be one of the main challenges facing society. This study examines how tightening government budgets, changing demographics, low personal means and limited awareness need to be addressed if this challenge is to be met.  Awareness of the risks and costs of long-term care is very low. An integrated, multi-stakeholder approach – including private insurance – is needed to deliver the full continuum of care. Sections cover: the ageing population and its care needs; long-term care today; the economics of private insurance solutions; and creating a better care market for older lives. Full Report


2. EVIDENCE FOR THE EFFICACY OF PAIN MEDICATIONS
Dr. Donald Teater
National Safety Council, www.nsc.org; 8 Pages
October 1, 2014

This white paper compiles research showing that the combination of over-the-counter pain medications ibuprofen and acetaminophen are more effective at treating acute pain than opioid painkillers. As patients find that they are unable to refill their hydrocodone prescription, this paper presents alternatives that should be discussed with their physician. The release of the white paper coincides with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s reclassification of hydrocodone combination products, such as Vicodin, from Schedule III to Schedule II drugs. The reclassification makes the drugs more difficult for doctors to prescribe, and patients cannot have prescriptions refilled without seeing their doctor. “There are alternatives to highly-addictive opioids for treating severe pain,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Prescription opioid overdoses resulted in more than 16,900 deaths in 2011. We must change the paradigm of treating pain if we are to curb this national health crisis,” Hersman said.  A full copy of the white paper can be found at nsc.org/painmedevidence.


3. SAFER SEAS 2013: LESSONS LEARNED FROM MARINE ACCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS
National Transportation Safety Board, www.ntsb.gov; 43 Pages
September 30, 2014

This is a compilation of accident investigations that were published in 2013, organized by vessel type with links to the more detailed accident reports. The report contains a summary and the probable cause of 21 marine accidents. It brings the lessons learned from these accidents to the maritime community in an easy-to-use summary document. Full Report


4. MARKETPLACE REALITIES 2015. EDGE OF A CLIFF?
Willis Group, www.willis.com; 28 Pages
October 1, 2014

Willis Group Holdings plc, the global risk advisor insurance and reinsurance broker, expects commercial insurance buyers to face improving pricing conditions throughout 2015, due in part to further softening in the property insurance line, an influx of new capital from non-traditional sources and an easing of pricing pressure on the casualty market. Meanwhile, organizations funding employee benefit programs continue to face upward pricing pressure as escalating specialty drug costs combine with additional taxes and fees as a result of health care reform. These are key findings in Willis's semiannual 2014 Marketplace Realities report, published as a guide for North American insurance buyers preparing for upcoming 2015 insurance program renewals. Willis expects commercial Property rates to fall by an average of 10–15 percent for both non catastrophe-exposed and catastrophe-exposed risks. Property rates have been falling for several consecutive quarters and Willis does not see an end to this trend. Apart from the recent earthquake in Napa, California, losses have been benign in 2014. Meanwhile, the influx of new capital to the reinsurance market remains steady, and is now pressing on the primary insurance market. Full Report


5. ANNUAL REPORT ON THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
Federal Insurance Office, U.S. Department of the Treasury; 51 Pages
September 1, 2014

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO) has released its second Annual Report on the Insurance Industry. Under the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, FIO must report annually to the President and Congress on the state of the insurance industry and any other information deemed relevant or requested. The report begins with an overview that presents and analyzes the financial performance and condition of the key U.S. insurance industry sectors. This section also includes analysis of insurance industry capital markets activity, the continuing importance of non U.S. reinsurers and the expanding role of alternative risk transfer mechanisms such as insurance linked securities. The report includes a section focusing on matters of consumer protection and access to insurance, including affordability of personal auto insurance; portability of auto insurance for service members; force placed insurance for homeowners; and topics concerning life insurance and annuities. Finally, the report addresses a range of regulatory developments—at the state, federal, and international levels—which have occurred or progressed over the past year, and which have implications for the U.S. insurance sector. Full Report


6. THE FUTURE ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS OF GRIDLOCK IN 2030
Centre for Economics and Business Research, London UK, www.cebr.com; 67 Pages
October 1, 2014

This study by INRIX, Inc., a Kirkland, WA-based company that provides traffic intelligence software, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research projects that the combined annual cost of traffic gridlock in Europe and the U.S. will soar to $293.1 billion by 2030, almost a 50 percent increase from 2013, driven mainly by urban population growth and higher living standards as a result of increased GDP per capita. According to the study, Americans wasted $124 billion sitting in traffic in 2013 and traffic cost the average household $1,700 a year.  INRIX estimates the average American wastes 111 hours per year in traffic. The cost of gridlock in France, Germany, the UK and the U.S. between 2013 and 2030 are examined. Full Report


7. ENCROACHING TIDES. HOW SEA LEVEL RISE AND TIDAL FLOODING THREATEN U.S. EAST AND GULF COAST COMMUNITIES OVER THE NEXT 30 YEARS
Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Melanie Fitzpatrick, Kristina Dahl
Union of Concerned Scientists, www.ucsusa.org; 76 Pages
October 1, 2014

 

This study by the Union of Concerned Scientists predicts that the District of Columbia and nearby Annapolis, Maryland, will be flooded daily by high tides within three decades because global warming will cause sea levels to rise. According to the study, approximately 400 floods will occur in the capital of the U.S. and in the state of Maryland each year by 2045, and that the cities will sometimes be flooded twice in one day. Flooding in several other cities and towns along the Atlantic coast is predicted to be almost as severe. According to the study, Miami; Atlantic City; Cape May, New Jersey; as well as Windmill Point and Lewisetta on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia will be flooded at least 240 days each year by 2045. Baltimore; Norfolk; Philadelphia; Charleston, South Carolina; Key West, Florida; and Sandy Hook, New Jersey are expected to be flooded by high tides less frequently, with approximately 180 floods or more per year. Tidal flooding is sometimes referred to as nuisance flooding. This type of flooding is considered minor when it results from the gravitational pull of the moon and sun, moderate when its size is increased by heavy rains and major when it is supersized by storms. Utility pumping stations can be overwhelmed by nuisance flooding. Full Report


If you have a suggestion for a study to be included in this section please email info@iii.org.