The U.S. insurance industry continues its hiring spree in 2018, with 63 percent of companies saying that they plan to increase staff during the next 12 months, according to a new Jacobson and Ward Group survey.
The primary reason cited for hiring is the expectation of an increase in business volume – 66 percent of companies listed this as the primary reason-to-hire. Business expansion and/or entry into new markets was listed as the second most popular reason for hiring (43 percent).
The most difficult to fill positions are executive, technology, and actuarial, while the biggest growth is expected in technology, claims and underwriting roles.
“The insurance industry is coming face to face with an unprecedented talent reality,” says Gregory P. Jacobson, co-chief executive officer of Jacobson. “Virtually non-existent unemployment, an emerging skills gap and impending mass retirements of the industry’s continually aging workforce are challenging insurers to reevaluate their current staffing strategies. This survey will provide a baseline from which insurers can make necessary adjustments to build a successful workforce.”
When it came to reducing staff, 11 percent of companies reported that automation will be the primary reason for reductions in staff during the next 12 months followed by reorganization at 9 percent.
The Jacobson Group and Ward Group conducted a webinar to review the trends uncovered by the survey. The webinar can be viewed here.
The I.I.I. tracks insurance industry employment trends here.
The adoption of smart city technology is altering the way municipalities manage critical services and infrastructure. Worldwide spending on technologies that enable smart cities is projected to reach $80 billion in 2018 and will grow to $135 billion by 2021.
There are as many as hundreds of thousands of connected systems embedded throughout a city’s critical infrastructure, which are used for things like traffic monitoring and emergency alerts. Researchers from IBM and Threatcare evaluated three smart city sensor hubs and uncovered vulnerabilities, including bugs that would allow hackers to access the systems.
The type of damage exploiting smart city technologies could cause includes: Causing disaster detection and alarm systems to report incorrect data; manipulation of law enforcement response (for example manipulating traffic control infrastructure to create gridlock and delay law enforcement teams from accessing the real scene of a crime); and the manipulation of farm sensors to cause irreversible crop damage.
By Michael Barry, Senior Vice President Media Relations and Public Affairs, Insurance Information Institute
ProPublica’s investigative story last year on auto insurer pricing in four states—California, Illinois, Missouri, and Texas—will be seen in a different light, at least when it comes to Missouri, following this month’s meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Auto Insurance Working Group in Boston, MA.
To refresh everyone’s memory, ProPublica’s April 2017 report alleged “some major insurers charge minority neighborhoods as much as 30 percent more than other areas with similar accident costs.” The I.I.I. pushed back immediately, calling ProPublica’s assertions “inaccurate, unfair and irresponsible.” Moreover, the I.I.I. sponsored research by a leading actuarial firm, Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, which found “multiple concerns” with the methodology ProPublica employed when arriving at its findings.
The NAIC heard from Missouri’s Angela Nelson on Saturday, Aug. 4. Ms. Nelson said her state’s Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions, and Professional Registration (DIFP) found “no evidence” Missouri’s private-passenger auto insurers were employing discriminatory pricing practices while also determining in a comprehensive July 2018 assessment of Missouri’s auto insurance market the following trends:
When adjusted for inflation, the typical Missouri driver has seen a 17 percent decrease in their auto insurance premiums since 1998.
Premium levels for liability coverage are two-times higher in Kansas City and St. Louis than they are in the rest of the state.
About 13.7 percent of Missouri’s drivers are operating vehicles while uninsured; this tracks closely to the Insurance Research Council’s estimate of 14 percent.
Hailstorms have grown more destructive in recent years, causing up to $10 billion per year in damage. The reasons range from larger homes being built, to more homes being built in vulnerable places, to the rising costs of roofing materials, according to a recent Washington Postarticle.
The first North American Workshop on Hail and Hailstorms is happening this week (August 14- 16) in Boulder, Colorado. The group will discuss the rising costs of hail damage, and 200 experts from the fields of meteorology, engineering, economics and insurance are attending. These experts will work together to better detect hail; the microphysics and dynamics of hailstorms; the cost of damage and how to mitigate it; and the likely effects of a changing climate on hailstorms.
The I.I.I. has facts and statistics on hail damage here.