Dog Bite Liability Claims by State – Interactive Map

Dogs provide millions of people with companionship, happiness and health benefits. But even dogs that are normally docile may bite when they are frightened or when defending their puppies, owners or food.

To educate pet owners about how to prevent dog bites The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the United States Postal Service (USPS) and State Farm Insurance are joining together for National Dog Bite Prevention Week (April 8 -14).

Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one third of all homeowners liability claim dollars paid out in 2017, costing almost $700 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm®, the largest writer of homeowners insurance in the United States.

California had the largest number of claims in 2017 followed by Florida. Florida also had the highest average cost per claim at $44,700.

For more details see our interactive map below.

 

2018 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast

On Thursday April 5th Philip J. Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell, scientists with the Colorado State University, issued their 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast.  The forecast anticipates slightly above-average activity for the 2018 Atlantic basin hurricane season.

There is slightly above-average probability of a major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean.

Klotzbach and Bell estimate that 2018 will have 7 hurricanes (median is 6.5), 14 named storms (median is 12.0), 70 named storm days (median is 60.1), 30 hurricane days (median is 21.3), 3 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricane (median is 2.0) and 7 major hurricane days (median is 3.9). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 120 percent of the long-period average.

Probabilities for at least one major hurricane landfall on each of the following coastal areas:

  • Entire continental U.S. coastline – 63% (average for last century is 52%)
  • U.S. East Coast Including Peninsula Florida – 39% (average for last century is 31%)
  • Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville – 38% (average for last century is 30%)

As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

Click here for the full forecast.

Dr. Philip Klotzbach is a non-resident scholar for the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)

Distracted Driving Tops List of Road Safety Concerns

By Brent Carris, Research Assistant, Insurance Information Institute

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and according to a new AAA survey, more people than ever are aware of the danger distracted drivers pose on the road.

The AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index, found that most drivers (87.5 percent) believe that distracted driving has outpaced all other traffic related issues as a growing safety concern. It was followed by traffic congestion at 74.5 percent and aggressive drivers at 68.1 percent. Distracted driving has been amplified by the rapid increase of cellphone usage in the car. Most drivers (96.8 percent) view texting or emailing while driving as a serious threat – however, in the past 30 days, 44.9 percent of drivers read a text message or email while driving.

The AAA survey reveals that people in the United States value safe travel and perceive unsafe driving practices as a serious threat to personal safety. However, despite these strongly held concerns, many individuals admit engaging in unsafe driving practices, demonstrating a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.

Risky/aggressive driving, drowsy driving, and impaired driving are also a growing concern. More than half of drivers (54.9 percent) believe that drugs pose a significantly bigger problem today than in the past three years; while about 43.4 percent believe that drunk driving is either a much bigger problem today or a somewhat bigger problem today than three years ago. Most respondents supported required alcohol-ignition interlocks for drivers convicted of a DWI.

More than one-in-five drivers or 21.4 percent report having been in a motor vehicle crash in which at least one party involved was hospitalized. Between 2006 and 2015, almost 58 million crashes occurred on U.S. highways, resulting in 355,562 fatalities and an estimated 23.5 million injuries.

 

An analysis of workers comp exposure to California earthquakes

The earthquake risk exposure for California’s workers comp market is huge, as nearly every worker in the state is covered. By contrast only about 10 percent of Californians have residential earthquake insurance.

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) has recently partnered with Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS), on a report quantifying the earthquake risk faced by California workers’ compensation insurers.

The timing of an earthquake event emerged as one of the critical factors when assessing the risk to employees. Recent earthquakes such as the Loma Prieta and the Northridge happened during off-peak hours; had the timing been different, the human impact could have been much worse. As expected the highest concentration of employees coincides with the highest hazard regions.

From the I.I.I. Daily: Our most popular content, March 20-27

Here are the 5 most clicked on articles from the I.I.I. Daily newsletter.

  1. Presentation: Rising Auto Costs

  2. Trending news article: Video shows moments before Uber robot car rammed into pedestrian, The Wall Street Journal

  3. Blog post: The challenge of population projections: future strain on Medicare and Social Security may be even greater than Census figures would suggest

  4. Member Bulletin article: Big Data and Race, R Street

  5. Presentation: Driving while high: Facts and public attitudes

To subscribe to the I.I.I. Daily email daily@iii.org.

 

Will the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica Scandal Prompt Computer Science to Enter Its Own Age of Enlightenment?

By James Ballot, Senior Advisor, Strategic Messaging, Insurance Information Institute

 

Many of us are still trying to make sense of how our data were affected by a massive data-scraping operation by the research firm of Cambridge Analytica that allegedly misused personal information of 50 million Facebook users. One expert with  a “big picture” view of this scandal is  Yonatan Zunger, a former engineer/privacy expert at Google, who sees the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica affair as further evidence that computer science needs to have its “A-Bomb” moment.

What Zunger means by this is that the fields comprising computer science have to “come to terms with the responsibility that comes with building things which so profoundly affect people’s lives.” And, relatedly, when (or if) there is an “enlightenment” movement, will it empower programmers, data engineers, and others in the field to fight the “weaponization of their work,” or will hackers and other cybercrooks simply redouble efforts and build better mice to defeat better mousetraps?

At the heart of this moment of reckoning are topics of keen interest to insurers. Concerns about  big data analytics in insurance are being raised on several fronts. The Geneva Association recently published a report highlighting the concerns regarding privacy, discrimination and competition that big data analytics present to the insurance industry. And this recent article by R.J. Lehmann warns that “The more complex predictive modeling grows and the more attenuated from the sorts of relatively straightforward risk factors that both consumers and regulators can easily understand, the greater the odds of a backlash.”

 

Trends in P/C Insurance Technology

Over the past few years property/casualty insurance companies have been vigorously active as investors in technology startups and in partnerships with complementary technologies and ecosystems (drones, smart homes, car sharing, cyber risk management).

Established Insurers are also launching new brands and businesses.  Munich Re’s Nexible, an online auto insurance portal, is one of many examples.

On Thursday March 23, CB Insights’ lead intelligence analyst Matthew Wong conducted a webinar on trends in P/C Insurance Tech. Here are some of the highlights from the webinar:

  • Mentions of technology in earnings calls of major P/C carriers nearly quadrupled in the 3rd quarter of 2017 compared to the prior quarter.
  • P/C insurance tech start-ups have raised over $3 billion since 2012.
  • The U.S. leads the number of tech deals, with the fastest growing markets such as India, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia lagging. Europe is seeing an uptick in P/C startup activity.
  • Many insurance tech startups are partnering with the real estate industry
  • More startups are targeting small and medium sized businesses
  • More startups are gearing to distribute cyber insurance

Slides from the Trends in P&C Insurance Tech webinar are available for download here.

 

The Week in a Minute, 3/23/18

The III’s Michael Barry briefs our membership every week on key insurance related stories. Here are some highlights. 

 Six people died when a pedestrian walkway collapsed at Florida International University on Thursday, March 15.

The 23-year-old man believed to have been behind the recent Austin, Texas-area bombings died on Wednesday, March 21. Two people were killed this month after separately opening packages which exploded.

A 49-year-old woman died after being struck by an Uber self-driving vehicle in Arizona on Sunday, March 18. The Wall Street Journal examined its insurance implications.

 

Hail Spring

Source: Farmers Insurance

As those us who are shoveling out from Winter Storm Toby can confirm, the first days of spring don’t always mean warm weather and budding flowers. Instead, the arrival of spring can be accompanied by blizzards, flooding and hail storms.

Farmers Insurance has recently analyzed five years’ worth of auto insurance claims data to come up the top 10 states for hail damage to cars – Montana, Colorado and Kansas are at the top of the list.

Farmers’ data also shows that in the spring season hail accounts for 58 percent of all comprehensive auto claims and water and flooding accounts for 38 percent of comprehensive claims. An interesting fact –  32 percent of collision claims due to a car door opening into traffic occur in spring!

For more on property losses due to hail damage see the I.I.I.’s Facts + Statistics: Hail

The challenge of population projections: future strain on Medicare and Social Security may be even greater than Census figures would suggest

By Steven Weisbart, Chief Economist, Insurance Information Institute

A few days ago, the Census Bureau made news based on its latest projection of the population of the United States over the next 40 years. One observation that the Bureau made was that the number of people over age 65 would soon outstrip the number under age 18—the first time that has happened in our history.

But one sharp-eyed economist/demographer quickly questioned the underlying projections, at least for the near term. Tom Lawler noted that one of the assumptions in the Census Bureau projections is expected deaths by age group which, for seven 10-year age groups from 15 to 85, were far below recent data published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). For example, in the 35-44 age group, the Census Bureau projection for the July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017 year was for 62,599 deaths, whereas for the 2016 calendar year the NCHS reported 77,792 deaths.

The Census Bureau was also off in the other direction, according to Lawler’s citing of the NCHS data, in over-projecting deaths for the under-1-year age group (39,741 for the Census Bureau, 23,161 for NCHS) and for the 85-and-over age group (909,723 for the Census Bureau, 854,462 for NCHS).

There are several reasons why getting the level and trend of population projections right is important. From any business viewpoint (including insurance), the number and life-stage of customers, as well as potential workers, can have a significant effect on plans for growth. More specifically, using the NCHS numbers implies a smaller “prime working age” population (ages 25-54) than the Census Bureau projects, coupled with a larger 85-and-older population—suggesting greater strain on Social Security and Medicare than would otherwise be expected.

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