As the federal and state governments discuss plans for “reopening the economy,” it’s important to recognize and plan for the fact that the impacts of the virus and our responses to it will be playing out for some time to come.
Were auto insurers too quick to give back?
Despite record-low vehicle miles traveled, Digital Insurance reports, severe and fatal crashes in U.S. cities have increased since COVID-19. There have been more speeding and more severe and deadly crashes than before the business shutdowns and sheltering in place instituted in response to the pandemic.
In New York City, traffic volume decreased between 78% and 92% compared to January, but there was a 57% increase in speeding violations in the 10 days following the governor’s stay at home orders. And there were six deadly crashes from March 2 to April 8, which is more deadly crashes than the same time period in any of the previous five years.
Numbers like these suggest the auto insurers that have returned more than $10 billion to policyholders through premium relief – on the premise that fewer cars on the road would mean fewer crashes and claims – might have acted prematurely.
A.I. to enforce social distance, limit liability
Reuters reports that stores and other workplaces eager to avoid spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 are equipping existing security cameras with artificial intelligence software that can track compliance with health guidelines including social distancingA. and mask-wearing.
The software will allow them to show not only workers and customers, but also insurers and regulators, that they are monitoring and enforcing safe practices.
“The last thing we want is for the governor to shut all our projects down because no one is behaving,” said Jen Suerth, vice president at Chicago-based Pepper Construction, which introduced software this month to detect workers grouping at a project in Illinois.
In other COVID-19 reporting:
Detroit Car Makers Target May 18 U.S. Restart Date (The Wall Street Journal, 4/27/20)
Expect an Increase in Auto Insurance Adaptations (Property/Casualty 360, 4/27/20)
Liability and Litigation
The Legal Fight Between Insurers and Businesses Is Expanding (The Wall Street Journal, 4/29/20)
Fearing Raft of Lawsuits, Businesses Seek Shield From Pandemic Liability (The New York Times, 4/29/20)
Most Firms Neglected Pandemics in Annual Risk Assessments: Study (Insurance Journal, 4/28/20)
Insurance Considerations for Cargo Owners During COVID-19 (Property/Casualty 360, 4/28/20)
Calif.: Immigrant Workers Eligible for COVID-19-Related WC Benefits (Property/Casualty 360, 4/28/20)
States Aim to Expand Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19 (The Wall Street Journal, 4/27/20)
Employers plot strategies for bringing workers back onsite (Business Insurance, 4/24/2020)
From the Triple-I Blog:
SOME WAYS TO THINK ABOUT VIRUS’S IMPACT ON AUTO INSURER PROFITABILITY
ARE LIFE INSURERS DENYING BENEFITS FOR DEATHS RELATED TO COVID-19?