For immediate release
New York Office: Michael Barry, 917-923-8245, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2021—The U.S. insurance industry recognizes governmental policy priorities will change in 2021 given the outcomes of 2020’s elections, a panel agreed today at the Insurance Information Institute’s (Triple-I) annual Joint Industry Forum (JIF).
“What we have seen is nothing less than a tectonic shift in the power structures in D.C. and that is going to have profound implications for the policy initiatives that are going to be inbound toward us as an industry,” said David Sampson, President and CEO, American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), during a panel called Trade Winds Navigation: More Rough Waters or Smooth Sailing Ahead?
Sampson and three other CEOs from insurance industry organizations—Charles Chamness, President and CEO, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC); Peter Miller, President and CEO, The Institutes; and Frank Nutter, President, Reinsurance Association of America (RAA)—agreed the Biden administration and a Democrat-controlled U.S. House and Senate will focus on climate change, tax, and regulatory policies. At the state level, insurers will likely face challenges to risk-based pricing and any efforts to curb the growing costs of litigation due to lawsuit abuse, a few of the CEOs noted. Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I, was the panel’s moderator. The Triple-I is an affiliate of The Institutes.
“Clearly, our industry has been dealing with the consequences of climate change for a long time,” stated Frank Nutter, President, RAA. “The different dynamic in climate that we are going to see in 2021 and beyond is the focus that regulators, both state and federal, are going to place on disclosure, regulatory analysis and financial reporting.”
The U.S. insurance industry earned goodwill with lawmakers and policyholders by responding swiftly and effectively to 2020’s natural disasters, panelists observed. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently chronicled the record-setting 22 weather and climate disasters which each caused at least $1 billion in losses in the U.S. last year. The previous annual record was 16.
“In terms of things that went well, I would start with where we showed our resiliency; the ultimate stress test for our industry,” said Charles Chamness, President and CEO, NAMIC, referring to how insurers and their employees responded to multiple disasters while for the most part working remotely. At the same time, in response to the pandemic-caused economic changes, auto insurers delivered $14 billion in premium relief to drivers and cumulatively donated hundreds of millions of dollars to COVID-19-related charitable causes, Chamness added.
The pandemic will have a long-term impact on the way insurers interact with their policyholders and employees, according to Peter Miller, President and CEO, The Institutes. “I had a board member of ours say 2020 really caused them to do 10 years of innovation in one,” Miller said.