Latest Studies

Pandemic risk: Impact, modeling and transfer
Joseph Qiu, Patricia Born and Martin Grace
Risk Management and Insurance Review ;
November 10, 2020

This report reviews the insured loss from the coronavirus and its effect on the insurance industry and also evaluates the industry's use of modeling capability. The authors offer suggestions on how models could be improved and their use in insuring pandemic risk, and then discuss the nonmodeling factors involved in risk transfer and the roles of governments. The report presents a table listing the likely COVID claims, the possible increases in loss activities and possible decrease in loss activities. The report has multiple exhibits, including a bar graph showing the expected direct premium written by the world's property/casualty insurers and the world's gross domestic product from the beginning of the pandemic and projected over 13 following periods, based on data from the World Bank and the Triple-I. Attention is also given to nonmodeling elements necessary for the successful functioning of the pandemic insurance and reinsurance markets, such as the role of government. Full Report

The impacts of the coronavirus on the economy of the United States
Terrie Walmsley, Adam Rose and Dan Wei
Springer Nature Switzerland;
December 10, 2020

This analysis of the macroeconomic effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S., China and other nations worldwide first acknowledges the uncertainties about the severity and length of COVID-19 infections and conditions related to the illness. The study considers three potential scenarios: the first, relatively moderate; the second, more severe; and the third, disastrous. A comprehensive list of causal factors is examined for each scenario, including mandatory closures and the process of gradual reopenings; declines in the workforce due to avoidance behavior or fatalities; rising demand for healthcare; declining demand for public transportation and recreation activities; potential resilience through working remotely; rising demand for communication services; and the accumulation of delayed demand. All three scenarios project net losses from the pandemic over a period of two years in the range of $3.2 trillion to $4.8 trillion, or 14.3 percent to 23.0 percent of the U.S. GDP, respectively. Full report

COVID-19's impact on medical treatment in workers compensation--a first look at 2020
David Colon and Raji Chadarevian
NCCI Research Brief;
December 07, 2020

The National Council on Compensation Insurance is monitoring the most recent medical data to understand the effect the pandemic has had on various aspects of the medical system related to workers compensation, tracking quarterly results and comparing the latest data with data before the coronavirus outbreak. This article presents some of the aggregated-multi-state results of these metrics from the first and second quarter of 2020. Future updates will appear on, where a medical data dashboard will include state-specific results that allow users to compare the effect on one state to a multi-state benchmark. The key cost indicators of COVID-19 claims are data on hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) treatment. Total active claim volume declined during the second quarter of 2020 as the use of telemedicine increased, and in-person services decreased, while the share of claims with surgery remained unchanged. Full Report

US social inflation amid the COVID-19 recession--here to stay?
Thomas Holzheu
Swiss Re Institute;
December 03, 2020

According to this report, the trend of social inflation will continue in U.S. courts and outsized awards for non-economic damages will increase the losses in commercial liability lines of business. Although disinflationary forces attributed to the pandemic will relieve economic pressure, the economic downturn is expected to exacerbate such contributing social trends as inequality. Public policies promoting societal inclusion are clearly needed, and insurers could benefit by giving more attention to liability exposure management, product innovation and improving their defense strategies. Recent U.S. liability claims increases are concentrated in large verdicts and large commercial defendants. For general liability, the trend in the probability distribution of losses is toward large claims rather than increases in the severity of average claims. Multiple exhibits are included. Full report

Judicial Hellholes 2020-2021
The American Tort Reform Foundation;
December 08, 2020

The 2020-2021 Judicial Hellholes report from the American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF) focuses on nine jurisdictions that have either allowed questionable lawsuits to proceed or have welcomed litigation tourism. In each of the jurisdictions, the state's policymakers appear to be expanding civil liability. Although most states saw a decline in litigation because of the pandemic, the following Judicial Hellholes are expected to lead in the resumption of litigation in 2021: Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; New York City; California; South Carolina asbestos litigation; Louisiana; Georgia; City of St. Louis, Missouri; Cook, Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois; and Minnesota. The report summarizes the excessive verdicts and rulings that make each of these jurisdictions attractive to out-of-state plaintiffs. The report also includes a watch list of seven additional jurisdictions that have histories of abusive litigation or disturbing developments. Real-time monitoring of Judicial Hellhole activity by ATRF may be followed throughout the year at

Social inflation: Navigating the changing claims environment
Darren Pain
The Geneva Association;
December 17, 2020

Broadly defined, social inflation includes all the ways that insurers' claims costs increase at a rate higher than overall inflation and might include any change in societal attitudes that make some insurers better positioned to manage risk. In a narrower sense, social inflation reflects developments in legislation and litigation that affect insurers' legal liabilities and claims costs. Social inflation trends can occur periodically or in waves that alter the entire liability environment. The failure of insurers to recognize persistent social inflation may result in under-reserving and underpricing and could affect the financial stability of insurers over the long term, since liability lines are often long-tail and exposure to substantial claims may emerge very slowly. Insurers are encouraged to respond to the increased effects of social inflation by investing in liability management of anticipated exposures and through product innovation. The report includes multiple exhibits, including a color-coded map of the world to show the spread of third-party litigation funding in developing, developed and highly developed nations. Full report