Latest Studies

Rebuilding better: global economic and insurance market outlook 2021/22
Swiss Re Institute;
November 11, 2020

This report estimates that worldwide insured losses related to the coronavirus pandemic will total between $50 billion and $80 billion. It projects global non-life premium growth will remain positive at 1.1 percent in 2020 and rebound to 3.6 percent growth in 2021 and 2022, with continued rate hardening momentum, particularly in commercial lines, underpinning the recovery. Global life premium volumes are predicted to contract by 4.5 percent this year, but also recover strongly to annual 3% trend growth over the next two years. The most robust recovery is expected in China, where nonlife premiums will rise an estimated 10 percent annually over the next two years. Andreas Berger, chief executive officer of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, says market conditions in both the demand and supply sides suggest that pricing strength will continue. "The low interest rate environment and the ongoing social inflation in the U.S. will be key drivers of market hardening," Berger said. The report concludes that the industry's rate strength has been led by commercial lines in nearly all regions. Full report

Patterns in Auto Physical Damage Insurance Claims
Insurance Research Council;
November 30, 2020

The average payment for auto physical damage insurance claims increased at more than double the rate of inflation from 2010 through 2018, according to this study. Average payments increased 3.7 percent annualized during the study period, while the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI), as well as the CPI for motor vehicle maintenance and repair, grew 1.8 percent annualized. “Damage to vehicles accounts for a growing share of the costs of paying auto insurance claims,” said David Corum, CPCU, vice president of the IRC. “As vehicle technology continues to evolve, an understanding of the cost drivers behind auto physical damage claims will be important in addressing issues in auto insurance availability and affordability.” The study presents findings from a collection of more than 220,000 claims closed with payment under the three principal private passenger auto physical damage coverages in claim years 2010, 2014, and 2018. For more information on the study’s methodology and findings, contact David Corum at (484) 831-9046 or by email at News Release

Wildfire Risk: Are We Building Just to Burn?
November 18, 2020

This study identified 13 U.S. counties where wildfire risk is highest based on data from climate models capturing changing temperatures, precipitation, and atmospheric CO2 to model the interaction of these meteorological and climatological systems with vegetation. The riskiest county, Placer, County CA, saw population growth of 7 percent and added over 3 thousand new homes in recent years. The push into the wildland-urban interface during the previous decade is reflected in the consistently higher population growth and share of new construction in cities with moderate-to-high wildfire risk compared to their parent regions as a whole. On the other hand, population growth and development in very risky cities is generally much lower than in the full regions they’re a part of. The report speculates that low growth in the riskiest of cities is due not to the appropriate consideration of wildfire risk into the home buying and building decisions but to the distance of the riskiest cities from the job core which lessens the development pressure. The study also forecasts burned acreage totals in each county through 2050. The Salt Lake City metro area, is where the typical resident has the highest probability of experiencing a wildfire in the future, thanks to the area’s grasslands, alpine forests, and dry high desert. Full report

The Harsh Realities of Phone Distraction
Cambridge Mobile Telematics ;
November 12, 2020

This study concludes that distracted driving related to the use of phones continues to rise despite education programs and state laws. Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) analyzed 54 trips recorded in 2019 and found that at least 20 seconds of cumulative phone distraction occurred in 37 percent of car trips, a level that increased to 41 percent during daytime hours. An even more troubling finding was that insurance claims data indicate that at least 19 percent of car crashes in 2019 could be attributed to distractions from phone use. According to CMT, these figures are far greater than those in the reports of state and national traffic safety organizations. The study describes these crash reports as often inadequate and incomplete because phone distraction is not a factor they can accurately record. Full report

Livestock plants and COVID-19 transmission
Charles Taylor, Christopher Boulos and Douglas Almond
November 19, 2020

This study focuses on the spread of COVID-19 in the essential industry of livestock processing, which it says represents a public health risk far greater than the infections among the employees of meatpacking companies. The authors estimate that as of July 21, there were between 236,000 and 310,000 COVID-19 cases (6 to 8 percent of the total) in livestock plants and 4,300 to 5,200 fatalities (3 to 4 percent of the total). The study discusses the potential effects of plant size, industrial concentration, plant shutdowns and policy actions on the number of infections among livestock plants. The researchers found a strong correlation between the transmission of the virus in livestock-processing plants and throughout the local community. Full report