The Friday Five: Week of August 12, 2019

by Jen Smoldt on August 15, 2019

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If you care about what’s happening in the world of property and casualty (P&C), then this is the place to be. Each week, we serve up a bite-size roundup of the latest news, hot topics, and (admittedly subjective) tidbits to keep curious insurance professionals, like you, in-the-know.

Quote of the Week:

“With wildfires now a major catastrophe peril, we expect primary insurers and reinsurers to model wildfire risk, particularly in the western US, as they have historically done for hurricanes and earthquakes.” -Moody’s Investor Services

  1. Wildfire risk is the real deal: Global warming has made wildfires a “first tier peril” on par with hurricanes and earthquakes according to Moody's Investors Service. Here’s what you need to know about underwriting wildfire risk... 
  2. Say what? → As wildfires in the Arctic rage into their third month, a cloud of smoke bigger than the European Union is billowing across Siberia. Why is this bad? "The smoke absorbs solar radiation that would otherwise be reflected back to space by the clouds..."
  3. El Niño officially fizzles (and that’s not a good thing): There's now a 45% chance for above-normal tropical activity this season according to NOAA: “El Niño typically suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity, but now that it's gone, we could see a busier season ahead." Be ready with this hurricane guide for P&C insurers...
  4. Flooded Mississippi still a threat: The Mississippi River near New Orleans has been over 11 feet above sea level for more than 200 days, heightening concern of flooding and levee breaches as we enter the most active part of hurricane season.  
  5. A mega event could be a mega problem for reinsurers: Although global reinsurers continue to have strong capital, losses from natural catastrophes wiped out earnings for 5 of the top 20 reinsurers in 2018. “If the industry were to experience a mega event, beyond $50 billion loss, the risk and uncertainty stemming from substantial loss creep could be significant...” 

Missed last week’s Friday Five? Check it out here.  

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Topics: technology innovation, wildfire risk, hurricane risk

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