The Friday Five: Week of August 19, 2019

by Jen Smoldt on August 22, 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:

“This is high-octane fuel that is all waiting in the wings for the first storm. This is all untapped, and it will really intensify storms.” -Jim Rouiller, chief meteorologist, commenting about the warm water tucked into the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and U.S. Southeast coastline that threatens to intensify potential hurricanes

  1. Hurricane “season within a season” is about to start...El Niño has fizzled which means: “A big change in the pattern over the Atlantic, going from a very lackluster quiet weather pattern to a much more active one. We are thinking this season will be back-loaded,” according to AccuWeather’s lead hurricane forecaster. Be prepared with these 2019 Hurricane Best Practices...
  2. 2019’s first half losses lower than 2018, but..."secondary perils are taking a larger share of the overall loss burden" according to Swiss Re, who reported $40 billion of the $44 billion in global losses ($13 billion insured) is attributed to natural catastrophes with secondary perils causing the highest losses. 
  3. Speaking of not-so-secondary perils...California’s wildfires could spark reinsurance price increases of 30% to 70% according to S&P who stated, "Reinsurers and carriers aren’t comfortable with their understanding of wildfire risk and are reassessing their risk appetite, with many curtailing or stopping underwriting wildfire risks.” 
  4. What everyone’s talking about: A record number of wildfires are burning in the Amazon rainforest - over 73,000 this year - blanketing some Brazilian states in smoke this week. A major cause of the fires is land clearing for farming and ranching. 
  5. Holy hail claims...The top 5 states for annual hail claims are Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas, with May having the highest monthly average for hail losses at over 200,000. The top 5 cities for hail claims are San Antonio, TX; Colorado Springs, CO; Omaha, NE; Denver, CO; and Plano, TX. Read how you can speed your hail and severe storms customer response with automated notifications...  

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

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Topics: wildfire risk, Hail Risk, hurricane risk

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