The Friday Five: Week of November 4, 2019

by Jen Smoldt on November 7, 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:

“Great underwriters anticipate and are intellectually curious about what emerging risks will impact whatever risk it is they're underwriting. They analyze the data and the analytics to question it versus relying on it.” -Dave Seeley, consultant with Russell Reynolds Associates

  1. The write stuff...An annual survey of underwriters reveals great underwriters don't just affect profit and loss, they attract better risks, bring in new business and improve the customer experience: “What makes a good underwriter is the standard stuff—good technical skills, a sense of the marketplace and so on. What makes a great underwriter is a rather abstract idea—one of leadership, of creating a following. It's people who have a growth mindset.”
  2. Do building codes make a difference? H-E-(double-hockey-sticks) yes...Research reveals 51% of houses in Paradise, California built with the state’s updated 2008 building codes survived the 2018 Camp Fire; in contrast, only 18% of houses without the updated building codes survived. A new report by the Insurance Information Institute says boosting resilience to wildfires needs to be an insurance industry priority. 
  3. Speaking of wildfires and resilience...There have been 10 weather and climate disaster events that have caused more than $1 billion in damages since the start of the year, already nearly double the average of 6.3 events for each full-year between 1980 and 2018. This is prompting Wall Street to incorporate a new risk metric when evaluating companies: climate resiliency.
  4. A hurricane in November? Maybe...Hurricane season is winding down but we’re not out of the woods yet. According to the National Hurricane Center, the Atlantic has averaged two hurricane formations after Oct. 7, so in a typical year, we might expect one more hurricane before the season is done.
  5. Got flood risk? You need context…What’s holding insurers back from maximizing private flood opportunities in states like Florida that are ripe for private flood insurance policies? Context. The ability to assess flood risk with multiple data points and sources in one place—and in the context of an insurer's own portfolio—is critical to accurately evaluating flood risk.

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

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Topics: wildfire risk, Insurance underwriting, Flood risk, climate change

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