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PG&E exits Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Pacific Gas & Electric announced in early July that it emerged from its highly contentious bankruptcy. The nation’s largest utility initially filed bankruptcy to protect itself after its aging power grid ignited devastating wildfires in 2017 and 2018 that cost more than 100 people their lives. Another 80,000 Californians lost homes, businesses or suffered property damages. The utility paid $5.4 billion in funds and 22.19% of its stock into a trust for victims of the fires it caused.

What is an insurance appraisal?

Insurance appraisals are a tool used here in California and other states to resolve disputes carriers and policyholders regarding coverage. The areas in question often revolve around whether the policy covers the claim, the details of the claim, what was damaged and how much is the claim worth. The two sides may opt to resolve their differences through litigation. Still, they can address the issue using an insurance appraisal, an onsite inspection of the property by a panel with all interested parties present.

Restaurants file business interruption lawsuits

Many restaurant and bar owners invested in business interruption coverage in case there is a forced shutdown to a business. Here in California, the thinking was that the closure would be due to a fire. Of course, this catastrophe has now come to pass with the spread of the coronavirus causing COVID-19. Policyholders took comfort once the shutdown occurred because they thought they could get money from their carriers to pay bills and payroll.

New Mexico using satellites to track wildfires in real-time

Many Californians have seen images of wildfires from every possible angle, including from outer space. While it makes for exciting pictures with tragic implications regarding deaths of humans and wildlife as well as damage to land and property, New Mexico has turned to satellites to track fires and allocate resources in real-time.

California to create insurance for cannabis business

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara wrote a new white paper that provides a framework for insurance regulators and how they should address the legal cannabis market. It deals with the medical marijuana sector as well as the recreational market. The goal is to regulate insurance for the cannabis industry in California as well as markets in other states.

Car insurance fraud hurts carriers and clients

Many shake their heads every time they pay a car insurance bill. This may explain why there is an estimated $29 billion in insurance fraud committed by one in 10 drivers on the road each year. These acts could be strategic omissions of little things like a speeding ticket from three years ago or adding a false claim of whiplash if the policyholder was in a car crash. This is rationalized as one person sticking it just a little bit to some giant corporation that is “paid for doing nothing,” but there are also claimants out there engaged in criminal behavior.

California institutes insurance moratoriums

California insurance commissioner Ricardo Lara has instituted a one-year moratorium (officially listed as SB 824) that bans carriers from dropping the policies of homeowners living in areas struck by wildfires in 2019. This will provide some relief for about 800,000 homeowners who live in the areas around 16 major wildfires in California this year, including the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. The moratorium will last until December 5, 2020.

New report urges insurance industry to consider climate change

Climate change is a reality that is getting harder and harder to deny. It’s a fact that it is responsible for melting the polar icecaps, creating increasingly volatile weather patterns and making long-term changes to the environment.

Cybersecurity still a significant concern

Chubb Limited is one of the leading players in the global insurance market. It offers a wide array of insurance products and continues to be a thought leader. Now according to its Third Annual Cyber Report, there should be much concern by businesses over the status of their cybersecurity. It notes that hackers or cyber breaches concern eight in 10 Americans, but this concern is undercut by employee complacency.

Insurers help design disaster-resistant homes

Some of the most beautiful properties in California are unfortunately in areas prone to fires and other human-made or natural disasters. Those who wish and can afford to build there nevertheless still want to avoid receiving money property losses – there has been $170 billion paid in property losses here in the U.S. since 2016. With climate change a reality, that number is likely to continue to rise. This has led insurers to get involved with the planning and building of properties.

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