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Jul 22
Industry Roundup: July 22, 2021

Biden Executive Order Takes​​ Aim at Noncompete Agreements

President Biden signed an executive order that the White House says is meant to promote competition in the American economy. The order includes 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies to tackle what President Biden says are some of the most pressing competition problems across the U.S. economy.


What are the Longe​​​r-Term Implications of the Florida Condo Collapse?

Authorities still don't know what caused Champlain Towers South to give way last month in Surfside, Florida, killing at least 46 people and leaving more than 90 unaccounted for. But early leads point to cracked concrete and frequent flooding in the building's garage -- damage that apparently went unaddressed for years amid questions over how to fund repairs.


Connecticut Be​​​comes 19th State to Legalize Recreational Cannabis

Connecticut recently became the 19th state to legalize cannabis for recreational use after Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation into law. On July 01, it became legal for adults 21 and older in Connecticut to possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana. However, it will likely be at least a year before the cannabis industry is up and running in the state, according to a report by NBC Connecticut.


Biden Under P​​​ressure to Counter Growing Ransomware Threat

President Joe Biden on Wednesday discussed the possibility of responding to a spate of ransomware attacks against U.S. entities that are believed to be perpetrated by Russian-linked hackers, a growing concern for his administration.


Policyholder Loses First C​OVID-19 Coverage Appellate Case

On July 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit delivered a ruling in the first appellate court case regarding pandemic-related business interruption coverage that is sure to be a blow to insureds nationwide litigating with insurers over denied claims. The Eighth Circuit ruled in Oral Surgeons PC v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co. that the lower court did not err in dismissing the suit brought by Oral Surgeons on the basis that it failed to plead any physical alteration to the property.


Cyber Insurance Rates Likely to Ris​​e Amid Escalating Ransomware Attacks

Companies looking to purchase insurance against cyberattacks in which their data is held for ransom will soon find it more expensive and difficult to obtain, according to a cybersecurity expert. Brent Arnold, a partner at law firm Gowlings WLG in Toronto, said Canada is facing a proliferation of criminal attacks that use software to lock up corporate data that can only be released by paying a ransom to get an encryption key.


Allstate Reveals Estimated ​​Catastrophe Losses

The Allstate Corporation has announced estimated catastrophe losses for the month of June of $195 million, or $154 million after tax. Catastrophe losses for the second quarter totaled $752 million after tax, the company said.


Global P/C Industry Sees Strongest Rate Hikes in 20 Years but Inflation Headwinds ​​Loom

Robust global economic recovery, higher risk awareness and the strongest rate hardening for 20 years in non-life insurance commercial lines will combine to push premiums 10% above pre-COVID-19-crisis levels this year, creating a faster bounceback than from the global financial crisis, according to a report published by Swiss Re.


U.S. Launches 'Stop Ran​​somware' Website; Offers Reward Up to $10M

The State Department will offer rewards up to $10 million for information leading to the identification of anyone engaged in foreign state-sanctioned malicious cyber activity against critical U.S. infrastructure — including ransomware attacks — and the White House has launched a task force to coordinate efforts to stem the ransomware scourge.


Just Text M​e: Policyholders' Communication Preferences Revealed

When it comes to how they want to be engaged, more than 80% of consumers said they prefer texting with an insurance company or agent, according to a survey by Hi Marley Inc., which reported 80% of consumers feel insurance companies that text build closer customer bonds.


U.S. News & World Re​​port: Top U.S. Home Insurers of 2021

With the housing market heating up during the past year, it isn't surprising to find that shopping for personal property insurance skyrocketed as well. TransUnion reports for the week of March 3, 2021, property insurance shopping grew 24.6% compared with the year prior. In early January, the rate increased 26% compared with the same period in 2020. See the top nine highest-rated home insurance companies, according to U.S. News & World Report


ACT Tech Summit Regi​​​stration Open

The Big “I" Agents Council for Technology (ACT) has opened registration for the ACT Tech Summit to be held Oct. 13-14. This free virtual conference will provide strategic insights from agency, carrier and technology provider experts on digital solutions to industry challenges.


New Webinar Series: Website Wording Liabilities from the Big 'I'

The Big “I" Professional Liability Risk Management team invites Big “I" members to attend its complimentary new webinar series, Your Website Says WHAT? How Your Agency's Online Presence Puts Your Business at Risk.  This series of webinars is focused on the errors & omissions issues created by agency websites and an agency's overall marketing efforts.

Register for each session:

July 27—The Claims Adjusters' Perspective

August 10—The Auditors' Perspective

August 24—Wrap-Up


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