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Robust economies set to drive insurance growth and profitability: Swiss Re Institute 0

Robust economies set to drive insurance growth and profitability: Swiss Re Institute

Major economies are more resilient than expected, with global GDP growth forecast at 2.7% in real terms in 2024 Non-life hard market expected to continue over 2024 and 2025 as inflation and rising claims costs push rates higher Higher interest rates to boost both growth and profitability for life insurance business in 2024 Armonk, NY (July 16, 2024) – Geopolitical tensions and higher inflation have led to economic concern in recent years. Swiss Re Institute’s annual World Insurance sigma report finds that the global economy has remained remarkably resilient, setting the scene for growth and improved profitability across the insurance industry. Jérôme Haegeli, Swiss Re’s Group Chief Economist says: “The insurance industry has reached a new equilibrium after the challenges of recent years. The global economy has surprised on the upside, which should drive more demand for insurance. The life sector in particular is one to watch as higher interest rates drive investment income and consumer demand for annuities, giving more people secure retirement incomes.” Continuing global growth for 2024 and 2025 Swiss Re Institute estimates that global gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 2.7% in real terms in 2024, the same as 2023. This resilient growth is expected...

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Hurricane Beryl Caused Estimated $2-3B in Insured Losses to U.S. Property: Verisk

Article 0 Comments Estimated industry insured losses to onshore property from wind in the U.S. for Hurricane Beryl will range between $2 billion to $3 billion, Verisk’s Extreme Event Solutions business unit said. Beryl made landfall near Matagorda Bay, Texas the morning of July 8 as a Category 1 hurricane. The storm tracked north as it moved further inland, hitting the Houston region head on. The storm caused heavy rainfall, leading to roadways and homes becoming flooded throughout the Houston area and parts of western Louisiana. Wind damage included reports of tree damage to roofs, moderate levels of damage in the form of broken windows and tree damage to residential and apartment complexes, Verisk said. Nearly 3 million households lost power in Texas from Beryl, including more than 2.2 million in Harris County alone. “Widespread and prolonged power outages in Texas are likely to be a legacy of Beryl’s arrival in the state,” Verisk said. “The outages could well drive significant claims due to food spoilage, mold, and losses to additional living expenses and business interruption coverages.” Verisk’s loss estimates do not include losses from storm surge, losses paid out by the National Flood Insurance Program, losses to inland marine,...

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Global IT Crash That Blocked 911 Calls and Grounded Planes Eases

Article 1 Comment In what will go down as the most spectacular IT failure the world has ever seen, a botched software update from cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. crashed countless Microsoft Windows computer systems globally. Microsoft Corp. and CrowdStrike have rolled out fixes and systems are being restored. But for several hours, bankers in Hong Kong, doctors in the UK and emergency responders in New Hampshire found themselves locked out of programs critical to keeping their operations afloat. “This is unprecedented,” said Alan Woodward, professor of cybersecurity at Surrey University. “The economic impact is going to be huge.” The catastrophic failure underscores an increasingly dire threat to global supply chains: The IT systems of some of the world’s biggest and most critical industries have grown heavily dependent on a handful of relatively obscure software vendors, which are now emerging as single points of failure. In recent months hackers have exploited this phenomenon, targeting vendors to bring down entire sectors and governments. Adding to the disruption, Microsoft experienced a separate and apparently unrelated problem with its Azure cloud service on Thursday that lasted for several hours. On Friday afternoon, the company said in a post on X that all Microsoft...

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Tesla’s California Car Registrations Fall for Third Straight Quarter

Article 1 Comment Registrations of Tesla cars in California fell 24% in the April to June period, marking the third consecutive quarter that the company posted a sales drop in its key market, indicating mounting challenges for the EV maker, according to industry data on Thursday. High interest rates and stiff competition have softened demand for electric vehicles as consumers opt for less-expensive hybrid cars. Potential Tesla customers in the United States have been shying away from buying its electric cars, partly due to CEO Elon Musk’s polarizing persona. Musk’s embrace of Republicans and outspoken comments have sparked concerns about Tesla’s brand, especially in liberal states such as California, which accounts for 10% of the company’s global deliveries. The world’s richest man publicly endorsed former President Donald Trump for the first time in the U.S. presidential race after the assassination attempt on the Republican candidate on Saturday. Tesla’s California registrations fell to 52,211 vehicles in the second quarter, according to a report by the California New Car Dealers Association. The battery electric vehicle market slipped only 1.3% during the period. In contrast, sales of hybrid vehicles surged 22% in California. Related: California Needs a Million EV Charging Stations — But...

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Goldman’s Top Stock Analyst Is Waiting for AI Bubble to Burst

What You Need to Know It happened with dot-com companies in the late 1990s and more recently with cryptocurrencies, says Jim Covello. One survey found that fewer than half of companies investing in AI have yet to see a significant return. AI has shown the promise of making some jobs like coding more efficient, but not by nearly enough to justify the expense. Over three decades on Wall Street, Jim Covello has learned how painful it can be to bet against an inflating tech stock bubble. The market has a way of minting riches, month after month, even after it’s clear the latest breakthroughs aren’t playing out quite as expected. It happened with dot-com companies in the late 1990s and more recently with cryptocurrencies. And Covello, the head of equity research at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., says it’ll likely happen with artificial intelligence, too, making it dangerous, if not outright foolish, to start wagering against the likes of Nvidia Corp. And yet, he has no doubt that the reckoning is coming. It might not be this year or even next year, for that matter, but at some point, he says, it’s happening. As he sees it, the hundreds of billions...

CFOs and CEOs Identify AI as the Technology with the Greatest Impact in the Next Three Years: Gartner Survey 0

CFOs and CEOs Identify AI as the Technology with the Greatest Impact in the Next Three Years: Gartner Survey

Growth Remains Top Priority for CFOs and CEOs, While Views Differ on Sustainability and Cost Management Stamford, CT (July 16, 2024) – A new survey by Gartner reveals that 62% of CFOs and 58% of CEOs believe that AI will have the most significant impact on their industries in the next three years. The Gartner survey of 247 CEOs and CFOs, polled in July 2023 – December 2023, was conducted to examine CEO and senior business executive views on current business issues, as well as some areas of technology agenda impact. “CFOs and CEOs are both focused firstly on profitable growth with nearly two-thirds of respondents in both groups putting this in their top three strategic business priorities,” said Alexander Bant, Chief of Research in the Gartner Finance Practice. “After that, technology and workforce are the next highest priorities with approximately a third of respondents selecting these in their top three. “While AI has enormous potential to transform industries, three years is a short time horizon to do so. Senior executives must manage their expectations and be fully aware of the organizational challenges they will face.” CFOs and CEOs are similarly aligned on growth, with both groups selecting it as...

CSIO’s My Proof of Insurance (MPOI) Enhanced Features Now Available 0

CSIO’s My Proof of Insurance (MPOI) Enhanced Features Now Available

Toronto, ON (July 16, 2024) – In 2018, CSIO responded to the growing demand for a seamless way for insurers and brokers to transmit eSlips (proof of auto insurance) to their customers’ digital wallets by launching My Proof of Insurance (MPOI). Related policy documents for home, auto and business insurance are sent by email from insurance providers and brokers, enabling customers to save them to computers and mobile devices, saving time and money. The response from insurers, brokers and customers has been extremely positive – since the launch of MPOI, over 3 million digital documents have been sent by CSIO members to their customers. As demand increases, CSIO continues to facilitate the safe and seamless transmission of documents and eSlips to customers. Brokers and insurers alike realize benefits from MPOI, eliminating printing and postage expenses, all while expediting document delivery. Android devices represent approximately 40% of all smartphones used by Canadians. With the latest Android release, MPOI users can now use the Google Wallet to store their eSlips sent via MPOI without downloading a third-party app (available to Android9 or higher). Responding to industry and customer demands, CSIO continues to add new features to MPOI. Supported by bank-grade security, MPOI...

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People Moves: Liberty Mutual Re Taps Aon’s De La Mare to Lead New Australia/New Zealand Unit; H.W. Kaufman London Names AIG’s Greensmith to Lead Int’l Portfolio

Article 0 Comments This edition of International People Moves details appointments at Liberty Mutual Re and H.W. Kaufman Group London. A summary of these new hires follows here. Liberty Mutual Re Taps Aon’s De La Mare to Lead Australia/New Zealand Unit LM Re, part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has announced the appointment of Mark De La Mare to the role of head of Australia and New Zealand, effective October 2024. He will report to James Green, head of Property, London, and John McCabe, chief operating officer, Asia Pacific. De La Mare will be leading the LM Re underwriting team based in Sydney, playing a pivotal role in LM Re’s strategy for the region. The launch of LM Re Australia marks a significant development, replacing the ARUS MGA that previously managed LM Re’s Australasia portfolio, written through Lloyd’s, the company explained. The new team will continue to build out Liberty’s existing business in Australia, and demonstrates our commitment and continuity to our clients, aligning with LM Re’s goal to provide direct and customised reinsurance solutions to our key markets. Mark De La Mare De La Mare joins LM Re from Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions, where he most recently held the position...

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Nasdaq 100 Set for Worst Day Since December 2022

U.S. 10-year yields were little changed at 4.15%. The dollar fell against most major peers, with the yen up 1.3%. The Biden administration is in a tenuous position. U.S. companies feel that restrictions on exports to China have unfairly punished them and are pushing for changes. Allies, meanwhile, see little reason to alter their policies when the presidential election is just a few months away. “Normally, the impact of these types of headlines isn’t long-lasting, but in this case, we would note that semis have been underperforming the broader market for the last couple of weeks now,” said Bespoke Investment Group strategists. “So that’s something to watch.” The tech underperformance is coming after a first half which saw megacaps like Nvidia, Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. propel the market higher, stretching valuations for these names and leaving them with a tougher setup for the rest of 2024. At Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Scott Rubner says “I am not buying the dip.” The tactical strategist bets the S&P 500 has nowhere to go from here but down. That’s because this Wednesday, July 17, has historically marked a turning point for returns on the equity benchmark, he said, citing data going back to 1928. And...

Social Inflation: Decades Of Insurance Litigation Abuse 0

Social Inflation: Decades Of Insurance Litigation Abuse

by Stephen Applebaum and Alan Demers — The scourge of legal abuse in insurance is hardly new or even recent but rather has been insidiously growing throughout the industry for decades.  Referred to today as social inflation, the stakes are higher and so-called “tort reform” seems distant with no signs of slowing. Some 86% of Americans agree state and federal lawmakers should address the abuses of the U.S. legal system (see APCIA/MunichRe survey results below). The insurance industry can no longer rely on current strategies and responses to this threat, nor can it continue to absorb and pass along the associated costs to policyholders. HISTORY/BACKGROUND The term “social inflation” was first coined by Warren Buffett in 1977 in a letter to Berkshire Hathaway stockholders, where he defined it as “a broad definition by society and juries of what is covered by insurance policies”.  In 2010, reinsurer PartnerRe expanded on the definition in a whitepaper stating that social inflation is the increase in insurance losses caused by: Higher jury awards More liberal treatment of claims by workers’ compensation boards Increased use of social media Increasing attorney involvement in claims Social developments that influence jury members and lead to very high jury...