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Weekly News Roundup, December 15

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In this week's news will talk about Allstate secures approval to raise auto insurance rates in three states, Employee benefits reaches 'inflection point, and much more...

Climate insurance, reporting pressures spur real estate resilience drive

An increase in natural catastrophes – and pressure from insurance companies and regulatory reporting requirements – has pushed a growing number of real estate businesses to prioritize building resilience and climate initiatives.

North American real estate managers are increasingly ranking building resilience above other objectives, a recent Verdantix survey of 300 real estate and facilities decision-makers found.

Building resilience is now a top priority for 27% of real estate managers, up from 14% in 2022.

Meanwhile, North American real estate managers are seeing a more significant ESG, decarbonization, and sustainability strategy impact than counterparts in the EMEA region, at 58% versus 47%.

Allstate secures approval to raise auto insurance rates in three states

Allstate has secured regulatory approval to increase auto insurance rates in California, New York, and New Jersey.

CFO Jess Marten said the insurer will be implementing rate increases of 30%, 14.6%, and 20% in the respective states beginning December, with effective dates through February 2024.

These rates are expected to increase annualized written premiums by approximately $1 billion, according to Marten, building on Allstate’s ongoing plan to improve profitability.

Auto insurance rate increases initiated by Allstate since the beginning of the year have led to a premium impact of 11.4%, Marten said. As a result, the insurance giant is expecting annualized written premiums to grow by approximately $2.97 billion.

Is a highly competitive M&A market driving up insurance claims?

Pressure to close deals amid a highly competitive mergers and acquisitions (M&A) environment could have led to a higher number of representations and warranties (R&W) insurance claims this year, despite dealmaking slowing over the past year.

That’s the assessment of experts at Liberty Global Transaction Solutions (Liberty GTS), the M&A insurance arm of Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Liberty GTS’ latest annual claims briefing showed a “predicted uptick” in R&W claims based on the heightened M&A activity of 2021 and early 2022.

“We have seen, particularly during that pandemic period, that we were in a very frothy M&A environment, which was very much a seller’s market,” said Rowan Bamford, president of Liberty GTS.

Employee benefits reaches 'inflection point'

Dramatic shifts in the workplace, compounded by macroeconomic trends and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), have created a perfect storm in employee benefits.

These influences are driving employers to reconsider their benefits strategies, which means that employee benefits providers must rethink their offerings to stay competitive.

One expert said that there has been more change in the business and the role of employee benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic than in the past few decades.

“The employee benefits market is almost at an inflection point,” said Stephanie Shields, head of employee benefits at Equitable.

RPS launches new products for transportation risks

E&S wholesale broker and managing general agency Risk Placement Services (RPS) has announced the launch of three new transportation products for risks with one to 10 power units.

The products are:

  • General Liability for Truckers
  • Motor Truck Cargo for Truckers
  • Auto Physical Damage for truckers

The suite of products, which RPS said was the first of its kind, is available online, making it possible for independent agents to provide a combination of coverages quickly. The products are available to quote, bind and issue in only two minutes through RPS’s Small Business Platform. The company said it plans to continue adding product enhancements to the suite.