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Weekly News Roundup, January 5

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In this week's news will talk about the most lightning-prone areas in the US, how McKinsey agrees to pay $78 million to reimburse insurers, and much more...

Why has Tesla Insurance fallen short for some customers?

When Tesla announced it was venturing into auto insurance in 2019, it promised a better and cheaper insurance experience for electric vehicle (EV) drivers beset by high repair costs and premiums.

But nearly four years since it launched, Tesla Insurance has faced significant challenges and questions over its viability. A slew of consumer complaints drew lawsuits and regulatory scrutiny last year, and the brakes appear to have been put on Tesla Insurance’s launch in Europe, originally slated for 2023.

One analyst Insurance Business spoke to said the EV giant seems to have run into the same problems that other tech firms fall into while trying to enter insurance. At the same time, Tesla may have struggled in handling the operations of its insurance arm.

AXA announces multiple enhancements to employee benefits

AXA has announced an expansion of its employee benefits, effective from Jan. 1, as part of AXA's ongoing commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive corporate culture, and to providing a positive and supportive working environment for its staff.

The enhancements include a notable increase in paid co-parent leave, doubling from 20 days to 40 days. Additionally, AXA is introducing five days each of caregiver leave, fertility leave, and pregnancy loss leave. These changes are designed to offer employees more time to spend with their families during crucial life stages, thereby promoting a healthier work-life balance and addressing a variety of personal needs.

In October, AXA Group launched the “We Care” program across 51 markets globally. This initiative is aimed at supporting employees through significant life events and underscores AXA's dedication to caring for its employees' overall well-being. The program is a step towards creating a healthier, more inclusive, and supportive workplace culture on a global scale.

McKinsey agrees to pay $78 million to reimburse insurers, among others

McKinsey and Company has agreed to pay $78 million to cover some or all costs from an addiction crisis over prescription opioids, according to an AP News report.

The agreement, revealed on Friday in documents filed in federal court in San Francisco, indicates that McKinsey will establish a fund to reimburse insurers, private benefit plans, and others, for some or all of their costs in relation to their prescription opioids. The documents are awaiting the approval of a judge.

According to the report, the insurers argued McKinsey worked with Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, to employ aggressive marketing and sales tactics to overcome doctors’ reservations over the highly addictive drugs. As a result, insurers were reportedly forced to pay for prescription opioids rather than safer, non-addictive and lower-cost drugs. In addition, they claim they had to pay for the opioid addiction treatment that followed.

What insurtech CEOs look for in a partner

Shared vision, openness and strong relationships are all traits that Insurtech CEOs look for in a carrier partner, executives have said.

During a panel session during InsureTech Connect’s 2023 Las Vegas event, insurtech leaders described what they look for when considering how they work with and select insurers and other partners.

Carriers have undergone a “shift” in how they look at insurtech – Policygenius CEO

Over the last decade, a “real shift” has occurred when it comes to insurance carrier willingness to partner with insurtech businesses, according to Jennifer Fitzgerald, Policygenius CEO and co-founder.

The most lightning-prone areas in the US

Five Florida metro areas are among the most at-risk spots for lightning strikes, according to a new report from weather data provider Vaisala.

Vaisala recently published its 2023 Annual Lightning Report. The report, now in its seventh year, revealed a total of more than 242 million in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning events in the continental US in 2023, and more than 2.1 billion lightning events globally.

“2023 set a record for the number of billion-dollar weather disasters in the United States,” said Samuli Hänninen, head of Vaisala Xweather. “By year-end, 19 of the 25 events with losses exceeding $1 billion were attributed to severe storms. Severe weather can also be life-threatening, especially without the right safety measures in place.