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Weekly News Roundup, March 22

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In this week's news will talk about Self-driving trucks crashing insurance, State Farm to pull out of 72,000 California insurance policies, and much more…

Supreme Court may allow insurers more say in bankruptcy cases

During a Supreme Court session on Tuesday, justices appeared to lean towards granting insurers a significant role in bankruptcy cases, during a dispute over asbestos injury claims. The discussion revolved around an appeal by Farmers Insurance Group company Truck Insurance Exchange, which is challenging a settlement proposed by Kaiser Gypsum in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan. This case could set a precedent affecting future mass tort bankruptcies, where large settlements are often supported by insurance funds.

Kaiser Gypsum, a manufacturer of building materials, has proposed a bankruptcy plan to establish a $50 million trust for individuals claiming that exposure to asbestos in the company’s products led to their cancer. This fund would be largely supported by the company’s insurance policies. Truck Insurance Exchange has raised objections to this plan, arguing that it lacks measures to eliminate fraudulent claims and minimize the insurer’s financial burden.

SiriusPoint collaborates with NIP for new nationwide E&S platform

Specialty re/insurer SiriusPoint has joined forces with NIP Group to launch a new excess and surplus (E&S) program underwriting platform.

It is tailored for landscaping firms in the United States, offering coverage for services ranging from landscape construction to snow removal.

The initial focus on the LandPro program will set the stage for subsequent expansion of these solutions to additional NIP programs, it was stated.

Westfield creates new strategic role

Stuart Rosenberg has been appointed as president of standard lines at Westfield.

In the newly created role, Rosenberg is tasked with spearheading the strategic initiatives for both the personal and commercial insurance segments, marking a significant step in the company’s growth aspirations.

Rosenberg’s journey with Westfield spans over 20 years, during which he has held several key positions, including enterprise leader for personal insurance, chief innovation and strategy officer, and interim commercial insurance head.

Notably, in 2018, Rosenberg was instrumental in founding 1848 Ventures, Westfield’s subsidiary focused on innovation. The venture aims to extend the company’s reach by developing solutions that go beyond traditional insurance products, specifically designed to mitigate a wide array of risks for small businesses.

State Farm to pull out of 72,000 California insurance policies

State Farm General Insurance Company has just announced that it is taking strategic steps to secure its future viability within California's insurance market. This involves a series of significant changes affecting a subset of their clientele across the golden state.

Specifically, the company plans to discontinue renewals for around 30,000 policies, including homeowners, rental dwellings, and other property insurance such as those for residential community associations and business owners. Last year the insurer halted new homeowners policies being issued in the state.

Self-driving trucks crashing insurance?

The road to self-driving trucks may be paved with insurance disruption, but there’s a long way ahead.

That’s according to insurance broking experts, who remain skeptical that autonomous trucking will reshape transportation insurance in at least the coming decade.

“It’s a way off still, I don’t know that I’ll ever see it in my career,” said Risk Strategies VP Brian Jungeberg.

The transportation insurance specialist pointed to self-driving trucks “plugging along” in the testing phase, with price and availability also holding back widespread adoption back.