Insurance Blogs

Weekly News Roundup, February 23

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In this week's news will talk about how Insurance firms launch suicide prevention training program, Google unit appoints global insurance head, and much more...

How telematics is "reshaping" the insurance industry

In the realm of auto insurance, telematics has long been a driving force to minimize risks through the promotion of better driving habits. While it has proven itself for decades within the trucking industry, Brown & Riding principal, SVP, and transportation practice group leader Timothy M Pedersen, Jr says that it can offer so much more, especially in the realm of smaller-sized risks.

“Imagine a world where driving habits, not just location and claims history, determine your business’s insurance premiums,” Pedersen says. “The evolution of telematics in insurance is reshaping the industry, offering a glimpse into this future where data helps drive your rates.”

Telematics technology, which collects and stores data on driving habits through GPS, has evolved significantly since its early days. Pedersen recounts a notable milestone that came in 2004, which was when Qualcomm enhanced the accuracy of positioning by integrating GPS and cellular signals.

Insurance firms launch suicide prevention training program

Underwriting management firm Negley Associates and premier carrier Mental Health Risk Retention Group (MHRRG) have launched a suicide prevention training program for licensed behavioral healthcare providers.

Featuring the expertise of suicide prevention specialist Dr Thomas Joiner, the program consists of a full suite of online video training and downloadable resources.

“This free training program demonstrates a commitment to proactively supporting behavioral healthcare providers and facilitating the provision of high-quality care that helps prevent tragic deaths with a suicide prevention program that combines a dedicated focus on cutting-edge research and evidence-based strategies,” Negley Associates said in a release.

Allstate, State Farm raising rates by double digits

Allstate and State Farm, both based in Illinois, are said to be raising their homeowners' insurance rates in the state by double digits.

Citing the insurance giants’ respective state filings, a Chicago Tribune report said Allstate’s 12.7% hike is being rolled out this week, while State Farm’s 12.3% increase will take effect on different dates – March 15 for new business; May 15, renewals.

In terms of dollar amounts, Allstate’s adjustment will mean an additional $237 per year on top of the average annual premium; for State Farm, around $138.

It was noted that, across the country, the cost of home insurance has gone up by 23% since January last year

Travel insurance marketplace reveals budget-friendly destinations for spring

The cost of spring travel this year has gone up by more than 11%, according to US-based travel insurance marketplace Squaremouth.

According to spring travel data published by Squaremouth, the average trip cost this year stands at $7,719; in 2023, the average price was $6,943; in 2022, $6,599; and in 2021, $6,172.

“High trip costs can result in significant financial loss if you need to unexpectedly cancel your trip,” Squaremouth said. “If you plan on traveling this spring, consider a comprehensive travel insurance plan with trip cancellation to protect your trip investment.

“These plans can cover up to 100% of your prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses, such as hotels and airfare, if you are forced to cancel for a covered reason.”

Google unit appoints global insurance head

Nigel Walsh, who left Deloitte in 2021 to serve as Google’s managing director for insurance, has a new role to play at the tech giant.

The Capgemini alumnus said in a LinkedIn post: “I’m delighted to start my next chapter at Google Cloud, leading our global insurance team. I could not be more excited to do this at a time when the pace of change with technology and specifically AI (artificial intelligence) has never been so exhilarating and relevant to an industry.”