Why Commercial Auto Rates Keep Rising

Commercial Auto rates have been rising for more than a decade. What gives? In my recent Leader’s Edge article, Where Are We Going? I dig deeper to find the answer. As you would expect, there are several reasons. The greatest one, in my opinion, is distracted driving. Yes, you have heard that before. However, I did not fully believe until I spoke to an actuary who looked into the data. The fact that commercial auto premium began to climb in 2011 was no accident. Around the

Commercial Property Insurance in Peril

Commercial property insurance was already struggling before COVID-19 hit the scene. Double-digit rate increases were bad enough but hit the highest in 35 years.  As I cover in Actuarial Review’s article, Perilous Times: COVID 19 & Vexing Variables, there were several things going on. Consider: Catastrophic weather-related losses have been exceptionally high – at least for the years 2017 and 2018. Thanks to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial space has been at low capacity for seven months.  Declining investment income due to lower returns

Social Inflation Impact Begs for Quantification

Social inflation was attracting a lot of attention before COVID-19 hit the scene. Search the internet for buzz words like “nuclear verdicts” and “reptile theory” and you’ll see what I mean. Before COVID-19, insurance company presidents and experts pointed to the phenomenon as a force behind rising premiums for most commercial insurance lines. But I was skeptical. After 30 years in the property/casualty insurance world, this was not the first time I heard social inflation was rearing its ugly head and pressuring insurance premium costs. What is

How COVID-19 Will Impact Health and P&C Insurance

COVID-19 will have vast implications on both health and property and casualty insurance lines. Two of my articles, which are cover stories for two award-winning insurance industry magazines, offer the details. The May 2020 issue of Leader’s Edge covers the impact that the coronavirus will have on health care. Actuarial Review’s May/June 2020 issue looks at the COVID-19 effect on property-casualty insurance including workers’ compensation and personal auto. Writing about both requires an understanding of how health and P&C insurance work. Each are vastly different

Climate Change Pressures Higher Property Insurance Premiums

Climate change is already pressuring premiums for homeowners, commercial and other types of insurance coverage. California homeowners in wildfire-prone areas are being turned down for coverage. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will be increasing premiums this spring. My article in the January issue of Leader’s Edge, Climate Appetite, explains why businesses should consider the change in climate seriously to mitigate future risk. The piece also covers the important role insurance agents and brokers will play to support their clients. There is also an overview of

The Truth about Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are helping drivers with reducing auto accidents and will impact the future of driverless cars, but there are limitations. “My latest article in Actuarial Review is a must-read for consumers and the insurance industry that serves them. Moving Parts: ADAS Go For a Ride moves beyond the generalizations to help readers understand the advantages and the multiple limitations of automatic safety parts. My article also provides a one-of-a-kind sidebar that provides at-a-glance information per ADAS feature based on multiple sources.

Generation Z Looks to People for Complex Insurance Interactions

Generation Z, which presumably embraces digital everything, also likes the human touch when dealing with insurance companies. Born from about 1996 to 2015, the oldest of the digital native generation is beginning to buy their own personal lines insurance. And they have been around the digital block. As my recent Actuarial Review article, Coming of Age: How will Gen Z Impact Personal Lines Coverage? explains, constant exposure to social media, digital marketing, clickbait and fake news has created a deep hunger for authenticity and transparency. 

Baribeau Recognized for Actuarial Review Award

Annmarie Geddes Baribeau was recognized June 25 for her thought-provoking editorial content published in Actuarial Review. Her article, Driverless Utopia, won an Excel Award by Association Media & Publishing (AM&P). Entered in competition by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), the article was the cover story for the May-June 2018 issue of Actuarial Review. It was also the most viewed issue of the year on the publication’s website.   “Written by frequent contributor Annmarie Geddes Baribeau, the article combines engaging graphic elements with thought-provoking editorial content to examine a

Commercial Auto Unprofitability Not All That It Seems

Commercial auto insurance is an unprofitable mess. It’s putting some companies out of business. Among the other commercial lines, commercial auto sticks out like a sore thumb. Unprofitable for eight years, the line is making life difficult for insurance agents, brokers and their clients. My article, “Commerical Auto Woes“, takes an in-depth and rare look into what is really going on with commercial auto insurance. I went beyond the standard explanation that premiums are higher due to rising costs. Actually, that is a small piece

Marijuana Industry Insurance Options Grow, But Practical and Moral Issues Remain

The marijuana industry is attracting more attention from business insurance agents and brokers. As I explain in my Leader’s Edge article, Budding Business, the burgeoning legal pot industry is calling for more insurance options. However, insurance companies selling business insurance are not exactly jumping at the chance to offer the full array of coverages enjoyed by other industries. Excess and surplus carriers, which thrive in high-risk insurance markets, are providing coverage to an extent. However, admitted insurers, which are subject to state regulation, are not

Emerging Risks Insurers Are Watching — and So Should You

Emerging risks are a mixture of perception and reality. If you asked executives in 1999 to name one of their top concerns, many would have answered Y2K. It turned out Y2K caused a lot of hysteria and a lot of computer consultants made a ton in the process. Then there are the risks that people don’t perceive but insurers do. Auto insurers know most accidents take place within a five-mile radius of the home. Drivers do not think about that when getting on the road. Insurers,

Legalizing Marijuana Expands Auto and Workers’ Comp Risk

Legalizing marijuana expands its use. And that widens the risk potential of on-the-road and on-the-job accidents. Just how much is legalizing marijuana affecting auto and workers’ compensation coverage? I try to answer that in my latest Actuarial Review article, “Reefer Madness.” (Non-insurance folks should read the article as well.)  Using all the information I could find – including direct queries to state workers’ comp funds – my article offers insight into what I see as an emerging risk. Since more states are liberalizing their marijuana laws,