Latest Studies

2019 Natural Hazard Report
Daniel Betten et al.
February 01, 2020

According to CoreLogic’s report, 2019 was the seventh year in the last decade when 10 or more weather and climate disasters exceeding $1 billion were recorded. Notable 2019 catastrophes included: hail and flash flooding in Houston; an EF4 tornado in Ohio and an EF3 in Texas; the strong impact of Hurricane Barry on Louisiana; the estimated $3.4 billion widespread impact of Hurricane Dorian, the devastation of Typhoon Hagibis; and a few big earthquakes. The report cites data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showing there were at least 14 events with losses exceeding $1 billion in the U.S., more than double the annual adjusted average (from 1980 to 2018) of 6.5 events per year. Among the impacts of these events is rising mortgage delinquency rates, which often follow catastrophes, the report shows. After hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017, serious delinquency rates on home mortgages tripled in the Houston, Texas, and Cape Coral, Florida, metro areas and quadrupled in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The loss trend is driven by population increases, rising home values and the rising cost of construction and rebuilding. Another factor is more people moving into remote areas with higher risk. Full report

Insurers finding it increasingly difficult to fill vacant positions
Mark Hollmer
Insurance Journal;
February 20, 2020

The latest semi-annual "U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook" from the Jacobson Group and Aon shows that in 2020, most insurance companies plan to keep their staffing at current levels or hire additional employees. The study also indicates that companies are finding it difficult to fill vacant positions. Recruiting qualified employees for nine of the 11 job functions considered in the study had become more difficult this year compared with last year. The studies were first issued in July 2009, and the latest report was the first that included accounting among the positions for which recruiting was moderately difficult. Gregory Jacobson, co-chief executive officer of Jacobson, attributed the increasing difficulty of recruiting in the insurance industry to continuing low unemployment, the large number of retirements and the work on modernization that leads to job growth. The article summarizes other findings in the report. Full text

2019 the mutual factor: How performance, structure and focus set mutual insurance companies apart
Neil Alldredge et al.
National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and Aon;
February 01, 2020

This analysis of the performance of mutual property/casualty insurers is the second from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) and updates some of the principal metrics in comparisons of the operating performance of mutual and stock insurers and the industry in 2018. Aon was a partner in the report, and last year's Mutual Factor report serves as a benchmark for comparison. The latest report differs from the initial analysis by showing how mutual companies are rated in the AM Best Credit Rating Methodology, which was updated in 2017, and by offering the perceptions of a more knowledgeable consumer base—the purchasers of commercial insurance. The report provides a colorful array of graphs and figures as well as tables showing details of discussions about the current condition of mutuals and summarizes the results of a survey of commercial insurance customers. Full report

Cannabis Use Among Drivers in Fatal Crashes in Washington State Before and After Legalization
Tefft and Arnold
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety;
January 01, 2020

This study shows that the percentage of drivers in Washington state involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana increased 100 percent five years after the state made the drug legal for recreational use. The study considered the presence of detectable THC in the blood of fatal-crash-involved drivers. In general, the presence of detectable THC in blood suggests, but does not conclusively prove, that a person has recently used cannabis. THC blood levels and impairment are not well-correlated. Studies have found blood THC concentrations exceeding Washington’s 5 nanogram per milliliter per se limit as long as 24 hours after a frequent cannabis user last used cannabis. Others have found THC in the blood as long as 30 days after having last used cannabis. Full report

Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999-2018
Holly Hedegaard et al.
National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief;
January 01, 2020

This report examines the most recent data from the National Vital Statistics System and provides an update on trends in deaths from overdoses of all drugs and for specific drugs. The report also tracks these changes by state from 2017 to 2018. Multiple exhibits include an age-adjusted overdose death rates by sex in the U.S. each year since 1999; a color-coded map that shows states where the rate in 2018 is statistically higher, statistically similar or statistically lower than in 2017; and a graph showing age-adjusted drug overdose death rates involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, natural and semisynthetic opioids, heroin and methadone in the U.S. since 1999. Fifteen states had a lower age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths in 2018 compared with 2017, while the rates increased in five states. The rate changes were not statistically significant in other states between the two years. Full report

2019 Internet Crime Report
FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) ;
February 11, 2020

Internet-enabled crimes and scams continue to proliferate, according to this report. 2019 saw both the highest number of complaints and the highest dollar losses reported since the IC3 was established in May 2000. The center received 467,361 complaints in 2019—an average of nearly 1,300 every day—and recorded more than $3.5 billion in losses to individual and business victims. The most frequently reported complaints were phishing and similar ploys, non-payment/non-delivery scams and extortion. The most financially costly complaints involved business email compromise, romance or confidence fraud, and spoofing, or mimicking the account of a person or vendor known to the victim to gather personal or financial information. The center didn’t see an uptick in new types of fraud in 2019 but rather saw criminals deploying new tactics and techniques to carry out existing scams. While email is still a common entry point, frauds are also beginning on text messages, called smishing, or even fake websites—a tactic called pharming. Full report

Solving the cyber puzzle: the unexpected ways cyber risk impacts your business
February 01, 2020

This report warns organizations that any digital channel can be the source of cyberrisk. The report identifies six non-standard areas of concern that organizations must give attention to: intellectual property, mergers & acquisitions (M&A), retirement, executives, computer crime and the corporation itself. The report found that intellectual property theft in the U.S. economy totals an estimated $1 trillion each year and that intangible assets account for 80 percent of the value of S&P 500 companies. Specialist cybersecurity due diligence is performed in fewer than 10 percent of the world’s M&A deals. The report also estimates that email account compromises led to $12 billion in global losses in less than five years, and ransomware damage is expected to total $20 billion in 2021. Full report