Insurance Journal’s Most Noteworthy Topics of 2020: Midwest Region

Insurance Journal’s Most Noteworthy Topics of 2020: Midwest Region

2020-12-29 06:34:20

COVID 19: Lawsuits and more

Hundreds if not thousands of lawsuits have been filed in the US in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the country and the world this year. The Midwestern region has not been spared the disease or its impact on people's lives and businesses, nor has the region escaped the lawsuits arising from the challenges posed by the coronavirus.

While lawsuits against insurance companies over denial of pandemic-related business interruption claims filed by policyholders have received a lot of attention this year, actions have also been filed in the Midwest region against employers over COVID-19 safety protocols, or lack thereof, against companies. these are tracking deaths and illnesses by COVID-19 employees, and against local and state authorities due to virus-related regulations and restrictions.

One state, Missouri, has even filed a lawsuit against the government of China, which blamed China for the global pandemic and held "responsible for the tremendous death, suffering and economic losses they inflicted on the world, including its inhabitants. from Missouri. "

Some of the headlines that most caught the eye of readers of IJ & # 39; s Midwest news in 2020 include:

Midwest Derecho

A hurricane-wind storm hit the Midwestern United States in August, leaving not only extensive damage to properties in cities and towns, but serious challenges to agricultural economies that had already suffered from previous extreme weather events, the U.S. China and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: National Weather Service

Winds as high as 100 miles per hour slammed eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and parts of Illinois in the widespread storm classified as a "derecho" by the National Weather Service. By the end of October, losses from the mid-August storm that devastated tens of millions of acres of crops had reached more than $ 7.5 billion.


Dan Gutlovics held many virtual hands during the early days of the violent protests in Minneapolis and St. Paul following the death of George Floyd while in custody with the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25. Gutlovics, sales executive at Corporate Four Insurance Agency in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina, Minnesota, has commercial insurance clients with businesses in protest-hit areas. His agency was not directly affected by the violence, but some of his clients' companies were. He said he had consulted a lot with his clients about what coverages and options were available to them.

A man carries items past a burned-out Auto Zone store near the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct on May 28, 2020, after a night of rioting and looting over the death of George Floyd. (AP Photo / Jim Mone)

Days of riots followed Floyd's death, not only in Minneapolis and St. Paul, but in other cities and towns across the country. The Star Tribune reported on June 9 that the total cost of the damage could exceed $ 500 million in the Twin Cities alone. Local news sources estimate that nearly 1,000 commercial properties have been damaged or destroyed in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Insurance Information Institute has estimated that the damage costs of the riots in the US could rival the Los Angeles riots of 1992, which will become the costliest civil disorder in the country's history.

Michigan auto insurance reform

Michigan, requiring drivers to purchase unlimited, lifetime medical benefits with their auto insurance policy, has had one of the most expensive auto insurance policies in the country, and auto insurance reform has been a topic of interest to insurers and policyholders in the state. for a long time – until this year.

Michigan lawmakers finally passed an auto insurance reform law in May 2019 that allows policyholders to either opt out of purchasing personal injury protection (PIP) protection or choose from six levels of PIP to purchase with their policy. It also required insurers to file a minimum 10% cut in car premiums by the time the law went into effect on July 2, 2020. As a result, state drivers are expected to see a major drop in insurance premiums, according to the law. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Anita Fox, director of the state's insurance division, even greater than is required by law.

Agent Fraud

Stories of the crimes and crimes others commit (or at least are accused of) are apparently the things news organizations are made of. And insurance news organizations are no different from the amount of interest generated by the myriad allegations and / or convictions of agent fraud in the Midwest region of IJ in 2020. Clearly, agent fraud was not limited to just one state – a variety of jurisdictions in the Midwest was represented in the fraud reports IJ readers clicked on this year:

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